Friday, September 26, 2008

Helping the wealthy

Barrington High School got itself a lovely, state-of-the-art stadium, complete with $143,000 giant video display. How does this annoy me? Let me count the ways.

Screens. Everywhere we go, there are screens screaming at us, begging us to watch them. They must play siren songs or something as they irresistibly draw our eyes to them, away from our meal companions, away from the reality in front of us.

Yes, I admit it. I strictly limited screen time when my children were young. There is something about the gaping-mouthed, slack-jawed look of children parked in front of the tube that I find intensely annoying. I think it's the continuous out of body experience children who simply view the world have. I want my children to actively participate in and experience the world, not simply watch it go by, spectating life away. I want the same for myself. Stop distracting us from living, already!

Then there's the jumbotron cost of such pricey items. Barrington's big screen was apparently paid for by booster fundraising--none of your tax dollars are at work there. Yet it still feels obscene to me, knowing that schools 25 miles to the east are operating with 3 textbooks per classroom yet we (the middle class to the rich) feel so entitled to the best that we pass up the opportunity to purchase textbooks for those who need them to give our already satiated children too much.

Me? I'd like to ban boosterism. It allows non-educators to set standards for educational settings. Alternatively, I'd restructure the tax system so that each district receives exactly the same amount of education funding across the board. The children in Illinois would all have textbooks, though they might be a year or two out of date. Then, when the wealthier districts among us try to raise money privately to purchase the newest textbooks--or a big stadium--they'd have to tithe to a windfall fund that is meted out to all those districts unfortunate enough to have no booster/private funding.

Speaking of windfalls, I am so not on the bailout bandwagon. Clueless on such things, I am. But I know enough to pay attention to those wiser than me. And when 150 economists sign a petition opposing the plan, that gives me pause. (
There's a nice summary here of insightful thoughts regarding the bailout.)

Bush rushed us into a war. We should not rush into yet another expensive quagmire. And we should not condone throwing money at the rich. If we have money to give away, let's triple the amount the UN poverty summit has committed to helping the poor. Don't give more to those who have the most.

Liz

1 Comments:

Blogger Suna said...

Agreement here on all counts. And we have one of those stadiums, lovingly nicknamed "The Palace" where we live. The screen is obscene. Oh well, I saw a great view of my kid "marcher of the week" in the band on it last night. Still. Embarrassing knowing how bad off the next District over is.

3:59 PM  

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