Republicans and Democrats breathlessly await “new ideas” on education from Topinka

We struggled to come up with a headline for this post. We filtered out a few before arriving at the one chosen above. Our favorite was: “Topinka proposes radical idea: take yet more money from working families and give it to public education bureaucrats.”


There might still be something new in Topinka’s plan when she gets around to announcing it – but we’re actually not holding our breath. Spending more wasn’t a new idea 30 years ago and it still isn’t. In fact, 30 years later there’s ample evidence that if the goal was to improve the schools, spending more money wasn’t the solution.


The Associated Press wire story included this:

Blagojevich campaign spokesman Doug Scofield attended the event and criticized Topinka for not offering any ideas on education funding despite being a longtime elected official as both the state’s treasurer and a lawmaker, and as a candidate for governor for almost a year.


“She hasn’t said a word, not one detail about education and no details again today,” Scofield said.

And this:

During Monday’s event, Topinka said some of her key education principles include raising the minimum amount the state ensures is available for schools to spend on each child. She also said she will fund school construction and have a way to pay for it.

That sound you hear is the screams of joy from educrats across the state and the legislators who serve them. They don’t have to wait for election day – victory is already theirs!


Forget the fact that these same educrats have been the recipients of funding increases at double the rate of inflation for the past couple of decades. They might not know how to teach the 3 R’s but they sure are good at P.R. They don’t know how to manage an efficient system but they sure are good at spending tax dollars.


And about the notion that spending more produces better schools – education reform experts from sea to shining sea say it’s a myth. If Topinka was to present a new idea regarding education it would have to be that she’s going to let working families with children keep more of their own money.