Saturday, March 3, 2012

Penny Wise And Pound Foolish.

Governor Daugaard's disastrous K-12 education reform effort is premised, in part. on the supposition that STEM classes have more value than  than literature, history, and music.  Only STEM teachers are worthy of guaranteed raises.

At the college level, however, the Governor doesn't seem to mind if STEM programs get eliminated. According to this New York Times article,
As state funding has dwindled, public colleges have raised tuition and are now resorting to even more desperate measures — cutting training for jobs the economy needs most.
Technical, engineering and health care expertise are among the few skills in huge demand even in today’s lackluster job market. They are also, unfortunately, some of the most expensive subjects to teach. As a result, state colleges in Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Colorado, Michigan, Florida and Texas have eliminated entire engineering and computer science departments.
The same article also reports,
Colleges have found ways to hold costs per student relatively steady. Since 1985, the average amount that public institutions spend on teaching each full-time student over the course of a year has barely budged, hovering around an inflation-adjusted $10,000, according to a State Higher Education Executive Officers report. But in the same period, the share of instruction costs paid for by actual tuition — not the sticker price, but the amount students actually pay after financial aid — has nearly doubled, to 40 percent from 23 percent.
Two things stand out. First, Daugaard is clearly inconsistent in his support for STEM. It only matters when he can attack K-12 teachers. Second, the Governor seems to see investing in young South Dakotans as a waste of resources. Instead, he demands that they pay more for their education while he attempts to squirrel away money in a fund that he can use to attempt, and more than likely fail, to attract permanent high paying jobs to the state.

The only logical conclusion one can draw is that the only consistency the Governor holds dear is attacking K-12 education and being penny wise and pound foolish.

1 comment:

larry kurtz said...

Barney Frank: "I've never seen a tax cut build a bridge." RT@@KatrinaNation