If you’re looking for a handy example that perfectly demonstrates just how massively screwed up Prince William County Schools are, look no further than the taxpayer-funded propaganda piece released this evening about a pool at the 12th high school and the stupidity therein. Worse than the propaganda though, the schools system takes your money to professionally craft messages for your consumption that say they need more of your money.
Why the heck don’t we just call the Communications Department at Prince William County Schools “The Ministry of Taxpayer-Funded Propaganda” as a refreshing bow to truth-in-advertising?
The PWC Education Reform Blog has been doing journeyman’s work in uncovering this scandalous waste of taxpayer money and the ridiculous nonsense being peddled by school staff and the misruling class of the School Board trying to justify this extravagance. The story of staff trying to sneak a pool through the design process with the acquiescence, perhaps even the collaboration of Dr. Walts and Chairman Milt, and subsequent idiotic attempts to justify the effort have been documented pretty extensively there and I encourage readers to dig through the entire story. Were it not for their attention to detail and courage in confronting this monstrosity, the schools would probably be halfway through the bid award process on this absurdity already.
This propaganda piece purporting to differentiate between “fact” and “fiction” about the issue is well timed at least, as it will quickly bring to mind Pontius Pilate asking Jesus “what is truth” in the way it attempts to avoid truth at every opportunity. As with every lie, though, trying to keep the story straight is the challenge.
The propaganda piece starts off trying to tell us that no decision about the pool has been made. While officially true, the total number of times the school board has rejected an architectural concept for a capital improvement up to this point equals exactly zero. There’s the usual dog-and-pony show where the architects present their plan to the board, with all sorts of staff members fawning over how wonderful it will all be, and the school board exercises the level of oversight it has heretofore been known for by pulling out the rubber stamp with the word “approved” in big, capital letters, and stamps whatever Dr. Walts slips in front of it. That becomes even more certain after we find out that Chairman Milt and Dr. Walts were behind the idea from the beginning.
The very next point this propaganda piece tries to make then is that the pool has already been included in the capital improvement budget, which has already been through worksessions with the board. We’re supposed to believe that it isn’t actually decided, but it’s in the schools budget that was approved last week. Riiigght.
The rest of the piece either attacks straw man arguments or prevaricates about which “pot” of money pays for this capital extravagance as if taxpayers weren’t the ones funding all the pots. It actually even tries to make the argument that because we’re going to borrow money to pay for it, it’ll actually cost us less than if we paid for it outright. Then we hear that we can’t afford to reduce class sizes or increase teacher pay, but the millions in capital and maintenance costs for a swimming pool at a high school aren’t much at all and easily affordable. I sure hope the students they teach are better at math than these propaganda masters, as this nonsense is simply silly.
Regardless of how smart or dumb the arguments in this piece are, the real problem here is that the schools see fit to employ propagandists, at taxpayer expense, to write propaganda pieces aimed at the taxpayers. This is a consistent theme with the schools division in that they just don’t seem to grasp that the taxpayers are their bosses, the people who are footing the bill for their paychecks, and it is utterly outrageous to target them with propaganda pieces. Staff prepares a budget, the superintendent presents that budget and after that their role is finished. Their role is not to mount political campaigns to get that budget passed, it is not to try to drum up support from some segment of the community to pass that budget or any alternatives, nor is it to jam up citizen’s time with attempts to lobby the school board members to vote in one way or another.
Let’s say you presented a proposal to your boss and just to make sure it passed you sent letters to all of his neighbors urging them to go visit him and tell him what a fine employee you are and how your proposal should be accepted and that darn it, you deserve a raise as well. Then you emailed your boss’ spouse with the same message and a request to have her bring up the subject right before bedtime. You’d be fired the next day. It’s insubordinate, it’s entirely out of line, and utterly disrespectful.
That is exactly the kind of behavior we’re seeing here. Chairman Milt doesn’t do a thing about it because half the time he approves of the ultimate goal this insubordinate behavior is trying to accomplish and the rest of the time he lacks the moral courage to do anything about it lest someone, somewhere get upset about something. We pay people whose job it apparently is to direct propaganda at us where they try to make us pay them even more than we already do. Chairman Milt thinks this is just fine.
Well, maybe if Chairman Milt thinks it’s fine, he should pay the salaries of these useless propaganda-producing educrats. I’m sick of it.
Let’s cut the budget for all non-instructional positions by 20% and bring it back to the level where it was only two years ago. Professional propagandists for the schools can be the first out the door.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
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