Saturday, May 21, 2005

You Don't Know Jack Schitt

So uh, you uh, you don’t want your lunch? Can I have it? You don’t want your education either? Can I have that too?

The Rocky Mountain News has been running a series all this week about how so many students in the public schools aren’t graduating. Of 5653 students entering high school in the Denver Public Schools, only 1863 graduated. When I was in school, it would have been a terrible shame to flunk out of school. Now, kids don’t want to graduate. They go so far as to willfully not participate in the educational process, and fail on purpose.

Public education is one of the few things in life where you actually do get a free lunch. It’s not just the subsidized school lunches. But the education itself is paid for by the state. Taxpayers’ money goes towards the teachers’ salaries, staff and administration, the textbooks, grounds, facilities, and transportation. But by saying they don’t want their education, they’re in essence throwing away that free lunch.

I have a better idea. See, I graduated from high school in 1982, and from college in 1987. Now, my education is out of date, and I’m taking some more classes so that I might have enough skills to do something more than deliver newspapers for a living. After I lost my last job as a software support engineer, I sent out about 600 resumes, and only got about two interviews, and no new engineering job. The skills that I learned in college are out of date because the state of technology has advanced so rapidly. I never realized in the early days of my engineering career that I would have to keep getting educated throughout my entire career just to keep up with the competition in the job market. So now, I have to pay for an education in my next career as a web designer on a paper carrier’s wages. I can’t really afford it. I can’t even make ends meet as it is, without paying for an education as well. But I have no choice.

My idea is that with these kids throwing away the money for their education, and me not being able to pay for my education is that maybe somehow I could get the education money from these high school dropouts. It might involve some sort of illegal scam. Perhaps I could adopt one of those high school dropout wannabe’s, and get the government subsidy for him. I understand that the state of Colorado offers private schools vouchers for families that don’t want to send their kids to public school. So, I could do that, and use the voucher for my own education. Do you suppose that would work?

At the same time, the Rocky Mountain News is also running a story about how Denver wants to eliminate homelessness within the next 10 years. Since those high school dropouts are aiming at becoming the homeless, uneducated, unemployable derelicts of society, the question is obvious. It’s not even a question. The working class taxpayers are going to end up paying for subsidized housing for the kids that don’t want their education now. The challenge is, what to do about the dropouts? How do you enforce an education? They should make it conditional that the people who get the subsidized housing for the homeless either get an education and a job, or they go to prison. Then, they’d just get another free lunch paid for by the working class taxpayers. On second thought, the whole idea of subsidizing the dumb shits is a bad idea. Just scrap the whole program, and make them learn the hard way, just like they want to.

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