Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beating and Bleeding

I guess you know the "racially charged" stories of 2 women*, Tanya McDowell of Connecticut and Kelley Williams-Bolar of Ohio, who were arrested for theft of services - lying to send their children to a better school district.

This district jumping for schools goes on everywhere, by all races. Usually the kids are pulled out of school and enrolled in the correct district, sometimes the parent/parents have to agree on a restitution amount, which these women were unable to agree to. Makes me wonder if they're being used as pseudo-martyrs for political gain.

I know folks who have used the wrong addresses for a different school, not always for better education, sometimes simply more convenient for one reason or another. Sometimes for sports programs. Sometimes for behavior problems which the parent blames on the school and a different school will show Little Johnny is perfectly normal elsewhere. He never is, but there are plenty more excuses to choose from.

After reading dozens of different articles on the two cases above, the prevalent meme is: these women just want a better education for their children, these women are targeted simply because they are Black, these women are being attacked by local racist republican officials, yada yada yada and on and on into idiocy such as education is "free" and the government cannot do this. I did see one comment that mentioned had the women been illegal immigrants they would be okay. There might be a point there.

Another common theme in the grousing commentors on the stories is that the "rich" districts get more Federal money while the "poor" get very little, "unequal funding." These folks don't seem to understand that a large part of funding comes from local and state property taxes.

Schools were more equitable until the early 1980s when all 50 states increased their education budgets to fund more than 50 percent of nonfederal school costs. This was to end inequalities in "property rich" and "property poor" districts, so the states upped their education budgets. We know now how mismanaged, corrupt, and bankrupt states have become. Too much of the money earmarked for equalizing ended up in other pockets and silly useless "enhancement" programs and to accommodate those who whine and wheedle about little wild Johnny Medicated's special needs. All the special programs for special kids who are the result, not of congenital ailments, not of poverty, not of inequality, but simply indiscriminate indifferent parenting (all races). A nationwide epidemic of folks who expect the world to bend over backwards to make them comfortable. For 2 or 3 generations now.

Lest we forget, gambling/numbers rackets were legalized with the promises of billions going to education and/or wildlife/conservation, environmental programs, etc. Yet, we're dumber and dirtier than ever.

Something I noticed years ago locally. Podunk has 1 high school, rated as one of the best in the state, 1 middle school, 1 kindergarten center, 1 "alternative" school (read screw-ups and future inmates), and 3 elementary schools. Lets call them Best Elementary, Second Best Elementary, and SlugFest Elementary. I noticed this because of my 4 grandchildren (all attending Best). I noticed because all the white folks want their kids to go to Best and are quite angry when Johnny is assigned to Second Best or SlugFest. I noticed that usually only the attentive, intelligent, well-behaved, unmedicated kids are assigned to Best. Second and Slug, as the names imply, get the potential problem and definite problem kids. Rich or poor is not relevant.

From kindergarten a child's school career is more or less sealed here in Podunk. The last chance equalizer in Podunk is high school, since there is only one. By then the Second Besters and SlugFesters who still have serious behavior problems will drop out, or just move through the motions and graduate functionally illiterate, or be the kid most likely to bring a gun or baby to school.

I truly think most people here have not noticed this is how it's done, although they all want their kid to go to the "good" elementary school, they haven't figured out it's the "good" kids assigned to the "good" school, because that would mean it's their fault Little Johnny is a muckup already, in kindergarten. They claim it's based on "rich" and "poor" too. The "two Americas" at the local level.

The average spent per child nationwide can range from $10,000 to $15000. Many good private schools spend as little as $5000. As with all things, it's not the money - it's the parental commitment, love, respect, hope that's taught at home those first few years and sets the child on the road he will travel.

But back to Tanya and Kelley. It's not a race issue, although god knows the NAACP and Black and white soapboxers say it is. For political reasons of course. One more shilling headline to keep folks angry, bitter, to sit on their ass doing the bare minimum while demanding someone else hand them the life they want. You could give some folks everything and a year later they would have nothing but their original grievance.

No, I don't think Tanya and Kelley's legal problems are racism. It may be unease, of the impending encroachment of folks who do everything assbackwards. Have kids first, have fun, live on the dole and then expect the "rich" suburbanites to fund you the same perks they waited, sacrificed, and delayed gratification for, so they could make money, live in the 'burbs and raise their kids.

If you want life's perks - earn 'em. Frankly, if the "poor" put as much energy into cleaning up the 'hood as they do in trying to beat and bleed the system, their schools and kids would fare fine.

* Ms. Williams-B­olar and several other families enrolled their children at the school although they did not live within the district. The school confronted all the families, around 48. The other families agreed to some sort of restitution but Ms Williams-B­olar chose not to pay and go to trial, she lost, even with the NAACP provided lawyer and 4 blacks on the jury. She was sentenced to 10 days in jail (she served 9), probation and community service. After her probation and community services the charges will be dropped to a misdemeanor so her future job chances will not be mired with a felony.

Her father has other legal problems because he filed documents for Ms Williams-B­olar and children. His problems are worse, as he is being indicted for knowingly falsely filing documents to receive monetary, medical and food assistance from the Dept. of Job and Family Services, connected to the children.

The other lady, Ms. McDowell, supposedly homeless, sleeping in her van, but sometimes overnight at a male friend's house. Her babysitter, Ms. Ana Rebecca Marques, was evicted from her public housing by helping Ms. McDowell falsify documents.

2 comments:

Antiques Florida said...

Antiques FloridaToby, it's the old, blurry line between truth & "the facts." Sometimes, they overlap, but often, they don't.

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