Mike Kueber's Blog

August 7, 2012

The priorities of San Antonio city government

Filed under: Education,Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 7:11 pm
Tags: , , ,

My inability to notice the obvious never fails to amaze me. 

A few weeks ago, I read the 2012 Texas GOP platform and failed to notice a plank that put the world on notice that the Texas GOP opposed the teaching of critical thinking and Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS).  Instead of examining this crazy plank, I proceeded to blog about 16 other planks that caught my attention. 

Then today, there is an article in the Express-News reporting on a letter from two area legislators who are suggesting that before the city of San Antonio gets into the business of providing education to thousands of its four-year-old kids, perhaps it should get its citizens to approve a Charter amendment to authorize this foray.   

The letter from state rep Lyle Larsen and county commissioner Kevin Wolff states the obvious – i.e., the city of San Antonio is in the business of law enforcement, libraries, transportation, etc. and these core functions should receive any additional revenue instead of diverting it to another governmental function that is already a core responsibility of the area school districts.  

Duh, why didn’t I think about that when I blogged a few weeks ago about Mayor Castro’s so-called Pre-K 4 SA proposal? 

Although there are similarities between Mayor Castro’s foray into education policy and the federal government’s involvement in Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind programs, a major difference is the federal government’s action raises a concern about federalism and whether a national perspective is either constitutional or beneficial.  By contrast, the city of San Antonio and school districts are overlapping local jurisdictions, and it is less clear what expertise the City of San Antonio brings to the problem other than ambitious politicians who want to use their taxing authority to stick their noses into something that is not their business or expertise. 

The word “dilettante” comes to mind when I think of city politicians interjecting themselves in the local school districts.

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3 Comments »

  1. One thing we do know for sure: this Mayor and most of this council know very little @ early childhood education, nor about the parents who aren’t getting their 4s or 5s the attention that “might” OR “might not” be beneficial. (Many studies indicate that while pre-K has some value, the gain is completely unnoticeable by grade 3–which is where they intend to carry this–5 years–before they begin to test the premise of spending more taxpayer dollars on just another feel good idea with new buildings and a new bureaucracy.

    And, when they quote per child cost, they actually aren’t. Please notice it is a four year ramp-up and that most of the front-end money goes to the buildings and staff, not for the children. One more thing, when they do the arithmetic, they are ONLY using sales tax dollars per child. Remember, this concept also relies heavily on State and Federal funding for it to even pretend to move forward. The real number is much, much, much higher than $10,000 per student per year. Likely at least twice and perhaps three times that much.

    Spending an inordinate amount of public money to burnish one’s public CV when the exact same thing can be done for significantly less ($5-6,000 per child per year) by the market is one VERY good reason why the City SHOULD NOT build another bureaucracy.

    I always wish to ask one question: If it was their personal money, would they spend it this way?

    Comment by bobbevard — August 7, 2012 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

  2. 7 of the 8 reasons we moved from SA to fredericksburg are that SA’s priorities are realtors, builders, and developers…

    1. don’t drive or cut the grass it is an ozone action week – oh, are you building mass transportation – no we are promoting growth
    2. don’t water your yard the water level is only 640′ – oh, are your building lakes and retention ponds – no we are promoting growth
    3. seperate your trash into glass, plastic, metal, paper, and trash we are out of land fill space – are you getting more – no we are promoting growth
    4. crime is on the rise – are you rolling out more police – no we are promoting growth
    5. too many kids are not finishing school – what are you doing – promoting growth of course
    6. teenage pregnancy is out of control – what are you doing – promoting growth
    7. our streets are overcrowded – are you building streets – no we need to promote more growth…

    Comment by q — August 12, 2012 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

  3. [...] “The priorities of San Antonio city government”, Mike Kueber’s Blog, August 7, 2012. [...]

    Pingback by Pre-K 4 SA in campaign mode | San Antonio Charter Moms — August 13, 2012 @ 10:49 am | Reply


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