paul’s words

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Mitt Romney writes that the cost of K-12 education has nearly tripled since 1970 (“DeVos is a smart choice for education” - as printed January 10, 2017, in The Salt Lake Tribune, a Washington Post op-ed essay). My property taxes increased nearly 20 times over that period: in 1970, I paid $104.17; in 2013, I paid $2077.16 (19.9 times as much). I pay separately now for city services that were included in those earlier property taxes. While we’re comparing, by how much did the minimum wage increase?

Learning that K-12 education costs a lot doesn’t convince. Of course there are more teachers - there are more pupils; of course there are more schools - there are more suburbs where the pupils live - or should we bus kids from Herriman to Murray? From Deer Valley to Heber? School Districts would need buses (or contract the service out) - more pollution.

Cost analysis alone is not enough: public schools do more than teach reading, writing and ’rithmetic: we learned how humans of diverse backgrounds live and work and play together, inter alia.

For all the criticism of public schools, I wonder how the US managed to educate the “greatest generation” well enough that we stopped the Nazis and Imperial Japan.

            W. Paul Wharton