I was noticing this morning that a facebook group “Make Education a Priority in South Dakota,” which has been closely watching the Education task force, had the organizer of the group making a few critical comments about the task force’s last meeting:
The complaining was about the group not being bold enough. And the very next post on the web site – coming after this lament – was very telling about the reality some of the critics are living in:
Yes, it’s a post asking people to support Bernie Sanders’ idea of “Free College to all Americans.” (Yay! Free stuff for all of us! Woo Hoo!)
The complaints about the task force not being bold enough and Bernie Sanders free stuff interestingly both have the same problem at their root. Someone is going to have to foot the bill for all these pipe dreams.
Socialist Bernie Sanders might want to give away college for everyone, but the rest of us will have to foot the bill. Amy Scott-Stoltz might want legislators to be bolder in their plan for schools, but the reality is that any proposal has to be created and passed in the realm of actuality, and not fantasyland.
Our legislators are going to have a difficult enough time swallowing a $75 million dollar plan for schools if it involves a major tax increase. There are those who will want more, but they’re also competing against those who want a lesser increase. And those who want none at all.
That was always the problem with SDEA in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. They wanted it all, and all at once, and damn anyone who said no. Look where it got them. Yes. It’s nice for your kid to want a pony, But when you live in the middle of town, there are issues of practicality, and mom and dad are going to say “Heck NO!”. And maybe that bicycle would have been a better choice before you pitched that fit, and got nothing.
Unlike the pipe dreams of people who are dreaming about utopia, the task force has to operate in the land of reality. And what they end up proposing may be bold – not in fantasyland terms, mind you – but in the terms of actual reality.
People have to vote on it. People have to pass the legislation. And taxpayers have to be able to swallow the cost when they’re asked to foot the bill.
Bold in reality may be difficult enough to accomplish in the atmosphere of limited funds and competing political needs. Those wanting more would be wise to keep that in mind before they set their hearts on that pony.