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Schools and money

Monday, Jan 29, 2007

Senate President Emil Jones reiterated his position that “all options are on the table” as far as raising new revenues for school funding, and made it clear that he intends to force Speaker Madigan to get on board.

“We’ve got to raise revenue, no question about it, so all options are on the table,” Jones said. “We in the Senate are going to push it through. We’re going to make the House deal with it, make them stand up and be responsible.”

UPDATE: Here’s my take on Jones and Madigan, from my syndicated newspaper column.

Anyway, Jones did go on to say that an income tax, particularly in conjunction with a property tax swap, is not necessarily on the horizon.

Jones distanced himself from some education advocates’ long-held hope that the state will shift the burden of school funding from property taxes to income taxes. […]

“There are other possibilities out there,” Jones said Thursday.

“Some of the corporations have been getting away with paying no taxes,” he said. “We want them to pay. You raise income taxes, that hits the individual.”

That pretty much matches up to Gov. Blagojevich’s stance.

Meanwhile, House GOP Leader Tom Cross said raising the income tax doesn’t make sense.

GOP House Minority Leader Tom Cross said Friday he doesn’t favor raising the income tax to collect more money for the state, an idea the Senate’s Democratic leader has said is up for discussion.

But Cross is willing to discuss a gambling expansion to help pay for capital projects like building roads and schools. That could include lifting the limits on riverboat gaming positions and opening casinos in Chicago or elsewhere.

Jones also favors gaming expansion, by the way.

And the Tribune’s editorial page, which has far less influence over state government now that it ever has, started a series of editorials this past weekend calling for a tax hike coupled with various reforms.

This editorial page usually expresses skepticism about tax increases. But we will argue in this series that there is a substantial need to put school funding on a more stable footing. That will cost each of us more money–and allow us to insist that our schools deliver much more.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

28 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 8:39 am:

    You gotta love Illinois politicians. Emil and Rod go after the fat cats(corporations). Business is fleeing the state in mass. Revenue is down because this administration is hostile towards business. That is unless you promise to put money in Rod or Emils pockets.
    This reminds me of the Cook County Cigarette taxes. Just tax them more. Instead people went elsewhere to buy and now the county is is serious trouble. They lost all their cigarette revenue. STUPID.
    So Rod and Emil are going to tax the corporations more. Don’t they know if they had a friendly business climate more companies would want to move here, more jobs, therefore more retail taxes and income taxes.
    Politicians in Illinois will never do the right thing and transfer property taxes into retail or income taxes.
    Local politicians in wealthy suburbs will never stand for their tax dollars spread evenly in Illinois. They will protect their County turf and punish anyone who tries to do the right thing.
    Too many cowards in this state.


  2. - Sen. Jeff Schoenberg - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 9:00 am:

    We can’t place enough emphasis on elevating our educational systems so that our students are competitive not with just with others in communities throughout the state, but more importantly, with students in countries like China, India, Japan and elsewhere. If you need further convincing, just read “The World Is Flat” by Thomas Friedman. It’s pretty sobering.

    Also, one of the major differences between the last time this issue was considered @ the Capitol — which was in the last year of the Edgar Administration — and now is that the state’s massive unfunded pension libility today consumes many available resources and increasingly crowds out our ability to provide more dollars to our core functions like education, health care, public safety, etc.

    This year’s scheduled payment into the state’s retirement systems will eat up most of the revenue growth alluded to in the Tribune editorial.

    Consequently, we will need to address pension funding head on as part of the overall debate on education funding. Failing to do so will simply repeat the same flawed behavior as before, as will undercut efforts to encourage talented people to enter the teaching profession.


  3. - Number 8 - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 9:31 am:

    What exactly does it mean that DeFraties and Casey havew 66 pages of printed emails? Did they choose which emails to print? If so, wouldnt that support the contention by the governor’s office that they present one side of the story? Would either of these two print emails that show themselves in a bad light? My guess is that these printed emails do not tell the entire story. Unless I’m mistaken, all email transactions from state email accounts are stored for an indefinate period of time. If this is the case, I’m sure that the government will have ample ammunition to come back and debunk whatever case being made by these two employees.

    The truth probably exists somewhere between the two sides. However, I would also guess that the actions by the mid level governors office stffers didnt break any laws, and whatever direction the two employees received from these staffers didnt instruct them to do anything illegal.


  4. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 9:33 am:

    Number 8, I think you commented on the wrong post.


  5. - Number 8 - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 9:34 am:

    sorry, wrong thread.


  6. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 9:38 am:

    “Consequently, we will need to address pension funding head on as part of the overall debate on education funding.”

    Sure. Why don’t we discuss robbing our pension fund and justify it by claiming it is for our children.

    I have a better idea. Why don’t you discuss LEGISLATIVE SALARY REFORMS as a part of the overall debate on education funding? Why don’t you discuss PROPERTY TAX RELIEF as a part of the overall debate on education funding? If you are so willing to throw the pledges made to civil servants into the fire, whos next?

    You people sound like kidnappers demanding ransom. Nice technique. Hold the kids in front of us and demand that the pension plans you didn’t fund, be “reformed” so that the kids can get an eduation. Smooth!

    Promises, promises! The only things we are seeing done in Springfield quickly, with no debate, is RAISING YOUR SALARIES! Why is that, I wonder? I don’t recall anyone running for re-election promising to raise legislator’s salaries.

    The state is broke, and has been for years. But somehow you found the money for yourselves, but gee whiz - not enough for the staffers who work for you. Nuts! I’m sure you would love to pay the overdue bills on your desks.

    You are screwed, and are looking for someone else to get screwed, aren’t you? Who seems to be the guys voters have few tears for? Oh, yeah - state workers. Screw them - but do it in the name of the kids, so you can look good while you do it.

    Film it. Then put it on YouTube so you can keep admiring yourselves.


  7. - crazyschoollady - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 9:48 am:

    An income tax swap for property tax relief is not the answer, because this state is too corrupt and that money will be wasted as well. While funding between districts has great disparity, there has to be another way. Expanding gaming isn’t going to do it either. If these two suggestions are the best our politicians can come up with, we should all move now…What does Minnesota do? Why do they rank so high in funding, compared to Illinois? Will school vouchers help failing school situations? Speaking of the Tribune editorial, and the graph that shows there are NO HIGH QUALITY teachers in the poor income districts, how do you think those teachers that work in those districts felt when they read that? Education is corrupt, and when politics are taken out of it, then it will be “for the kids”.


  8. - Pat Hickey - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 10:06 am:

    Rather than raise income tax 5% for ’smarter schools,’ how about 100% vouchers for Illinois parents to choose which school will make their children smarter? Then, schools will get smarter about teacher recruitment, balancing budgets, meet goals and expectations. They will become Smarter Schools through competition. There’s that word again - almost as scarry as accountability.


  9. - Ben - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 10:19 am:

    From January 25th Wall Street Journal:

    If you’re searching for the next big thing in American politics, it’s wise to keep an eye on the states. Here’s one possibility: the abolition of state income taxes.
    In Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina, Governors and state legislatures are drafting serious proposals to repeal their income taxes to promote economic development. St. Louis, one of America’s most distressed cities, may overturn its wage/income tax as a way to spur urban revival. And in Michigan, the legislature is in the last stages of phasing out its hated business income tax — the most onerous in the land. “States are now in a ferocious competition to attract jobs and businesses,” says economist Arthur Laffer, who is advising several Governors and legislators on the issue, “and one of the best ways to win this race is to abolish the state income tax.”
    The timing for fixing state tax codes could hardly be more ideal because states are swimming in budget surpluses thanks to the booming national economy. This should be a big year for state tax cuts. Governors in Arkansas, Florida and West Virginia have already announced major tax relief plans for 2007. Even New York City has a $1 billion surplus and Mayor Michael Bloomberg is promising a property tax cut.
    The idea of financing state services without an income tax is hardly radical. Nine states today — Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming — manage well without one. With a few exceptions, the non-income tax states are America’s most prosperous. Meanwhile, the high income tax states, which tend to be congregated in the Northeast, keep surrendering jobs, people, and voters to the South and West.

    So what is Illinois trying to do?


  10. - Truthful James - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 11:27 am:

    The point on the top of my head is getting waorn down by this subject.

    Students sit on a three legged stool of knowledge. The legs are: the familiy, the teachers, and the government representing the taxpayer.

    When the family is under motivated; the teachers, underqualified the hot air balloons in Springfield keep wanting to avoid blame for the problem by shovelling more money at it. It can’t be their fault if they keep shovelling taxpayer money — from whatever level. To put the best possible face on it, it is the triumph of Hope over Experience. It is insanity.

    More money into the system does not raise the motivation of parents who no longer believe that education is an economic and a social good.

    More money into the system does not increase the qualifications of the teaching staff, does not provide them with subject matter mastery or a love for what they teach. It is still the same old story. In the big cities seniority rules. The schools are not able to send those best subject matter qualified teachers to the places they are needed most.

    So, how do we motivate the parents? Give them charter schools and full spectrum choice.

    How do we get better qualified teachers? Look for them. Hard. Remove impediments from throwing them in the classrooms We are retiring each year tens of thousands of military people with pensions who have teaching experience. Use them.

    Get rid of the monopoly that the public sector has on education. Vest the families with the same dollars that is being thrown per student to the local Districts. Let them compete for students. Competition lowers prices. The rsidual can be kept in the local public school district to improve their act.

    Above all, stop lying about revenue. It all comes out of the taxpayer’s pockets whether sent by the Feds, collected by the State or paid from local sources.

    It is the sum of the Revenues that counts. God help us if the teachers use the same math as A+ Illinois and Ralph Martire. There is no such thing as OPM — Other People’s Money.

    Let’s reverse the equation…Let us emphasize the Quality of the Education which comes from having the three legged stool in balance.


  11. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 12:01 pm:

    1.Jones wants to expand gambling. There’s a shocker. Wonder how big his piece of the pie will be?

    2. Blance the state budget by reforming legislative salaries? HA! Folks obviously have no idea how big the budget deficit is, nor how much money lawmakers make.

    The median household income in Illinois is $47K. Lawmakers make about 40% more than that. The average Standard & Poor’s 500 CEO makes 287 times more. I’ll gladly support a law that ties lawmaker salaries to family earnings and CEO compensation to workers’ salaries, but the first won’t balance the budget and the second won’t raise the standard of living.

    3. More money won’t fix education? We seem to believe that “you get what you pay for” when it comes to everything but education, and even then we really do believe it, we just don’t want to admit it out loud because it forces us to come face-to-face with the gross inequalities of the current system of funding our schools. Almost always, the same folks who say “money won’t fix our schools” would go nuts if we passed a law limiting how much they could spend on their kid’s education. They live in a Bizarro world where they think all of their kid’s achievements are due to the fact that they’re good parents and their kids work hard, not the fact that half their school’s teaching staff has PhD’s, every classroom has computers, and they offer every extra-curricular activity to keep kids in school and help them get into college, from debate club to water polo.

    4. Yes, charter public school expansion might be part of the solution, but it is not the whole solution. Charters require dedicated community leaders and parents to serve on their board, manage them, fundraise for them, and we don’t have and endless supply of those. Charter public schools also are funded by the exact same tax system as other public schools, so even where charters exist, they face the same funding problems as their neighboring traditional schools.

    My advice to those who want to maintain the status quo for school funding is to take the standard test for equality. Ask yourself, if the shoe was on the other foot and it was your kid that was attending a school that could only afford to spend $5,000 per pupil per year, your community that was dealing with the after-effects of double digit drop-out rates and an illiterate workforce, would you think the current system is fair, equitable, sustainable, moral, and in all of our best interests? The Tribune has it right: what’s happening in Harvey, Effingham, Rockford, Cairo, Peoria and Chicago affects all of us, even those who live in Naperville, Hindsdale, Wheaton and Kennilworth.


  12. - Pat Hickey - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 12:09 pm:

    All of us do not live in Kennilworth & etc. All of us pay taxes and some more of us pay twice for education per child. The Tribune Editorial Board has not been right in - ever.

    I live in Morgan Park. T work in Auburn Gresham three blocks from Calumet High School but worlds apart. 93% of kids at Leo go to college and about the same percentage of kids at Calumet do not. Calumet gets millions of tax dollars - we do not get nickle one. Doctrine is getting shredded. it is time for Democrats to get real with school vouchers. Give kids in Illinois a fighting chance and their Moms and Dads a breather from forking out the dough.


  13. - Gus Frerotte's Clipboard - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 1:00 pm:

    For once, I largely agree with YDD. But I think the Tribune has a good point here too. More money alone is not always the answer; look at Iraq, where we’ve spent a fortune, or at some corporations that burn through mountains of cash before going under. But, any solution that doesn’t involve more money is a fraudulent solution.

    To use the corporate analogy again, very few corporations (if any) could increase their results by the order of magnitude we’re expecting from our schools on the same budget they have today. That money may need to be targeted to leverage certain activities on the part of local schools, but it needs to be spent. I think the Tribune’s point is that there are things we could do that we’re not doing, and that while those things cost money, they may well be worth it. Without having seen what specifically they’re going to recommend, I think that overarching point is well taken.


  14. - Truthful James - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 1:50 pm:

    YDD –

    Just a short comment on Harvey School District 152, which spends in its operating budget approximately $8K per student (not $5K) and has frugally built up $8.9 Millinon in Fund balances. The District has 3,537 students. Most of the money likely comes from State and Federal sources. They have an Educational Foundation, which means that the community is behind them. Good on them

    Of the top twelve positions $100K to $193K ten are administrators including one Eric J. Kellogg, the same first and last name as the City Mayor. The remaining two are elementary school teachers.

    Current year report cards on the standardizes tests are not yet available.

    They are, of course, far from the poorest of the south suburb Districts.

    Interestingly, Kenilworth S.D. No 38 is a one School district with 600 students. State support for this District is $475 per student. Federal support is miniscule. The remainder of the funding comes from local proeprty taxes Kenilworth is one of the richest AV Districts in the State. The total operating cost per student is estimated to be $15,310.69. Unlike Harvey, they are in a deficit financing mode.

    The $475 they get from the State per student is a small amount indeed. Incidentally, Harvey’s superinendent makes slightly more money than Kenilworth’s.

    I would submit, however, that rather than finance, the strength of the education, comes from that leg to which I earlier referred — the parents whose support is based not only on their own income but also in their strong belief in Education as a necessary condition for future success in life.


  15. - JimMc - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 2:09 pm:

    Just a quickie:

    It’s delightfully ironic that the “accountability crowd” always pushes for solutions that absolutely gut acountability (vouchers for private schools, charter schools, etc.).

    Ah well - when free-market ideology is at stake, reason and logic become decidely cumbersome.


  16. - Concerned Voter - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 2:50 pm:

    How about this, no taxpayer increase, just tax Emil’s buddies/donors, you know, COMED/EXELON with an increase of 22%-24% on their income.


  17. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 3:14 pm:

    Truthful James — What’s society to do with the kids of parents who don’t speak English, who never graduated high school, who have to work three jobs just to make ends meet? Give up on them?

    Blaming parents only gets you so far. It doesn’t explain school districts with no computers, 20 year old textbooks, or classes being taught in broom closets. I don’t understand how it gets us any closer to a solution, either.

    Everyone should watch Oprah’s special on the disparity in education in Illinois: Failing Grade. Kid’s fom Chicago and Naperville switched places for a day. The reaction from the kids from Naperville was universal: We could not learn under the conditions that Chicago school children are forced to bear. From Oprah:

    When they arrived at Harper, the students from Neuqua Valley were shocked immediately by the difference between Harper and their own school. For starters, students have to enter Harper through a metal detector. They have a pool at Neuqua Valley, but the Harper pool hasn’t been filled with water in a decade. The Neuqua Valley students have an award-winning music department, while Harper doesn’t have enough instruments for a music class and relies on improvised instruments—like banging on desks.

    At Neuqua Valley, students can enroll in more than two dozen advanced placement courses, compared to the two offered at Harper.

    “It’s so mind-blowing to think that there’s such a difference and we’re both in the same state, an hour away from each other,” one Neuqua Valley student says.

    From the mouths of babes…


  18. - It's 5 O'clock somewhere - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 3:38 pm:

    Let me see if I have this right.

    The last 35 years:
    1. Lottery was started with the $ going to education (there was only one game per week when started, now we have scratch off games, lotto, mega lotto game and little lotto)how much more revenue is genereted.

    2. Property tax have increased.

    3. Income tax has increased.

    4. every Governor in the last 35 years has increased funding for education.

    So the state has increased education funding. Has the quality of education improved? If not, it is plain to see the $$ is not the answer.

    I think the real problems are mismanagement of the $$ the state and local level, lack of teacher accountability, and the school administrators refusal to deal with inferior teachers.


  19. - crazyschoollady - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 4:12 pm:

    Kids at Harper get the bare minimum in Phys Ed., with no pool. At LTHS D205, phys ed includes Kayaking in their pool…. Districts levy the max they can get instead of levying what they “need”, then they make their “budgets” fit their levies, instead of the other way around. Do we need Kayaking, “Fire Science” and “international Cuisine” when 1/3 of the students are failing to meet State Standards on the PSAE? By the way, we have an EAV per student of $448,611 (almost 4,000 students) and a total district EAV of almost $2 Billion….funding is not a problem here, but we couldn’t pass a building bond referendum because the taxpayers have had enough…They say? Where’s the money going? When will it end? The State has no answers because they won’t fund school construction grants. The disparities are many and they vary from district to district. More money is not the only solution, eduction reform that coincides with spending reform is the solution… But how do we get there when the ones in charge are so corrupt???


  20. - Pat Hickey - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 4:22 pm:

    YDD,

    That’s the same Oprah that dropped $40M for school for little Girls in South Africa - Bless her.

    Now this suburban vs. urban ( Apples vs.Oranges) kids of well-to-do families vs. poor kids - this dualism so to speak will be salved by the Tribune’s 5% solution?

    Maybe the point should be - given a choice - maybe those kids would not need to go to Harper; or Harper might just click into over-drive and make efficient use of the millions of dollars pumped into it; Or, maybe, we can continue to use the us vs. them dualism and fatten some more educational golden geese over the next few decades. Choice = vouchers.


  21. - Truthful James - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 4:38 pm:

    JimMc

    The schools are no longer accountable to the parents. The quality of delivered education should be the benchmark. And that is the hallmark of the free market - -accountability of results, or Education Value.

    Unfortunately the State agency responsible for education Standards is not doing the job.

    In science and math our students suck. Details upon request. The vaunted Advance Placement classes in America in terms of content quality rank at the bloody bottom when compared to Western European and Eastern Asian countries from Japan in the north to India in the West, around the Asian littoral. We are below the 6th percentile in comparison in math and physics.

    How are we going to compete in the 21st century world economy?

    What is more important, YDD a full swimming pool and an award winning music department or the output in the core subjects.


  22. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 10:46 pm:

    Dog;
    You the man!


  23. - PalosParkBob - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 8:34 am:

    Yellow Dog:

    You’re the perfect example of the old truism that ” a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”

    If you’d bothered to extend your research regarding school comparisons beyond watching “Oprah”, you would have found the following:

    1. The comparison that was set up by Oprah was an “apples to oranges” comparison. Why didn’t she show people CPS Little Village High School, which is every bit the equal of Nequa in facilities? Sorry, that comparison wouldn’t make her case, so she compared Nequa with the high School my Mother graduated from about sixty years ago.

    Why didn’t she compare Nequa with CPS Whitney Young HS, which frequently outperforms New Trier academically? Oops, another “inconvenient truth” that Oprah chose to avoid.

    The simple fact is that there isn’t the same demand for AP classes at Harper as there is at Nequa. If Harper could fill 2 dozen AP classes, they’d offer them. It doesn’t cost anymore to offer an AP class than any other academic class.

    2. Oprah, and Yellow Dog, chose to leave out one critical fact; the students at Harper have more financial resources in their school than Nequa HS.

    While the Nequa District has operating expenses of about $8,666 per student, CPS spends $9,564.

    3. What about teacher “qualifications”? The average teacher in CPS has about 13 years experience, the Naperville teachers only have about 10. Both have about half their teachers with advanced degrees.

    4. What about the Harper teachers being “underpaid” relative to their brothers and sisters at Nequa? The average teacher salary in Chicago is about $61,178, while the Naperville teachers only make about $57,790.

    5. What about more “adminstrative resources”? There’s only one adminstrator for every 333 students in Naperville 204, there’s one for every 220 students in CPS. CPS administrators make about $104,000 per year, about $8,000 more than Naperville 204.

    Any reasonable, fair minded person would ask why the Harper students are getting so much less for theri money than Nequa.

    How can Naperville provide such high quality for so much less of a cost?

    That’s the Pandora’s box that neither Oprah, nor the Chicago Tribune, dares open, but that needs to be the focus of any debate on school funding and reform if we’re serious about giving our children a World Class education.


  24. - Stuck with Sen. CPA - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 8:47 am:

    Sad to see Tom Cross is missing the boat here. Then again, when the GOP ran the show, they were happy with the status quo back then.

    I’m not going to argue that CPS doesn’t waste boatloads of money on administration. I’ve heard the horror stories from friends that work there.

    Then again, teachers that work in Naperville don’t worry about knives being pulled on them or spending half their day as a teacher trying to keep the class on task.

    Money won’t solve that issue, but it’s part of the solution.


  25. - Bill - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 8:55 am:

    Bob is not telling the truth! Again.


  26. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 8:55 am:

    Stuck with Sen CPA –

    What part of the solution is money? Please be particular. If the teachers are underqualified in the subject matter area they teach, how does giving them more money make them qualified?


  27. - PalosParkBob - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 11:01 am:

    Bill:

    All the info I quoted is from the state school report cards found at www.isbe.net.

    If anybody’s interested in who’s “veracity challenged”, me or Bill, feel free to check it out.

    Bill, is there any time in your life that you presented a cogent rebuttal rather than “he’s lying!”?

    I guess you went to the “Goebbel’s school of public relations” that most lefty Dems attended!

    I guess your “Bush lied!” mantra worked so well politically, without having to present a workable alternative policy, that you guys are extending it to the school funding debate.

    What a hoot!


  28. - crazyschoollady - Wednesday, Jan 31, 07 @ 10:31 am:

    I checked out the report card for Harper, and it is difficult to make apples to apples comparison to Nequa Valley, as the financial figures are for districts, not individual schools. The number of schools in the respective districts vary tremendously, there really is no way to compare them.

    CPS is a big fat administrative waste, and that is why their schools have such varying performance. The administrators are not doing there job, and their bosses are not doing anything about it.

    The administrators that are doing their jobs are located at schools like Whitney Young. I am a former student of Whitney Young, so I can speak from firsthand experience. Oprah would not compare WY to Nequa, because WY is a Magnet school. Suburban districts like IP204 (of which Nequa Valley is part) are so different from CPS, there is not much reason to compare them. It provided good t.v., however.

    Funding is not the issue. Look at the scores of Whitney Young compared to Harper. Why do they fair better, besides the fact that the kids have to take an entrance exam to get in to WY? They only take the top tier of academically inclined students who apply. Harper doesn’t score as well, probably because of parental involvement, the kids that apply to WY are gifted or motivated to excell before 8th grade. I would doubt the same is true of many that attend Harper. The t.v. episode focused on one student who excells at Harper, but realized at Nequa, she was far behind in what were supposedly the same courses offered. Why is that? Administrators.

    The issues are many, and for anyone to imply its simply a matter of funding, is fooling themselves. I understand what Oprah was trying to say, but its not a simple as that. If there are teachers that aren’t teaching, whose monitoring that? If the courses being offered are not what they should be, whose monitoring that? It’s unfair to the Harper kids, for sure, but it simply isn’t just a matter of money.


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