News with a Twist

Solving Education Funding For Dummies

A miracle is happening right before our very eyes yet most don’t see it. This is the miracle of “docta ignorantia” Latin for “learned ignorance” a liability we have ample supply of in the U.S. and in Louisiana. Witness the evidence against the following formula L + S = U where L is the number of active students S is the cost born by every tax-paying citizen and U is the enlightened, utopian republic we must certainly enjoy living in these days of ever expanding L and S. Yet the fact is there are more jobless, “educated” Louisianans who have been showered with public moneys for a longer time period than at anytime in Louisiana’s history.

Now the funding mechanism for all this educational dystopia is about to meet Margaret Thatcher’s adage (1) that “the problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Maybe we should explain that to the Speaker of the Louisiana House, Chuck Kleckley (2). When asked at the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday how the state will fund its universities next year said.

“I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know what’s the rabbit in the hat.”

Why does Peter Cottontail have to eat the rap for screwing up something as simple as how people pay tuition? Back in 1859 when LSU began(3) as a seminary for the state’s militia the only subsidy offered was “boarding expenses” for what were called “beneficiary cadets.” The list of benefits conferred on students today might make a military cadet take aim on a target not wearing a Yankee uniform.

I have a question: If Louisiana needs doctors, engineers and hotel managers why not let those industries subsidize the tuition in exchange for 5 years of contract labor? We could cut ribbons on the Exxon school of petrochemical engineering; the John Ochsner medical school right next to the Marriott school of hospitality management. Every other field of study can be reduced to a “pay as you can” vo-tech/community college. The problem with my plan is it puts the responsibility for education onto the shoulders of those who benefit from it and the spoiled rotten citizens of 2013 will never go for that.

 

1. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/138248-the-problem-with-socialism-is-that-you-eventually-run-out

2. http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/08/louisiana_house_speaker_calls.html#incart_maj-story-2

3. http://www.lsu.edu/visitors/history.shtml -

“January 2, [1860] Seminary opens with five professors and 19 cadets (total would eventually be 73).  (March) Name changed to Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy (le Lycee Scientifique et Militaire de l’Etat de la Louisiane).

General Assembly agreed to support as many as 150 cadets with scholarships for boarding expenses. These cadets were referred to as ‘beneficiary’ cadets.”

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