- Ben Cooper
The Utter State of the CUSD80 Board
Only half of CUSD80's staff are teachers. Instead of reducing the bloat, a board candidate wants the bloat to teach. Others seem to want even less reform. We present real reform ideas.
NATO Republicans: No Action, Talk Only
Some Republicans are curious people. They shake their fist into the sky and complain about things. Yet, when they gain power to change those things, they do not use it, but instead opt to fold their arms and do nothing while giving speeches, or, actually make things even worse.
Stay up to date. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
A classic case on the federal level was George W Bush. He gave speeches about freedom, yet signed the patriot act, which massively increased domestic surveillance of Americans, limiting freedom. He further federalized, bureaucratized and dumbed down public/government education via the no-child left behind act. He has since become friends with the ultra divisive ethno-socialist Barack Obama, his successor, and has taken a firm stance against the Republican's actual political base.
At the most recent Chandler Unified School District, CUSD80, board meeting on 9 March 2022, school board candidate Kurt Rohrs correctly noted that only half of CUSD80's 5,000 staff are teachers. Like many other parents, Rohrs serves the district as a substitute teacher, getting paid around $15 per hour without benefits, while full time teachers rake in around $30 per hour, plus benefits.
To alleviate the situation of "teacher stress" and increase the ratio of adults to children in classrooms, Rohrs curiously suggested NOT to reduce the number of people who don't teach, and replace them with teachers, but rather suggested that the people who don't teach take one day per month to teach, "from front desk secretary to Superintendent" as Rohrs put it. This is reminiscent of Fidel Castro's policy in Cuba. He forced doctors, nurses, engineers and workers from their jobs in order to help harvest sugar cane to fulfill communist government quotas. The quotas were fulfilled, but a lot of other jobs were not done, leading to economic collapse.
To put Rohrs' proposal in context, 2,500 - half of 5,000 - man days per month is the equivalent of around 120 additional full time teaching staff, sort of increasing the number of teachers from around 2,500 to 2,620. That's an increase of less than 5%, a drop in the bucket. Rohrs' proposal also ignores that not every district staff member has time to teach. Many blue collar type workers who maintain buildings and sites, cook and serve food, are actually busy full time, although students would certainly benefit from learning how to maintain and fix things. On the other hand there are probably white collar CUSD80 workers who would have more than one day per month to teach. DEI director Adam Sallu comes to mind. Would parents want such people in front of their children though?
Rohrs' proposal to end quarantine policies and allow parent volunteers back in the classroom is sensible and should be implemented immediately, although this would merely return the district to the pre-pandemic norm, which was already bad, it would not constitute true reform.
Real Reform Ideas
Stay up to date. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
"Radical", meaning common sense, proposals one could think of to actually reform public schools include:
Pay home schoolers the same money per child that a public school gets per student.
Pay parents who send their children to private school the same money per child as public schools get per student.
The above two proposals would put to the test the claim that CUSD80 is a "district of choice", rather than a "district of force". After all, parents who home school still have to pay property and income taxes for the public schools they don't use. This is unfair.
Allocate a modest stipend for board members, say around $25,000 per year, to enable more parents to get themselves on the ballot for such positions. Paying nothing means that puppets with vested interests and teachers union monetary support are more likely to end up on school boards. This is not a silver bullet though.
Stop buying text books, move the entire curriculum to free providers like Khan Academy.
Reduce the administrative head count by half, meaning fire half of the worst performing and least needed administrators. The first to be fired should the the director of equity and inclusion.
Drop the requirement to only hire certified teachers, meaning only people who went through some kind of education course in college.
Allow anyone qualified in a field to teach if they want to.
Teach critical thinking, meaning teach children how to think, not what to think.
Do not bargain collectively with teachers unions. Pay individual performance based wages only. Fire underperforming teachers and woke radicals.
Put cameras in every classroom and make live feed and recordings available to parents.
Drop all mask and quarantine requirements and commit to never again mask children or lock down schools.
Stop any form of affirmative action, social justice, critical race theory and other forms of racial and gender discrimination in schools.
Instead of teaching sex ed, teach children to wait with sex until after they reach adulthood. Teach that single motherhood is bad for children, akin to child abuse, and that it should to be avoided at all cost. This includes refraining from sex, especially unprotected sex, with people who have not committed to marrying you.
As far as we know, neither Rohrs nor his fellow Republican school board candidate Charlotte Golla - who has not spoken at a CUSD80 board meeting in some time - pursue any of these or similar "radical" proposals but will prefer a 'don't rock the boat' approach to governing on the board if elected, meaning the teachers unions would remain in charge. We will continue investigating this in the coming months.
Leftist candidates such as Marilou Estes, or incumbents such as pink-haired leftist Lara Bruner and radical leftist Lindsay Love can certainly be counted out when it comes to any kind of reform in public education. Neither Love or Bruner have yet declared interest in running again in November 2022. Love has actually indicated that she won't run for re-election. The other 3 school board members, Barb Mozdzen, the President, Jason Olive, the Vice President, and Joel Wirth, are not up for election in 2022. Mozdzen and Wirth used to work in CUSD80, Olive is a parent in the district. Bruner is a teacher, Love is a social worker and BLM activist. It is notable that CUSD80 is seen as a - by comparison to other districts - "conservative" district. Looking at CUSD80, this may illustrate just how radical far left many school districts and their boards really are.