Lisa Snell compares cutting ineffective education programs to bouncing contestants on American Idol.
Unfortunately, while Bush tries to play the role of brutally honest Simon Cowell – sending programs packing and sticking to his cuts – it is likely that Congress will be much more like Paula Abdul, saying kind words and keeping ineffective programs alive. True to form, the Senate recently added $5.4 billion in education spending to its budget.
Congress has a long history of continually funding questionable education programs. The 2005 appropriations bill contained over 1,200 education pork projects, according to the Heritage Foundation: $450,000 of taxpayer money for a Baseball Hall of Fame outreach program using baseball to teach students distance learning; $25,000 for the study of mariachi music; and $725,000 for the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, to name a few.
. . . A cable news channel recently ran an emotional story on plans to cut Even Start, a 15-year-old, $225 million federal literacy program for low-income families. Three separate evaluations have shown the program is not succeeding.
Federal funding is addictive for schools.