The Chalkboard Project's Sue Hildick says that, in these perilous economic times, schools "...need to be alert for every efficiency."
What sort of efficiency? Well, how about saving $20 million on more efficient student busing? Sounds good, eh?
Of course that's an efficiency --the $20 million-- for every K-12 district in the state. When you stop to consider that in 2006-2007, according to the Chalkboard's own site, total spending on K-12 schools was $4,765,572,498 --that's 4.7 billion dollars-- then the $20 million busing efficiency seems like pretty small potatoes.
Chump change, in fact. According to my math (go ahead and double check it, if you must) that works out to about .4 percent of the total amount Oregon spends on K-12 schools each year. Or to put it another way, if Hildick and other wasteful spending watchdogs found 250 such examples of inefficient school spending, kids could go to school at absolutely no taxpayer expense.
Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski has a better idea --teachers teaching for free. If teachers were willing to teach without pay for an entire year, Oregon's educational budget could be slashed by 60 or 70 percent.
That's a helluva lot better than .4 percent.
But then there's this whole problem of economic stimulus, which President Obama says happens when the government spends money. Not paying bus drivers --or teachers-- sounds like a great idea until you factor in the stimulus effect.
I mean, how much can you goose the economy if you have no money to spend?