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« It's tough to be a kid in the U.S. --or the U.K., for that matter | Main | Closing schools »

April 02, 2007


Great post. I think it was Kozol who said that every time you hear the words "achievement gap" you should think "resource gap".

What do you think about Susan Castillo finally talking about raising the corporate minimum tax in Oregon? I wonder what they will lobby for? 10$ is a joke, but so is $1000. I think that we need to be looking at the single payer tax loophole to make a real difference here.

A few years back I was interviewed for a school funding article in the Oregonian. I raised the importance of fair corporate taxes in Oregon and wondered why the school board did not go to Salem and lobby for THAT. Bobbie Regan said that was not the school board's job. It was another clue to me that the school board members are in the pockets of corporations.

Thanks again for continuing to expose the truth about equity and education.

I agree, Anne, that raising the corporate minimum tax is not enough.

Interesting revelation about Bobbi Regan. Of course it's the school board's job to lobby the legislature for adequate funding. Since the corporate share of income tax revenue has dropped 10% in recent years, corporate taxes seems like an obvious place to start.

Here is the Oregonian article I was referring to. Re-reading it I see it is not clear that it was Regan who stated it was not their job to lobby for corporate taxes. It says "district leaders" and because she was quoted earlier in the article I assumed it was her.
Still the debate is fairly clear I think, whether Regan said it or not.

Courting businesses pays off for Phillips
Portland schools - As a closure vote looms, critics worry that the alliance could be detrimental to students
Monday, May 01, 2006
....Bobbie Regan, the school board's co-chairwoman, said the same business leaders who agreed to extend a city tax surcharge for schools have a voice in district decisions. "If we're asking them to step up, we need to be responsive to what they're asking for," she said.

But Regan and Phillips say the district's relationship with business leaders is one of many partnerships they're trying to develop. ......

Anne Trudeau, a leader in the anti-closure Neighborhood Schools Alliance, said she fears that business is co-opting the district for relative chump change compared with the corporate kicker and corporate tax breaks.

The 2007 corporate kicker is estimated at more than $200 million. In the 1980s, corporate income taxes accounted for 11 percent of Oregon's general fund, twice the current share.

"The solution is fair corporate taxes, and until we have that we're going to continue to be in a crisis," Trudeau said. District leaders say their role is to show efficient spending and ask for more education dollars overall, not lobby for corporate tax hikes.

There’s no question about a strong correlation between income and academic performance.

In the Washington, DC area where I live, a weekly one-half hour televised quiz program called “It’s Academic” pits three 3-person local high school teams against each other answering questions based, as far as I can tell, on high school curricula.

Because I know the location of the high schools, I can almost always predict the winner at the beginning of the program. A non-Catholic private high school (where tuition is affordable only by wealthy parents) is almost always a sure bet. Next best is a public high school from one of the wealthy Maryland or Virginia suburbs of DC (where parents are usually highly educated.) The sure loser is the public high school from Washington, DC itself where the majority of the population is African-American and poor (or where more affluent African-American families send their kids to private schools.)

Could more money improve the performance of the DC high schools? Doubtful. Among all the school districts in the Washington, DC area, the DC school system already has the highest teachers’ salaries and the highest per capita student expenditure.

The way to collect the votes and -- more important -- the money of these coveted constituencies, "New Democrats" think, is to stand rock-solid on

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