Mail Tribune/Bob Pennell
The $350,000 question
Why is Medford offering after-school programs other agencies already provided? That's an excellent question the Medford Mail Tribune asks in this story and the answer frankly leads to our headline, "Is this why Oregon K-12 schools fail?".
The diversion of funds from the classroom to pay for something that is not within the mission of K-12 education is an accepted practice within the mindset of the education establishment in Oregon. This is exemplified by the Superintendent of the district quoted in the story who defends this expenditure and illustrates why Oregon ranks nearly at the bottom in the nation for K-12 education.
Perhaps parents and taxpayers in Medford should be asking this:
How many kids are not receiving a better instructional experience because of diverting $350,000 to a program that has been in place for 19 years and didn't cost the school district anything? How many teachers can be hired for that amount of money that reduces class size, allowing teachers to focus on individual student learning needs, producing better results?
As long as the mindset within the educational establisment thinks that diversions like this are just fine while hypocritically bemoaning the need for more money, Oregon 's K-12 education will remain nearly dead last in the nation.