July 8, 2009

Well, So Much for the Stimulus

Heard on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer:
Hartford Connecticut is poor. Two years ago, it’s kids scored among the lowest in the nation on performance tests. Connecticut also has some of the richest communities in the country. As a result, the state has the widest performance gap of all the states among its students.

One district in Hartford did a massive overhaul of its schools. With no new money, it redesigned its systems to include 4 separate ‘academies’ within each school. The campus that was profiled had the Freshman Academy, the Law Academy, the Green Academy and the Nursing Academy. Except for the Freshman Academy which serves as an introduction to high school, each provides the basic high school curriculum as well as focusing on its own core area of study. For the first time in a long, long time, 2008/2009’s test scores began moving upward.

The kids who were interviewed by the NewsHour reporter sang the praises of their school saying that, for the first time, they believe they have a shot at attending college.
When the stimulus came along, the 4 principals of the school were elated. They intended to hire a school nurse, a counselor, a health teacher, a math teacher as well as raising salaries across the school in order to entice better teachers to come to their system.

I believe any reasonable person can agree—an increase in college attendance and graduation would, more than almost any other development, serve to bring Connecticut [or any other state] out of its economic doldrums and jump-start the economy. It’s too bad the governor of Connecticut cannot be counted among the reasonable people of the world.

True to form, Jodi Rell cut all programs the stimulus would affect by the exact amount of the expected infusion from the Federal Government. What do you want to bet she refunded $300.00 to each of her constituents?
Goodbye, new money—hello, status quo. And so long, prospects of bringing in new teachers, raising salaries, adding support staff. In other words, so much for creating new jobs. Gee, thanks, Governor Rell.

I guess she’s looking out for her and her neighbor’s kids. After all—we can’t have just any riff-raff in those poor towns going to good schools and getting into college. What if the rich children can't get into those good schools because their poorer counterparts make better grades than they do? And, what will those rich kids do for jobs in such an Alice-In- Wonderland world?

Of course, another possibility is that this Republican Governor has joined forces with Rush Limbaugh and simply wants the stimulus to fail. To hell with the country, to hell with her own kids' future if we can see to it that Obama falls flat on his face and we can elect Sarah Palin in 2012.


Dusty said...

What fucking bullshit. I am flabbergasted that she would play politics like that for under-performing areas.


two crows said...

hi, Dusty--
I can't guarantee that Rell is acting from the motives that I attributed to her, of course. I'm just taking my cue from the tragedy that has been the Republican Party of late.

she might just be a die-hard pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps-even-if-you-don't-have-shoes sort of Republican.

kinda like Davis of Missouri who said kids shouldn't be fed because hunger is such a great motivator.

hearing about people like these makes me glad I believe in karma.

PoliShifter said...

I firmly believe Republicans in political power who can stear stimulus money are politically motivated to make sure that money does not do what it is supposed to do.

That's why only 10% of the money is getting out there. It's why in this example you have here the money isn't being used to hire more teachers.

People in government seem to not get the fierce urgency of now. Several departments are sitting on billions of dollars not releasing it for projects that would create jobs.

I don't know what the solution is. Certainly the stimulus is no panacea. The main purpose was to slow job loss.

The only thing I can think is Obama and Biden need to get personally involved. If I were Obama I would have Biden call every Department that is sitting on money and talk to those department heads to figure out what the hold up is for starters.

And in places like Connecticut Obama should go there and highlight this example as what not to do with the stimulus money.

I suppose he would give her the benefit of the doubt that perhaps she really just didn't understand.

LeftLeaningLady said...

I am astounded by the stupidity of the repuke party. And I bet your attributed motives are correct. When did we become a country that hoped for failure? Of course we really have always been a country of hate, but no one puts that in the history books!

two crows said...

hi Poli--
"People in government seem to not get the fierce urgency of now."
I think they get it. I think they don't give a rat's ass and just want to use it to get back in power.

and I hope the people see through their charade and add them to the list of people they've thrown out on their bums.

two crows said...

hi LeftLeaningLady--
the thing that keeps me getting up in the mornings is the fact that I've studied our history and have seen this sort of thing throughout most of it -- starting with the feud between Jefferson and Adams. and we've survived so far. keeping my fingers crossed.

also, I'm old -- so _I'll_ be ok so long as the revolution holds off for the next 20 years or so.
and no, I'm not kidding.