Saturday, March 05, 2011

Education Is the Future

I took a few moments yesterday to dash off notes to the Governor of South Dakota and my elected representatives from District 13. The governor, to address a budget crisis that, as a candidate while still lieutenant governor, he told us did not exist, has proposed a ten-percent across-the-board cut in the state budget. This would have the effect of eviscerating public education, in a state that already ranks at or near dead last in what it invests in its students. (And a state where one hears much wailing and gnashing of teeth because a great many of its young people pack up and leave to seek opportunity elsewhere. The two are not unconnected.)

Although probably a waste of time, there are instances in which it is good to be on the record on a given topic, and this is one of them. Here's what I sent to the governor; the sentiment if not the phrasing, was the same in the messages I sent to my legislators.

    Dear Governor Daugaard,
    I am writing to urge you to support and invest in the future of our state by working with the legislature to avoid crippling cuts to K-12 education that are under consideration in Pierre.
      My fear is that in haste to balance the books we lose track of the inarguable fact that the future progress and prosperity of South Dakota depends on its children receiving a top-notch education, and that deep cuts today will have a negative effect on the quality of education for years into the future. I am sure you will agree that sacrifice the future of our state -- and of our children -- on the altar of austerity is false economy.
        For the record, the proposed cuts would have virtually no effect on my family, since our youngest is only a year away from high-school graduation. My concern is for the generations of South Dakota children who follow, and for the continued advancement of our state into the future.
          Thank you for supporting the future of South Dakota.
              William J Reynolds

            One seriously doubts that even these glittering and well-reasoned sentences will change anyone's mind. But at least, in years to come, I can say with honesty that I did not sit silently while a Republican governor and Republican legislators gutted public education.

            Thursday, March 03, 2011

            Buy Some Insurance, You Lowlife!

            This fax arrived at the office yesterday morning, proving once again that word placement does matter, and it’s always a good idea to have someone else read yoaur stuff over before you unleash it upon a world full of sarcastic editors:

            Which is not to say that lowlifes don’t need insurance. In fact, they may need insurance more than anyone else.