Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan thinks throwing money at a problem solves it.
In his latest edition of "Sullivan's Salvos," Rod complains that the state does not allow the Iowa City Community School District to spend enough money.
Sullivan wrote: While I understand the State’s desire to equalize per pupil spending, I think the approach is wrong. We should not penalize local governments who want to exceed State expectations. The proper role of State government is to set MINIMUM expectations, not MAXIMUM outcomes. Why hold people back?
Note how Sullivan plays that old tired trick of trying to muddle one thing into another. In misleading fashion, he tries to parlay spending into 'expectations.' Instead of writing, "We should not penalize local governments who want to exceed State expectations," he might as well have written, "We should not penalize local governments who want to spend more money." Sullivan then tries to muddle things further in toying with the meanings of 'expectations' and 'outcomes.' If the disingenuous definitions aren't enough, then he plays the emotional guilt card like liberals so typically do with his line of, "Why hold people back?"
He wants you feeling guilty with a false notion that we're holding students back due to a lack of funds. He wants you thinking about better student scores and achievements with his misuse of the words 'expectations' and 'outcomes,' but the truth is Sullivan is shamelessly pushing for a bigger pot of cash to spend. The LAST thing he wants you to do is start asking questions of accountability for the billions of taxpayer dollars that have already been spent in Iowa schools and with some very disappointing results.
Sullivan wrote: "The proper role of State government is to set MINIMUM expectations, not MAXIMUM outcomes. Why hold people back?"
Translation: "The proper role of State government is to set a minimum bar for how much money is to be spent, districts have to spend AT LEAST 'X' amount of dollars and should not be prevented from spending more. Why confine school administrators with fiscal responsibility?"
Sullivan doesn't give a rat's rear end that clear evidence exists, showing how arbitrarily throwing money at our schools has not worked. More money does NOT equal better student performance. He doesn't care about that evidence, he doesn't pause and ask questions, to hell with that he just wants more money, your money. He believes that spending more money per pupil, equates to an automatic improvement per pupil. That's just not true and I'd get into how money per pupil gets calculated (another misleading statistic) but that's a story for another day. Side note, Willowwind, a private school in Iowa City has test scores well above ICCSD averages, and does so with a much lower cost per pupil.
If what Sullivan pretends is true actually was, then why have Iowa 8th graders fallen from being ranked #1 in the country in math in 1993, to a ranking of 23 today? Ladies and gentlemen we've pumped billions of dollars into public education since 1993, but the results just aren't there justifying such an influx in cash. That money isn't benefitting students, it's benefitting school administrators and that's a problem. When school superintendents are making over $160,000 a year while student test scores fall - that's a problem!
That Sullivan advocates even more spending is a problem and why he has become a danger to taxpayers. He's not being a true leader and asking the tough question such as why we're not getting a much better bang for our buck. He's not challenging school officials about falling test scores. No, he just makes a call for more of your money!
Sullivan's appetite for your money doesn't stop at schools. In that same "Sullivan's Salvos," he also whined about the lack of funding for county mental health. The plain and simple truth is, if Sullivan likes it, it's going to cost you money. Is that leadership, or political panhandling?