5.14.2005

65% Solution


We here in California are no strangers to losing the PR battle over education. When Democrats are backed into a corner, they just focus the debate on education and come out swinging, connecting with shot after shot. It seems we might finally have the right stuff with which to counter.

Patrick Byrne, the founder of Overstock.com has proposed what he calls the “65% Solution.” The idea is pretty simple. Currently, across the country, only 61.5 cents for every dollar allocated to education makes it to the classroom. If we were to up that to 65%, we could put an extra $14 billion into education, enough to buy every student in the country a laptop computer.

Where’s the money being wasted, then? One word, “educrats.” These people are just like the bureaucrats that plague every governmental agency, but who just work in the world of academia.

If we can focus the debate of “bloated budgets” onto bureaucrats raking in 6-figures, we can easily demonstrate the seeming ease of finding another 3.5% to put into the classrooms, updating textbooks, modernizing classrooms, and giving teachers a raise.

Of course, the unions representing these educrats are going to scream bloody murder, but so what? If they’re left defending $60,000 salaries for toilet cleaners, and $80,000 to the assistant to the deputy superintendent, we’ll have carried the day!

George Will takes a look at this issue in the Jewish World Review, and the man himself, Patrick Byrnes makes the case at NRO.