April 2, 2013

ON CAMPUS: April Fools editorial a keeper

School financial consultants hit by hacker with a political bent.

Financial consultants School Services of California Inc. posted an April Fool’s Day article with an editor’s note saying a computer hacker left it on their site Monday.

The hacker did no harm, the company says, “While of dubious origin, the article is thought provoking, so we decided to leave it as a Fiscal Report article.”

The article purports to quote “political gadfly Alfred E. Newman,” saying California would need to spend $15 billion to $20 billion more on education to meet the national average – or it could convince other states to spend less. It advocates a lobbying effort to take money away from states who get more in federal spending that they give in taxes, ending with this salvo: “While some may consider this a mad proposal, the Congress and state legislators have shown a knack for keeping any idea alive.”

The fool day’s advice comes on the heels of real opinion pieces posted by company CEO Ron Bennett critical of the governor's proposal to increase funding to districts with more low-income and English learner students. He suggests the Local Control Funding Formula divides districts into haves and have nots, with the ensuing debate distracting from the far larger problem of overall funding. He notes California spends less proportionately and in actual dollars than other states do on education.

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