Not the way our government should work

Article posted on March 7, 2017

Today we had just one Department at the hearings, Education.  This department has a proposed budget of $13.6 billion, which is up $454.1 million or 3.5% from last year.  It compromises 42% of the total state budget.  The Department testified yesterday before the House, so we knew what to expect today: very little.  The Secretary is very good at deflecting tough questions and sticking to the party line, which is the union line.  There is very little accountability in the system and no desire to change.  The mantra is to ask for more money and expound upon the wonderful work being done by them and others in the system.  I tried to engage the Secretary in a conversation about management policies and the proper roles of the state and local school boards in the decision-making process.  He offered no ideas and said the department is there to help the districts, if asked.  In other words, there is no management of the system coming from the department.  The legislature has even added programs to the budget over the years to make the system more efficient; they, unfortunately, have been largely ignored.  This is not the way our government should work, but it’s the way it works in a bureaucracy as big as PDE.

-John

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