Toward a more uneducated electorate

by Walter Olson on March 14, 2013

The teacher’s union in Oregon is trying to get the legislature to repeal a voter-approved measure that warns electors in the state when a property tax hike is on the ballot. I’ve got more at Cato at Liberty (& Brian Doherty, Reason).


1 William Nuesslein 03.15.13 at 7:14 am

This is one of those rare times that I disagree with Mr. Olson.

School budgets and bond issues passed with eased in the 1950’s when the baby boom were being educated. Old folks like me now exert our influence to just say no. We need more classrooms but our bond issue was so cut down by anti-tax activists that a Rube Goldberg plan was put in place. The classroom shortage continues as families desire to raise their children here.

Warning of an impending tax increase is the same as taking a political stand against the proposed policy.

2 Richard Nieporent 03.15.13 at 11:19 am


Because more money equals better schools? It is not the shortage of classrooms but the surfeit of administrators that is the problem.

3 @Nuesslein 03.15.13 at 12:42 pm

“Warning of an impending tax increase is the same as taking a political stand against the proposed policy.”

Not at all. It’s an honest representation of the downsides of a measure along with the benefits.

Annual spending on k-12 education is 10x higher (even after adjusting for inflation) per pupil than it was in the 1950s. The number of students per classroom has been heavily campaigned down over the last thirty years while the quality of the students output has not increased. “More classrooms” is not a solution to any problem other than “how do we make teachers unions bigger”.

4 jesse spurway 03.15.13 at 4:55 pm

“warns electors in the state ”
It’s nice to know what is on a ballot before one walks into the voting booth, but “warn”? Or, they could be doing what they do here sometimes. A Yes vote means no. A No vote means yes. That might hit the “warn” level.

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