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Doing What’s Important for Schools

January 12, 2011

Where to start?  Where to start?  Okay, let’s go to the basic news first.  Here’s some stimulus for you! (This is from the AP, so please go read the article, so they don’t tell me that I’m stealing from them.)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber has directed the Department of Energy to use $2 million of leftover federal stimulus dollars to conduct energy audits on 500 schools.

Well, I know stimulus dollars are not all that fungible.  I also know that we can’t give them back, even though that would be really helpful.  And some of those schools are pretty old, so maybe it’s not so bad that we’re looking at some.  Hey, $2M buys a lot of caulk and weatherstripping. (That’s Lynn’s joke, by the way.)

Kitzhaber says the energy dollars will create about 20 new jobs and lay the groundwork for his campaign goal of weatherizing public school buildings.

I feel the need for one of those scratching vinyl soundtracks here.  Twenty jobs?  That’s 100k/job, which by federal standards isn’t all that bad.  Maybe they’d be better off just finding 20 contractors, giving them $100k apiece, and then taxing them at the OR top rate.  The people that get the money will probably end up with more than the way the governor is planning.  They might even have enough to donate money to schools to fix their classrooms.

Just to make a point, the AP says that this is, ” the most concrete of seven suggestions Kitzhaber announced at a news conference Tuesday.”  Oh, so he had worse suggestions?

Just to make another point, I know of at least one school district that is looking at a shortfall that will cut a double-digit number of days out of the school year next year.  So fixing the building and making sure we have more “woody biomass” in the biomass boilers (don’t ask) is really the best thing we can do for schools?

I realize that Oregon narrowly elected Mr. Kitzhaber for a new round of governing.  They favored him over Chris Dudley, who many said was full of un-fundable ideas that really had no merit at the state government level.  So this is what we got instead?  Just checking.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 12, 2011 9:10 am

    I heard the news tag leading into the story last night on my way to bed. Thankfully I wasn’t drinking anything because then I would have had to clean the screen off.
    Weather stripping is a JOBS PLAN? Seriously? We must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel with governor candidates – it’s utterly beautiful blog fodder in the worst possible way

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