Friday, November 30, 2012

Not a Waterbed Without Water

Chiming in this week is Bill Conway--a world traveler, an acclaimed social studies teacher, and a colleague.

Recently, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been touting his balanced budget and the surplus money he put into a rainy day fund. I have a hard time celebrating this news as our school district continues to face dire economic issues.  

Have we gone too far with these hatchet-style budget cuts?  Have we passed a tipping point?  Wisconsin’s Superintendent asks more for schools that are in need, while our Governor is promising to deliver less. Can we work with less? Can we deliver what our communities and children deserve with what we are being given?

I had an economics class in college, way back when. My professor used a waterbed analogy that I am reminded of often. Granted, I went to UW-Madison in the 80’s and a waterbed analogy may be hard to explain to today’s youth, but I think our adult readers will know what I mean. His point at the time was simple: Things cost what they cost. If you push down in one area of the bed, it will just force another area of the bed to rise. If, instead, you let out the water, it will stop being a bed.