Guest Column: A very modest proposal

July 1, 1993

Guest Column: A very modest proposal

By Michael Cannariato

As a spokesman for WREACH (pronounced “retch”), an acronym for Will Rockford Educate Any Children?, WREACH urges the school board to hang onto that $45 million working cash fund and not spend it on art, music, PE, theater, or other wasteful fringe electives that might keep students interested enough in school to keep attending.

WREACH agrees with the board about not spending any of the $45 million on tutors, counselors, assistant principals, or any other support staff that enhance the opportunity of helping schools be quality safe environments.

JUST THINK OF ALL THE MONEY WE CAN SAVE.

WREACH further proposes we eliminate all but three principals at the secondary level, two east-side principals, and one west-side principal. If that sounds unfair to the west side, oh, well, they’re used to it here … and JUST THINK OF ALL THE MONEY WE CAN SAVE.

WREACH also agrees with your proposed elimination of all part-time retired teachers. So what if we lose their expertise and passion for the subjects they teach?

JUST THINK OF ALL THE MONEY WE CAN SAVE.

We could replace them with temps. There’s many unemployed or underemployed people in town. We could pay them less, no benefits, and JUST THINK OF ALL THE MONEY WE CAN SAVE.

Back to basics. In fact, WREACH proposes we cut them, too.

Cut English classes. Most of our students can speak it well enough that we can understand most of them when they enter school. And get rid of all math classes beyond pluses and take-aways. Most of us don’t understand that algebra and geometry stuff anyway, and why calculus, we already have calculators.

JUST THINK OF ALL THE MONEY WE CAN SAVE.

And a special thanks to all those advisers from past boards voted out who won’t go away. They always seem to return again and again like the cold, harsh winds of past winter nights with their fossilized mindset, forever …. JUST THINKING OF ALL THE MONEY WE CAN SAVE.

Michael Cannariato teaches at Roosevelt Alternative High School. When asked by a student to compose a satire, a literary technique that uses humor to call attention to a social problem, he decided to localize it “with apologies to Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal, and offer his (much shorter, much more modest) proposal. He is a freelance writer.

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