Thursday, October 31, 2013

                                          Out of Whack
     
     Finances out of whack, with a projected 140 million dollar shortfall,
Fairfax County Virginia's School Board wants to bypass the Supervisors and tax residents itself,
     The only current alternative proposal: furlough days, larger class sizes...
Relegating "pet" programs and select, "superfluous" staff to the shelf!

    But what if the focus was kept on learning?
 That is, after all, what educational institutions are supposed to be for!
    Instead of slicing funding from academics...first, why not...
 Shove top of the line tech toys - and siphoning sports - out the door?

    If you've ever been waited on by a teen or young adult working at a register,
 You know they look at cash with scorn and cannot make change in their head,
    Or divide a price in half without a calculator if you have one item of a BOGO,
 The result of glutenous emphasis on glam technology - time to put that romance to bed.

    Sports serve relatively few students; gym grabs them all, like it or not,
 With a childhood obesity epidemic, the right choice is plain to see,
    The latter is a superior public value - and sufficient exercise,
 Jock kids can go beyond that elsewhere - for a nominal fee, sometimes for free.

     People matter more than "props;" Rah! Rah! now...
But such "spirit" doesn't sustain or linger loud in a long life,
     Chasing "simply the best," early adoption while "new" and "improved" is not necessarily better,
All things to consider before wielding the fiscal knife.

     Sometimes old school is good school...back to basics,
Eliminate excessive electives and concentrate on the curriculum's core,
     It takes a village, not one stop shopping, let's not forget the onus on parents and students,
Because responsibility for scholastics - upbringing in general - doesn't begin and end at the classroom door.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Saturday, October 26, 2013

THE YEAR OF THE CONTRACTOR
 
     At the beginning of 2013, few Americans...
Except those in the DMV and near military bases knew,
     The extent to which our government contracted itself out,
The more temporary, private employees, the less the federal payroll grew.
 
     But then came Edward Snowden,
His NSA disclosures still dribbling out,
     Dollar darling Defense running ramrod over personal privacy,
Because, well funded, it could..our military industrial complex gone "walkabout!"
 
     In the sixteen day government shutdown, "good cents!"
Congress authorized furlough pay for bonafide civil servants alone, 
     Just imagine if all federally related workers had been compensated,
Beltway Bandits thrown off the gravy train...hear them moan!
 
     And now we have the ObamaCare website,
Hundreds of millions of dollars- and counting - for another wonder of the world of "the unseen,"
     Maybe it's time to put government's functions back on its balance sheet,
For transparency, accountability, and ultimately to make it LEAN.
 
     Perhaps the answer to our woes is to increase federal employment,
While decreasing - or eliminating - those involved in outsourcing and its oversight,
     Using contractors only for what civil servants absolutely cannot do,
Will trim the worker FAT off the public dole in the long run, and give us Government LITE.
 
     Thirty years plus of following Reagan's lead has led US to this dysfunction,
Where's the BEEF? By now, we should know and be aghast,
     An issue to consider in elections this year and the midterms of next,
Resolve to make this Year of the Contractor, this nation's last!
 
Karen Ann DeLuca