Letter to the Editor: Government Shutdown is Affecting Education

Los Alamos

I’m very concerned about the effect of the government shutdown on education. Some of us look back on school and remember our favorite teacher, but today’s youth will look back with fond memories of their favorite bureaucrats, who tragically today are not at work; they’re out on their boats.

For example, I recently asked young Rupert Johnson down the street, “Who has had the biggest impact on your education?” Without hesitation he thought of Mylford Peabody, acting-assistant-under-secretary-director of the Office-of-Thinking-Up-Stuff. Mylford qualified for his $140,000 a year job by maintaining a C average in college and by being a cousin of Crumpet McDollup, who is married to Alice McDollup, acting-deputy-assistant-chairperson of the Committee-to-Figure-Out-Why-the-Moon-Keeps-Changing-Shape, a group assigned to establish National Science Educational Standards that focus on global warming and feelings of self worth.

Mr. Peabody, as all students today know, is the bureaucrat partly responsible for pages 101-102 of the No Child Left Behind Law, which reads, in part: ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), funds appropriated pursuant to subsection (f) shall be allotted to each State based upon the number of children counted under section 1124(c) in such State multiplied by the product of—‘‘(i) the amount in section 1124(a)(1)(B) for all States other than the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, except that the amount determined under that subparagraph shall not be less that 34 percent or more than 46 percent of the average per pupil expenditure in the United States, and the amount in section 1124(a)(4) for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, except that the amount in section 1124(a)(4)(A) (ii) shall be 34 percent of the average per pupil expenditure in the United States; multiplied by ‘‘(ii) such State’s effort factor described in paragraph (2); multiplied by ‘‘(iii) 1.30 minus such State’s equity factor described in paragraph (3).”

You might not understand this particular paragraph, but you don’t need to. You just skim over it and think, “I wonder if kids today know where Puerto Rico is.” Thanks to laws like this, a kid, when asked, will proudly say, “Um … somewhere in … uh … Google?”