A few days after releasing her $80 million dollar long-term-care policy, far-left Rachel Notley's NDP party released her education "policy": school lunches and more tax increases.
The NDP will stop the PCs’ cuts to education and ensure that our schools can meet the needs of our growing province. Our plan focuses on reducing class sizes, cutting school fees by half, and creating a school lunch program to help deliver a nutritious meal to 22,000 students in the first year.The school lunch program is by far the most insane part of this schools plan, so let's leave it for last and instead start with the meat and potatoes [oh God, you made that joke in the first 150 words, this is going to be a long day. -ed].
How much is tax money is Rachel Notley trying to waste with this plan?
The "details of our plan" open with a single line that will cost every Albertan $40/yr right then and there.
New Democrats will reverse the PCs’ cut to school boards this year, which amount to $104 millionSo that's $104 million right there. Annually. But hey, it's only $104 million, right, and it's a resurrection of money already cut, right? Wrong. In reality, the NDP have declared the $104 million not spent on hypothetical "enrollment increases" as a "cut". The impression (that the Prentice PCs have saved Albertans $104M) is totally false. Prentice didn't increase the budget by the amount the NDP wanted. So why stop at $104 million? By not increasing the funding by $2.6 trillion, Rachel Notley is planning a $2.599896 trillion dollar cut to Alberta Education.
Of course, when the NDP say "$104 million", even ignoring the (lying) definition they are putting forward of cuts, they actually mean way more than $104M. (Remember, they were only 100% wrong in their cost projections about healthcare)
New Democrats will also take steps to target funding to class size reduction initiatives, and reduce the trend of increasing class sizes in Alberta’s schools.In other words, the NDP are planning on hiring more teachers. Every time you see "class sizes" discussed, remember that for the left this is code for hiring more lazy unionized teachers, who then vote NDP because teachers are mostly far-left losers who couldn't succeed in the real world. It's a make-work racket for the left, and its by coaching this phrase in patent nonsense (class sizes have little to no impact on the quality of the education students receive, and reducing class sizes is by far the most expensive and least effective way of improving student outcomes) that the NDP hopes to overrule good sense and make people think to themselves "this totally self-serving policy at my expense must be a good idea!"
You keep thinking that, and your tax dollars fly out the door. Education costs the Alberta Government a ridiculously insane $8.9 billion dollars annually. Think about that. $8.9 billion, huge amounts of it being wasted on unionized teachers, and all that the Notley campaign can think is this isn't nearly enough. Rather than find some ways of reducing that dollar amount, or at the very least finding more efficient ways to allocate it (as the Wildrose Party's recent education announcement is akin to), all Notley can think of is increasing the funding even further. Teachers alone already count for 60% of the cost of educating children in Alberta...before a single brick is laid for a school, a janitor employed, a photo of Her Majesty hung on the wall, just by having that unionized money pit standing at the front of your class. Useless tits like Joe Bower employ "progressive" educational nonsense while your children fail to learn the most basic of sums and lessons. And the NDP want to do more of that. For comparison, salaries make up only 50% of the cost of education in the United States, and only 22% the cost of goods manufacturing. Even reducing the teacher expenses down to 50% is a direct savings of roughly three quarters of a billion dollars. That's how much could be saved just bringing teacher costs to a more sane level, without instituting a single reform that makes it easier to replace sub-par teachers like Bower with ones who leave your kids able to read write and do sums at the end of the day. The NDP, like the Wildrose, is talking about eliminating school fees, in this case $45 million worth (to tack onto the extra billion or whatever their "more teachers" plan is going to cost).
Oh, but stop blaming the teachers, I can hear you say. It's not their fault. The poor students are oh so hungry. Which brings us to the silliest and most wasteful and unnecessary and immoral aspect of the Notley educational plan: school lunches.
School lunches are an incredibly dumb idea. You don't have to take my word for it, either. Here's the immortal Adam Carolla:
There are, according to the NDP, 22,000 kids in Alberta whose parents are so incredibly stupid that they don't know their children need food. They try to coach it in the language of poverty, so that you don't notice how ridiculously dumb it is.
New Democrats will phase-in a school lunch program that will provide lunches to children most in need, reduce child hunger, and help students focus on learning. In the first year, we will aim to provide lunches to 22,000 children with an investment of $20 million.That's $20 dollars wasted on school lunches. Do we have to do this? Of course not. It's not the job of the state to feed children whose parents are too stupid to know that children are supposed to eat food. I know, I know, it's a radical and revolutionary way of looking at things, but bear with me.
As Carolla notes in his rant above, when politicians like Notley try claiming it's for poverty, they are lying. Even Notley isn't dense enough to actually believe that parents can't afford to feed children. Haul your keister down to WalMart or Superstore or Costco and check for yourself. Carolla has a weird aversion to oatmeal that I can't say I get, but I don't, and I can tell you right now for $5 at Walmart you can get not one, but two kilograms of oatmeal. That's a lot of oatmeal. Milk is a little more expensive per serving, but as Carolla notes you can just splash some milk on, if you really want to go frugal on the final tally. There realistically aren't any parents who can't afford food. For Pete's sake, the "obesity crisis" is blamed on, among other things, food being too abundantly cheap. The poor aren't starving to death (quite the opposite, in fact). The "poverty" ruse is just that, a ruse. Pay it no further attention.
So why the school lunch obsession on the far left in general and the Alberta NDP in particular? One reason is that it's another carrot to dangle in front of your face. School lunches aren't necessary for the needy, even a dumb bird doesn't shit in it's own nest [except pigeons -ed], but they are awfully convenient for the lazy. And pandering to lazy people who want something "for free" is something that the NDP have been doing since their party was formed. It's basically all they know. The thing about school lunch programs and other such nonsense is it doesn't stop once the foot is in the door, it grows and grows. Carolla mentions that in the video above. What started in LA as a small program has grown and metamorphosed into an unstoppable behemoth that you can't even speak out against. That would be the Notley future here. More and more lazy parents would demand their child be added to this program. Hey, making sandwiches in the morning feels like work. Making sure somebody else has to pay the bill to feed your kid and do the work for you? That sounds like soccer Mom paradise.
Unfortunately what it means for Notley and her ilk is closer to the glorious socialist workers paradise. Carolla mentions that too: it's an indoctrination system to get kids thinking that the government is the source of all solutions, that the Mother State is the provider of nourishment, and that if there's an issue it's only a few hundred million of taxpayer dollars here and there to solve it. It's a horrible vision of the future, but it's what the left believe in. Every time you agree to put one of their ridiculous signs on your lawn, you're buying into this backwards notion of what parenting is. Parenting is not crying to the NDP or the provincial government every time you wish something would happen, or that some program would need to be enacted. For a fraction of the $40 million dollars of taxpayers money (again, we're taking the NDP claim and doubling it, as recent experience taught us we must) that would be wasted on this "school lunch" program, NDP supporters could form a registered charity (or piggyback a campaign on an existing charity) dedicated to providing money for the tiny minority of parents who can't afford to buy 2kg of oatmeal for $5 at Walmart.
That solution, sadly, involves individual initiative, individual responsibility, a sense of legitimate caring for others (not this false caring that hiking other people's taxes to inefficiently redistribute to trendy identity groups signifies), and self-reliance. All of which are not values the Alberta NDP has, and they never will. It's why they are so alien to the actual beliefs of Albertans as opposed to an invading horde of immigrants (unsurprisingly, of the first six candidates on the Alberta NDP website, only two of them are born in Alberta).
Education spending in Alberta is far too high. We've seen the calibre of teachers that are being paid an average six-figure salary to "teach" kids, and it ain't pretty. We certainly don't need giant increases in education spending (quite the opposite, a 30% cut shouldn't be unrealistic), and we absolutely don't need more second-rate union-controlled teachers coming in and making exorbitant salaries just to provide the NDP with another reliable voting source funded by the beleaguered Alberta taxpayer. Furthermore, we absolutely don't need a school lunch program to provide food for kids with lazy parents.
Feeding children is the parent's job. It's not Rachel Notley's job, it's not your job, and it's not my job. I absolutely reject the notion that a single dime taken from me destined for the provincial coffers should be allocated to deadbeat parents who can't get their fat asses off the couch long enough to throw some peanut butter and jam in between two slices of bread. Some on the right have argued that lazy teachers (ie. almost all of them) are using "hungry kids" as a convenient scapegoat to cover up the flaws in their own second-rate union-endorsed teaching methods, and that for the low-low-cost involved (they ignore that it will inevitably metastasize into something even more grotesque than it currently is) in providing school lunches for "the needy" we can head that attitude off at the pass and start holding teachers accountable for the failures they spit out of the school system year after year. I just don't think that holds water, though. There will always be another scapegoat, another outrage, another problem for the Social Justice Warrior to latch onto and demand another multi-million dollar program to rectify. Next the school lunch program won't be "inclusive" enough for the gluten sensitive or some other nonsense like that. Just look at the giant sucking maw of waste that the Americans are facing because First Lady Monkey has decided that the phrase "Nanny State" sounded pretty good and imposed hipster standards on school lunch programs already in place (even ones that were revenue-neutral and required students to actually buy the lunch). That's Phase 7 of the school lunch program? Phase 5? Phase 8? It's somewhere after Phase 1, which is the Notley plan. The easiest phase to reject and stop, by the way.
On May 5th you can send a clear message. You can let these "progressive" busybodies know that if they touch your wallet, they feel steel pressing up against their chest. You can vote against the NDP culture of entitlement, the culture of lazy teachers and lazy parents propped up by the tax dollars of hardworking citizens. You can vote against the insane schemes of the Taker Class, and put a Wildrose Government in charge. Voting day is coming up quick. Remember, #anybodyexceptsocialists