These might be my favorite two paragraphs–in a dark comedy sense–that have ever appeared in The Ledger.
Among those are 11 college and career specialists at high schools, and members of the George Jenkins Academic Booster Club came to Tuesday’s board meeting to say they are not happy about losing those positions from their Lakeland school.
“The Academic Booster Club of George Jenkins High School firmly believes that the position of college and career is our connection to economic development within our community,” said Cindy Ross, a member of the Booster Club. “Our college and career is our students’ gateway to higher education and to the job and career of their dreams.”
Yes, it’s that Cindy Ross. I can tell by the picture on the front page.
And I’m sorry, but the petty and childish scold in me cannot suppress a giant, primal BOO HOO HOO of schadenfreud. Wait, you mean we at George Jenkins have to live with cuts, too? Don’t you know who we are? Who will hold the hands of our precious private school bound developers’ kids as they apply to Yale — or at least Rollins. First Jadrian Clark, now this? Our dreams are irrelevant to Gov. Lex and Dennis Ross, too? The indignity, it burns.
The more serious policy wonk in me would point out that what kept Cindy Ross away from the begging podium the last two years was federal aid to states, otherwise known as the stimulus. Remember that? It was that big hunk of money designed to keep people like college counselors on the job. Not a single Republican voted for it in the House. The constant drumbeat against it assured it would be smaller than it needed to be. Reaping and sowing.
But the stimulus worked in Florida. The state’s financial conditions have generally improved from the freefall of 2008, with the stimulus buffering disastrous cuts while they recovered. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that Congress, tomorrow, could not renew another round of aid to states to forestall education cuts. It would add nothing significant to the budget deficit, which is entirely a product of health care for the elderly and war. And none of you actually care about it anyway, unless a Democrat is in charge.
Cindy Ross, your husband ran against the stimulus as hard as he could because he wanted to pretend to be a Teahadist. I don’t remember you opposing him. So don’t go caterwauling before the School Board to complain. Call U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland. Talk to him about your kids’ dreams. I’ll bet you can get him on the phone.