The good souls at Fox & Friends are worried about the state of educational funding. No, it's not that they're upset about tying funding to achievement, so that already-struggling schools are expected to do more with less. And they're not worried about school funding formulas that are based on local property taxes, that give students from wealthy areas over those from low-income regions. No, no: they're worried about how much it's going to cost to give hungry immigrant children a sandwich at lunchtime. Who's going to pay for that?!
On Sunday morning's show, Tucker Carlson and his co-hosts expounded on the totally outrageous idea that children who comes from other countries might need to be fed, housed, and educated:
"So, if you send your kids to public school, this is not a small thing. It’s a big thing. Your kids’ classes are getting much bigger, the teachers distracted. The schools doesn’t have the resources to deal with this. Your kids are getting shafted."
Funny, I remember class sizes growing when I was teaching too, but it seemed to be because the number of teachers was shrinking, not because of some sudden surge in the immigrant population.
The show's hosts also go on to complain about the hordes of special, fancy tutors that these immigrant children are apparently getting to bring them up to speed. I don't remember anything like that when I was teaching. I do remember one totally overworked English Language Learner teacher who oversaw the education of all the native Spanish-speaking students in our entire school. I remember me getting handed a Spanish-language version of the biology textbook and then having to spend a lot of one-on-one time with Google Translate to turn my worksheets and tests into something a Spanish speaker could more or less understand. (Fun fact: this is how I also learned that a word that means "to catch" in Castilian Spanish means "to rape/to fuck" in Mexican Spanish, after giving a child a worksheet that talked about an apparently deranged ecologist who drove around fucking a bunch of owls.) I don't think it cost the school much to have me do all the leg-work to teach a student who only knew a language I didn't speak, unless Carlson was worried about the utility costs of me sitting on my classroom computer late into the evening trying to make a genetics quiz make sense in a foreign language.
Co-host Anna Kooiman isn't afraid to ask the hard-hitting questions about this situation, either, wanting to know how the school lunch program funding would affect the money available for extracurricular activities. "Can you imagine if your kid couldn't play football because of this policy?" No, although I can imagine a situation where I'd have to explain to my child that there weren't any extracurriculars this year because the school wasn't getting enough money. I don't think it would occur to me to say, "Sorry, honey, there's no school play this year because your stupid school decided not to let your classmates go hungry at lunchtime."
In an era when the ten most profitable American companies paid an average tax rate south of 10%, I find it hard to understand why it's necessary to pit the parents of public school students against each other over the fact that all of their kids are human beings who need food to stay alive. Actually, on second thought, I don't find it that hard to understand at all. I find it somewhere on the range from hard-to-impossible to relate to. But understanding? Yeah, I think it just might have something to do with the fact that Carlson and his smarmy, smirking cohort have puppet strings leading back to the wallets of Fox News' corporate masters in the same place that the rest of us have empathy, compassion, and other emotions typically experienced by human beings but not Koch Brothers robots.