Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Deep-Fried Schools

Last night, the good people at the  San Leandro school board meeting pledged allegiance to fried chicken strips.  Most of us didn't even notice.  It was the most rational thing that happened.

Mike Katz, the school board president, called the meeting to order and people stood for the pledge.  Only, the meeting place had changed at the last moment.  The location ended up being the high school cafeteria.  So we dutifully rose for the pledge, turned to face the spot where everyone assumed a flag would be if there were a flag, and said the pledge of allegiance.  To a cafeteria advertisement for "Sunset Strips."  From the picture, they were delicious, crispy, golden brown, deep-fried chicken strips.

Deep-Fried, like the future of California.  I guess when music programs, physical education, librarians, counselors, days of school, and even lawyers and consultants (the most important people in the school community) are on the list, no absurdity seems all that unusual.

These meetings have taken place all over California.  In many places, the potential cuts will be far deeper.  Even the schools in the wealthier communities will have to dig into their reserves.  The Senate Republicans have just fired their leader, Dave Cogdill, because he is seen as most likely to "give in" on a tax increase.  That's right, they want deeper cuts.  This budget won't smash enough dreams and kill enough people for them yet.

They must have pledged allegiance to deep-fried chicken strips a long time ago.