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Education The Almighty Buck Politics

K-12 CS Education Funding: Taxes, H-1B Fees, Donations? 165

Posted by timothy
from the still-on-that-eh? dept.
theodp writes "Back in 2010, Bill Gates Sr. made the case for I-1098, an initiative for a WA state income tax that Gates argued was needed to address K-12 funding inequity, which he claimed was forcing businesses "to import technically-trained employees, while our own people are shut out of highly paid careers." Opposed by the deep-pocketed, high-tech studded Defeat 1098, the initiative was defeated. Four years later, some of the same high-tech leaders who records show funded Defeat 1098 — including Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer ($425K), Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith ($10K), Code.org founder Hadi Partovi ($10K), Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ($100K), Microsoft Corporation ($75K) — have gotten behind groups like Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us and Code.org, which are singing a similar Chicken Little tune, telling lawmakers that U.S. students will continue to be shut out of highly paid computer science careers without additional K-12 funding, and the U.S. will lose its competitive edge unless tech is permitted to import even more technically-trained employees. In a departure from Gates' income-tax based solution, Microsoft and Code.org argue that the-problem-is-the-solution, proposing that tech visa fees be used to fund K-12 CS programs. To 'accept that computer science classes are only available to the privileged few,' writes Code.org, 'seems un-American'. So, as some of the nation's biggest K-12 school systems turn to Code.org for CS education programs, should they expect the funding to come from taxes, H-1B tech visa fees, or the-kindness-of-wealthy-strangers philanthropy?"
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K-12 CS Education Funding: Taxes, H-1B Fees, Donations?

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  • Re:Read as... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @01:41PM (#46066985)

    It is easy to ridicule this as a benefit to the privileged, but our current funding of education, primarily with property taxes, is the root of much of the inequality in America. Property taxes are high in areas with high incomes, and low in areas of low incomes. Low income people also tend to have more school age kids. So the result is that rich kids attend schools with good teachers, libraries, computer labs, music programs, etc., where they only associate with other rich kids. Moving to a system of funding based on a broader tax base would do a lot to create more equality of opportunity.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:21PM (#46067563)

    It seems obvious to me that $race month is racist.
    How about science month? What company today is hiring for "Lead $race Developer". None.

    Spending a month out of each nine-month school teaching racial division when our students are so far behind their international competitors is simply foolish.

    You think they should teach black history, Mexican history, hill billy history, gay history, and tstv history. I think they should teach history. They'll have enough time for stupid identity politics when they're grown.

    That's a major reason our daughter won't be going to public school. She's not going to be taught to hate whitey, she'll be taught math, science, literature. I aim to keep her focused on useful skills as long as possible before she starts asking for details of her heritage so she can figure out which hive you expect her to be a drone in.

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