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Education The Almighty Buck Politics

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

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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  • by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @01:40PM (#46066969) Homepage
    Europeans spend weeks learning about every country in Europe, yet they don't seem to be doing all that badly. You seem to dislike learning about other people and their cultures and how this can influence and inspire you, and well that's your loss, but removing history and geography to put more time in science is NOT the solution. The much greater problems are teachers, methods and parents. Pay teachers a correct wage (which can easily be done by just reducing salaries for administrative leeches and shutting down the hilarious iPad programs), use good methods for teaching and evaluation (as opposed to Texas textbooks and horrible standard tests) and inform the parents that their job is to help their children learn (instead of just protesting loudly whenever they get a bad grade) and things would already work out much better.

    Ironically enough, you're trying to get the US to stop looking at other cultures (or dramatically cut down their importance) when the biggest flaw in US education is wholly a cultural problem.
  • by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:05PM (#46067461)

    In Silicon Valley, more than half of CEOs were foreign born. It is likely that educated immigrants create more tech jobs than they take.

    You're seriously mis-citing that statistic. The actual statistic is that over half of SV companies include founders that were foreign born. That's a very big difference, since the vast majority of companies have multiple founders. As a matter of fact the proportion of foreign born company founders in SV is lower than the overall proportion of the foreign born in SV. You're citing a statistic like saying that 30% of company founders have blue eyes, therefore we need more blue eyed people. Meanwhile you overlook that 34% of the population in question has blue eyes. Given those statistics, it's hard to see how blue eyed people are better than those who aren't.

    Second, which foreign born people are you talking about? Sergey Brin? He came to the US when he was six. I seriously doubt he had an H-1B visa. Jerry Yang? Came to the US when he was ten. Back in the day, Andy Grove? Came to the US as a refugee. My grandparents? (admittedly not SV entrepreneurs) came to the US as immigrants, not "guest workers". And no, I don't give a damn that the H-1B is a "dual use" visa. The bottom line is that H-1B visa holders initially come to the US as guest workers, and serve a period of indentured servitude, at the behest of tech billionaires falsely claiming STEM shortages.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe