Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Us Education Suffers in Waste of Iraq War

Most of what I'm reading/hearing/seeing is just leaving me sick/disgusted/tired (plus its the end of the semester), but I couldn't let this report slip by, I first saw a link to it at Thoughts on the Eve of the Apocalypse

"US education suffers in waste of Iraq war"
By Derrick Z. Jackson
Boston Globe


Congress has so far authorized $166 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The aimless mission in Iraq is gobbling up the vast majority of resources, with 135,000 American troops there compared with the 14,000 in Afghanistan, where we still are looking for Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. Things are going so badly that even Bush's fellow Republicans admit that astronomical financial sums are needed for the Iraq operation. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said recently, "Every ground squirrel in this country knows that it's going to be $50 to $75 billion in additional money required to sustain us in Iraq for this year."

The cost of Iraq -- $4.7 billion a month, according to the Pentagon -- already almost matches the $5 billion a month average spent on Vietnam in today's dollars. If Bush gets another $75 billion this year, he would close in on the halfway point of Vietnam spending in just a year and a half.

The diversion of resources and the obvious loss of opportunity for America's public school children is almost incalculable. Assuming even the conservative guess by Hagel of $50 billion in additional funds, that would make $216 billion in war appropriations. That sum is:

Nearly four times the budget of the Education Department.

Nearly double what the General Accounting Office said in the mid-1990s was needed to repair the nation's schools.

24 times what it would cost to fully fund the congressional appropriation for No Child Left Behind.

43 times what it would cost to enroll the remaining 40 percent of eligible preschoolers still not in Head Start.

848 times the cost of the Even Start family literacy program, which Bush proposed to kill.

1,800 times the appropriation for the national math-science partnership between high schools and colleges, which Bush proposed to kill.

6,352 times the cost of a program to help pay secondary school counselors, which Bush proposed to kill.

12,000 times the cost of a national writing project, which Bush proposed to kill.

19,600 times the cost of a program to support "gifted and talented" students, which Bush proposed to kill.

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