Friday, April 21, 2006

word games

Yesterday I described how the public education establishment uses fuzzy math to support the referendum cause.Today I will expose the linguistic trickery used for the same purpose.

As the referndum push heats up, you will no doubt be hearing about the budget cuts at RUSD. But we all know that Unified's budget has increased year after year. Thus, no budget cuts.

Some Unified leaders describe the situation more accurately when they speak of "budget adjustments". The Journal Times also usually uses the term "budget adjustment."

The difference between a budget cut and a "budget adjustment" is far more than just semantics. If you decide to forgo a vacation and use the savings to purchase a new TV, you have made a budget adjustment. When you lose your job, you are experiencing a budget cut. This will of course necessitate budget adjustments as well. You will probably forgo the vacation and the TV.

When Unified speaks of "budget adjustments", they want the public to believe that their budget has been cut. This is a key misinformation tool used to pass the referendum. But their adjustments are merely transfers within their budget. Instead of choosing a TV over a vacation, they are choosing health benefits for teachers instead of textbooks for children. The "budget adjustments" made by RUSD should horrify the community. Instead they are used as a propaganda tool so that the public believes that the budget has been cut.

Again, I can't let the Journal Times off the hook here. When they dutifully report about the "budget adjustments", without clearly explaining what an adjustment is, they are disserving their readers once again because the reader is left believing that Unified's budget has been cut, when in fact it has risen dramatically.

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