When you engage RUSD supporters in debate, it doesn't take long to discover their two major excuses for poor performance and high costs.
Excuse number one: We have lousy students and lousy parents.
Excuse number two: Special Ed kids are very expensive.
For the record, I think that there is some and perhaps a lot of truth to these excuses. But that is not exactly the point I wish to make.
Certainly, if RUSD wished to elevate test scores and lower costs, they could do so by ridding themselves of lousy students and handicapped children. So why isn't RUSD initiating efforts to unload some of these expensive, good for nothing children on the private sector?
Answer: You will have to pry those kids from their cold dead hands. RUSD needs those kids more than they need solid academic performers. Why?
Answer: Like all public school kids, they equal money, lots of money. Fewer kids means less money, fewer teachers, fewer administrators, less power etc... But these kids bring money and handy excuses for RUSD's academic failings while obscuring the real reason a RUSD education is so costly, and that is salaries and benefits that far exceed that offered in the private sector.
RUSD wants it both ways. They want to complain incessantly about lousy students and the financial burdens of special ed kids, but they will fight tooth and nail to keep them. Let's not let them get away with it.