Nothing fair about public education
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 13, 2005
Craig J. Cantoni
We will pay about $190,000 in public education taxes over our lifetimes.
By the time our son, Chris, graduates from high school in four years, Kim and I
will have spent about $85,000 on math tutoring, music lessons, placement test
coaching, sports camps, a mission to Mexico, charitable donations on his behalf,
and 12 years of Catholic tuition.
Wealthy Scottsdale parents spend even more, including summer trips to Europe for
their kids to study art, music and foreign language. Poor parents can't afford
such spending. Is this fair?
To answer the question, let's look at Josť, a fictional son of poor Mexican
Josť is an incoming freshman at Coronado High School in south Scottsdale.
Because the Scottsdale Unified School District spends $13,000 per pupil in
annual capital and operating costs, Josť's 12 years of public education will
have cost taxpayers $156,000 by the time he graduates, not counting free
lunches, the extra cost of bilingual education, the special tutoring that he
receives in math and English under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, and
sports programs at the local Boys & Girls Club, which is funded through the
generosity of private donors.
In a real sense, Kim and I will pay for Josť's education. That's because we will
pay about $190,000 in public education taxes over our lifetimes and not receive
a penny of public education in return. Is this fair?
Chris might be the first Cantoni with the financial means and academic record to
attend an Ivy League school, should we want him to be indoctrinated in the dogma
taught at such schools, including leftist notions about multiculturalism and
Starting with his poor immigrant great-grandparents, it will have taken four
generations to get Chris to that point. Each generation scrimped and saved,
knowing that by investing in their kids, the succeeding generation would do
better than the preceding one.
It's a typical immigrant story but with a different ending than in the past. In
the past, a fourth-generation kid like Chris would apply at a university and get
accepted or rejected based on merit. Today, a fourth-generation kid like Chris
will apply at a university and find that a second-generation kid like Josť has
received extra admission points based on his race.
An author and consultant, Craig J. Cantoni has published a new book, "Breaking
From the Herd." He can be reached at