If there is a word no one should seek to be associated with these days, it is bailout. Few words trigger the kind of derision that word now draws.
So, it is puzzling to hear the Broward school district talking about joining another school district in Ohio in asking for federal loan money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known more popularly as the infamous bailout. Fortunately, other school districts in South Florida, like Palm Beach County's, are showing more savvy by understanding what a policy and PR boondoggle this could be.
We can all agree public education is sorely underfunded, and we can appreciate that Broward school officials want to send a message that education funding can't be overlooked. But it's ill-advised to lump the school district with an AIG or a GM or another tarnished, tainted corporate acronym that has become synonymous with greed, cronyism, inefficiency, callousness and failure.
So, let's leave it at that and focus on a smarter course of action.
Broward's school district wants $500 million to refurbish older facilities and invest in upgraded equipment. Those uses sound smart and reasonable, though the total sum is unrealistic.
But rather than asking for implausible TARP loans, Broward schools would be better served waiting for President-elect Obama to actually name a secretary of education. Then it should work with our region's congressional representatives on molding a national education investment program via the Obama administration. Obama has said he would invest in schools - see an Opinion column he wrote for this newspaper on Sept. 13 at www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/theslant .
Yes, we all know what happens to campaign promises after elections pass. But Broward's school kids would still be better served if the district holds Obama to his word rather than putting their schools in line for bailout money.
BOTTOM LINE: Bailouts are for losers.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun