Thursday, March 4, 2010

School budgets could be slashed

You have to be very careful when you've got a news story speculating about things that haven't happened.

Paula's story, sourced entirely from a talk by the director of government relations for the Arizona Association of School Business Officials, is all about opinions and analysis of future possibilities. Paula does a lot of paraphrasing outside quote marks of what the man said, and writes it as if she is saying it herself on the paper's behalf. This is a high-school-level writing error. Further, the lack of a contrasting view elevates these opinions to the status of fact. Wrong, wrong, wrong, especially when you're dealing with analysis from an organization with a clear vested interest, like this one. The editors should have sent this one back for further research and substantial rewrite.

In fact the Legislature has several available options for dealing with the budget lacking the sales-tax extension, and ought to be encouraged to explore them all seriously. Instead, masquerading as analysis we get a misleading political frame: sales tax vs. school funding. While many Republicans will want to play it that way, it's really not that simple.

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