To add to the teacher's troubles, he is looked down upon by the whole community, because to share a wealth of knowledge is among the most beautiful of deeds, but to sell a meager stock of it is unworthy. 

'One should not make an axe of the Torah,' it is said.

Almost every Jew in the shtetl knows enough to teach little children, but almost everyone would prefer to make his living at some other occupation.

The teacher who lives by selling what should be given, Is not even a learned person.  If he were, he would be a rabbi or a teacher of advanced students.  It is generally assumed that a man who teaches little children has failed elsewhere. 

'From the Kheyder to the Grave'

Part II Chapter 2 (pp.89-90) 

in Zborowski, Mark, and Herzog, Elizabeth (authors) 

Life Is With People: The Culture of the Shtetl 

New York: Schocken Books (1952)

Introduction by Margaret Mead

petition for injunction against Cook County property tax

test for children and parents

on Chicago Public Schools finance

children and teachers, 13 minutes 38 seconds

mpeg 1.55 gb

wmv 238 mb

Municipal schools enrich the people who sell and buy municipal school bonds.  Such people are in a category known historically as tax farmers.  They profit from tax revenues; therefore, for their own personal profit, they invent projects that governments can use as an excuse to levy taxes.

For the purpose of profiting from tax-financed preK-12 schools, tax farmers plow a percentage of their profits into all forms of advertising, such as product placement on tv shows, to make mass education look normal and effective.

Tax farmers and other profiteers market municipal schools as a step up the social ladder in communities with a preponderance of uneducated and/or immigrant adults.  The social-climbing marketing ploy plays to the chip that many working-class people carry on their shoulders throughout their lives.  The advertising defies the imperative on democratic government to equalize the valuation of all people in the eyes of all people regardless of job category and educational status. 

Parents and taxpayers in uneducated communities don't have the prerequisites to judge the value and effectiveness of educational products they're offered.  They always get shoddy goods--the educational equivalent of cheap Chinese imports.  If they were truly educable, they'd know that people who want to climb the social ladder have to pay their own way up.  It's wrong to put the cost of bragging rights on other people, especially the people you want to one-up and put-down.

Tax farmers market schools as sports centers in many communities. The fact that inhabitants want sports to alleviate their boredom proves that schools failed to fill their mental vacuum with knowledge and pastimes that are far more conducive to good living.  You can't get stupider and you can't be more of a loser than to think you're a winner when you watch someone else play.

Though Hollywood never tires of making movies about the marvelous character-building that high school coaches perform, It's a lie to say the team represents the community when it truly represents only the people who profit from taxes for schools.   Many community residents can't afford the taxes and will lose their homes to tax delinquent seizure.  Communities can have sports without schools. Parents and players can finance teams and cheerleading squads with ticket sales, bake sales, car washes, and raffles.

US founders used the word 'moral' in the sentences where they used the word 'education'.  Parents, school employees, and county tax collectors who are comfortable with taxing and seizing homes for immigrant social climbers and pom-pom girls are unconscionable and immoral.  They violate the principles of the American Revolution and the highest laws of the land.

Money spent on municipal schools is always money misspent and wasted.

top illustration:

Steele, Frederic Dorr (1873-1944) (artist) (1928)

Girl writing on chalkboard 

in Stone, Elinore Cowen (author) 

The Making of a Journalist 

Woman's Home Companion, 56:30 (March 1929)

Cabinet of American Illustration 

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Accession # DLC/PP-1933:0080

Call # CAI - Steele, no. 137 (A size)

(digital file from intermediary roll film) cai 2a15037

Card #cai1996003465/PP

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Laurel Lee

Time For Democracy

Box 477235

1704 N. Milwaukee

Chicago, IL  60647-7235

updated 2015 September


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