Friday’s news items, part 2 [Challenges: debt; firefighting; older persons resist taxes; vaping & more] – 2/14/2020

 Commentary | “Do older taxpayers balk at supporting schools?” Is this another instance of “I got mine, but don’t want you to get yours?” – Route Fifty

SmartTalk | Yesterday,WITF‘s SmartTalk program topic was about firefighting and the shortage of volunteer firefighters. “Ninety percent of firefighters in Pennsylvania are volunteers and there are far fewer of them than in the past. There were more than 300,000 volunteer firefighters in the state in the 1970s. Today there are about 38,000. The problem may get worse too because the average volunteer firefighter — at least nationally — is over 40 years old.” Click here to read the report on the program and to listen to these persons: “Mike Ibberson, Jerry Ozog and Justin Eberly. Commissioner Duane Ober joined the conversation by phone.”

“Commentary | Fire departments must embrace three important measures to adequately prepare for a future laden with uncertainty.”Route Fifty

Lies-top“Cover of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi, illustration by Attilio Mussino, 1934 © Bridgeman Images.”

Lies, Damned Lies and History | In a post-truth world, how do we study history?”History Today

“43 million | That’s how many Americans have borrowed money from the government for college or graduate school. That number grew a lot after 2010, when the government made loans available to more people  with more favorable terms. The total amount of student debt held by Americans as of the end of 2019: $1.51 trillion.” Make Me Smart newsletter

Why it matters | “… when you’re 90 days late on a payment”MarketPlace

vape“Candace McKnight’s son Walker started using Juul e-cigarettes his senior year of high school. Three months later, he was fighting for his life in an Orlando intensive care unit.”

“Teens — And Companies | are getting around the flavored vape ban”Newsy

A $25 fine can wind up costing more than $150. | So where does the rest of the money go?” [Just more government gobbling to pay for more expenses.]- Public Source

Crunch time | and still recruitingUS Census Bureau

 

One comment

  1. When I “got mine,” there were 30+ students per class. There were no individualized instruction plans and student assistants (still aren’t for most average and gifted students). The high school I attended had almost 1000 more students than today but about half the square footage.

    School expenditures have steadily increased for 3 decades with no measurable improvement. Expenditure per student are at ridiculous levels and any attempt at innovation is opposed by the second largest union in the country. Something needs to change but, since I don’t have the answer, I should just accept it and shut up.

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