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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bureaucrats Gone Wild

Bureaucrats Gone Wild.


You see stories about how China’s economy is growing while America’s  is not.


I have never been to China but will bet they don’t have as many bureaucratic rules as we do.


Especially in the school systems.


I’m embarrassed that an example of bureaucrats gone wild occurred in my  native county,  Kenton County, Kentucky.


The Cincinnati Enquirer told  the story of a  brilliant pre school student.  The schools  gave her a test to skip kindergarten.   She passed it.


Since she didn’t need kindergarten, he parents sent her directly to the first grade.


The Kenton County public school system sent her parents a bill for $3000. 


The bureaucrats want her parents to pay for the grade that she skipped.


There are several things wrong with this story.


 The first is that she is going to a PUBLIC school.  When did PUBLIC schools start charging tuition?   If they are trying to make a profit, will they give me some of my tax money back?  


It is not just about the money.


The bigger issue is that bureaucrats could be screwing up this girl’s life.  Children need to be challenged, especially brilliant children.  


Dumping the student in a class beneath her abilities will bore her and could turn her off to school forever.


 We might waste a talent that could someday cure cancer or be President.


The fire she is showing in childhood could be doused by idiots following a stupid rule.


The paper pushers are not only enforcing  a terrible  rule, they don’t understand the rule they are trying to enforce.


State Representative Harry Moberly, who wrote the law the bureaucrats are citing, said the school board interpretation was wrong and told the Enquirer that the parents should hire a lawyer.


I hope they do.  


I know most of the good trial lawyers in Kentucky.    If the parents call me at 1-800 Mr. McNay, I will put them on to several lawyers who would take the case.


I might even chip in on the legal fee.   I won’t chip in for the tuition.   The PUBLIC school system should not have charged it and I hope the parents don’t pay it.


I don’t know the parents but they live in a nice neighborhood.  They can probably afford $3000. 


What would have happened if the bureaucrats pulled the stunt on a poor child that lived in a housing project?  What would have happened if the child did not have parents with enough savvy to contact their legislators and the media? 


A brilliant mind could be wasted.   The bureaucrats would have won.


Moberly said he might fix this problem in the next legislature session and I am sure he will.  He understands that education is about pushing forward and not holding back.


I am angry that it got this far.  Every person at the school board and in the school system should be working to get the child the best education she can possibly get. 


I thought that was what school was all about.


If I were running the school system, I would have put her in the first grade at all cost. Even if I had to tear up the rule book.


 If some paper pusher told me I was violating an idiotic rule, I would tell them to get a lawyer and sue me.


I think the jury would see it my way.


I am afraid that the incident in Kenton County is a symptom of a nationwide problem.  


 Paper pushers and bureaucrats forget that they are molding the lives of young people and enforce rules that have no meaning, purpose or logical sense.


Other countries aren’t doing that.  That is why they are eating our lunch on the economic front.


I hope the American school system gets it together.  If they don’t, they need to make sure American students learn a new skill:


How to eat with chopsticks.  Their future employers will require it.


Don McNay is President of McNay Settlement Group in Richmond Kentucky where we fight any rule that hurts  people.  You can write to him at or read other things he has written at