Spend first, ask questions later…it worked for the Big Dig, right?

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Today’s Globe offers another salvo in an ongoing barrage of education news from the Administration. The story uses a thousand words to describe how the Governor “appears to be laying the groundwork” to reduce the local property tax burden. Don’t get bogged down; the story’s gist is shorter than its URL: State government will spend more on education.

Okay. Onward and upward is always front-page news. The real “groundwork,” though, tends to get buried like a tunnel under Fort Point Channel. The State House News Service (reg. required) exposes an intention to “destroy” the state Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (EQA), and here’s why:

“‘It just needs to thoroughly be reconstituted,’ said Glenn Koocher, MASC executive director, comparing getting audited by the agency equivalent to a Justice Department investigation, an IRS audit, and ‘moving in with the in-laws.'”

Someone, please, leak an old memo from Bechtel or Modern Continental on how unpleasant and really, really just totally unnecessary it would be to pay attention to how they spend 14 billion tax dollars.
The school/highway connection seem like a stretch? Actually, it’s unfair to the highway lobby. We’ve mailed over 40 billion state tax dollars to local school districts since 1993. The EQA (budget: $3.4 million) is a modest attempt to evaluate what hundreds of schools actually do with all that money.

The Globe story doesn’t mention EQA at all. It’s called “burying the lead.”