Is This Something?

REI Headquarters, built never used, for sale

I don’t have kids. Or if I did, I moved far and fast enough that I never met them. So I never experienced the joy of having curtain climbers and yard apes under foot. I also never heaved a sigh of relief when I could push the little bundles of joy out the door. Six hours of peace…

Only I could take two unrelated stories, put them together and come up an idea whose time has come.

Hot Air blog claims that parents are opposed to reopening schools. The reason, according to the writer is the Chinese virus. I wonder.

Then there is this story. REI, an outdoor retailer has spent the last four years building an eight acre headquarters campus. It is now for sale. REI never moved in to the facility. The Chinese virus forced REI to change the way they did things. Teleconferencing and working remotely did not adversely affect the efficiency of operations. The company decided they didn’t need the new facility.

A Seattle Times story points out. When REI announced plans in 2016 for the new headquarters campus, the project was billed as a way to consolidate operations that are spread across four Seattle-area sites.

But the pandemic has pushed REI to rethink both where its employees work and how much capital it can afford to sink into a single asset, said Ben Steele, REI’s chief customer officer, who has led the headquarters design.

Steele said the success of REI’s work-from-home model during the pandemic demonstrated that the company could operate effectively without a central location. “We’ve seen and we’ve heard from our employees that they see a lot of benefits of working remotely,” Steele said.

Back in eighth grade a teacher posed the following question to the class: “Why do insurance companies exist?” To cut to the chase, the answer is: “To make money.”

This leads me to my question: “Why do schools exist?” I’m not interested in the the history of public education. Just the here and now. My answer is to provide inflated benefits and salaries to individuals who would otherwise be unemployable in the private sector. Items like children, education and nurturing are somewhere in the spectrum of cockroaches, rats and VD. They are something to be avoided or at worst endured.

You can see examples of public education in the form of ANTIFA, BLM, on the nightly news.

Don’t get me wrong schools once served a purpose. The one room school house gave way to current multi-tiered system. The failure of the current education system has caused people to consider parochial and now charter schools. The Chinese virus has caused parents and students to investigate new styles of learning. Home schooling and Internet based learning may yield better results, than may be found in the public school system. Parental involvement in student learning seems to be a key factor.

The problem is, if there is one thing a bureaucrat hates it is change. Opening up educational opportunities outside of the current model would require massive changes. Rather than defund the police, I suggest defunding schools. The first step is to shut down schools as places of higher learning. Vacant schools can be used without hiding behind platitudes. A warehouse to store individuals out of sight and out of mind.

Instead of children, the schools can be converted to homeless shelters. The teachers converted to “mentors.” It sounds better than jailers. Salaries would be reflect reality, ten bucks an hour ought to do it. Given the liberal penchant for book burning, old textbooks can be used in the physical plant to heat the building. Granted, some of the elementary school buildings may have limited shower facilities. But in the scheme of things one shower is 100% more than what is currently available to some homeless.

I see a bunch of cost savings here. These saving can be passed along to the taxpayer.

An added benefit is that some of the school buildings have chemistry labs. This will aid the denizens in the endeavor to manufacture speed and acquire a marketable skill.

Just think some of these teachers mentors will probably get a second shot at former students they failed the first time around.

Behind every great inventor are the doubters.