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Idea sounds good but can it be done?

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By The Staff

Our very own Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson told a Florida group that the U.S. should pay teachers a minimum of $40,000 a year, add a federal student arts program and cover student loans for two years in exchange for national service.The proposals were part of a $60 billion education plan the New Mexico governor unveiled earlier this month.But Richardson, who hovers near the bottom in the polls, provided few details about how he would pay for the proposals during a fundraiser Monday.Or even if it can be done federally. See most states operate their own education systems – and most of those are controlled by local boards.Like New Mexico. Like Los Alamos.If the governor was serious about this, then why after six years in office is this pay plan not in effect in New Mexico?Beginning pay varies in the state, from the low $30,000s to the low $40,000s.The reason is that control is local. So if as governor he can’t make good this pledge, how can he as president where there is even less local control than at the state level?He can’t and this is just election hype, designed to make him look good but which has no substance.But Richardson went further, stating that he would add 100,000 new science and math teachers.How? The federal government does not fund teachers, each state, each school district, does.And even if he could, 100,000 more teachers spread across the entire nation is an insignificant change.Richardson also promised to ban all junk food in schools and require mandatory physical education and universal pre-Kindergarten if he is elected.All things the president cannot do.But this campaign speech got worse.See, an Associated Press reporter paid the $25 admission fee to attend the fundraiser, which was closed to the media. Richardson and the other Democratic candidates pledged not to campaign in Florida after the state violated party rules by setting its primary before Feb. 5.Richardson found a way around that, when perhaps he should have either been speaking up against the ban or following the rules like everyone else.