I've been thinking a lot about this classic episode of The Simpsons, in which school administrators, faced with a funding crisis, decide to rent out the cloakrooms at Springfield Elementary to the overcrowded prison system.
What, you ask, has me thinking about a 1995 episode of The Simpsons?
Could it be that the budget approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives cuts close to a billion dollars for schools, while increasing the state's corrections budget by $171 million?
Could it be that many school districts across the state are raising property taxes, laying off teachers or both to balance their budgets?
Or could it be this letter sent to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder by Ithaca Public Schools Superintendent Nathan Bootz asking the state to turn his school into a prison, since the state invests five times as much or more to house prisoners than it does to educate students?
"Please provide for my students in my school district the same way we provide for a prisoner," Superintendent Booth writes. "It’s the least we can do to prepare our students for the future ... by giving our schools the resources necessary to keep our students OUT of prison."
He makes a good point — one that may have been lost on the Springfield Elementary administrators on The Simpsons or some more modern day elected officials.
As Snake Jailbird says from the Springfield Elementary Cloakroom/Prison: "Yo, I used to sit right over there."