Inez Requests $2 Gazillion for Public Schools
Inez Tenenbaum (left) today requested $2 gazillion dollars in "emergency aid" for South Carolina public schools following their dismal performance on this year's PACT test.
"We're making strides," Tenenbaum said. "We're fulfilling the promise of accountability. This money is just what the doctor ordered for South Carolina public education."
Last week's PACT results showed one out of four South Carolina public schools is either failing or below average - results Tenenbaum characterized as "not really all that bad when you look at them upside down."
Nonetheless, Tenenbaum held a press conference this morning requesting the $2 gazillion "for the children." She later added the money was also to be specifically earmarked "for the future" and "for the teachers."
State legislative leaders immediately warmed to the proposal, despite the fact that none of them knew exactly how much money a 'gazillion' was.
"The Superintendent is to be praised for her vision and commitment to our public schools," said House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Cooper, stroking his Hitler-esque moustache in a totalitarian but not overly-menacing fashion. "This two gazillion dollars is indeed a worthwhile investment in our schools."
"I applaud the Superintendent vigorously," said Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman, his eyes widening to the size of dinner plates at the mere mention of the word 'gazillion.' "I am sure more than enough funding exists to meet this need."
While Republicans fawned over the Superintendent's proposal in loving and tender terms, Democrats were quick to point out that more money would be needed.
"Say what?" said State Sen. Robert I. Ford. "Two gazillion? That ain't enough to pay the 'lectric bill. We need mo money."
"Our schools do need a larger financial commitment," said Florence Mayor Frank Willis, a 2006 Democratic gubernatorial candidate. "My $3.6 gazillion education plan includes extra Sloppy Joe meat, free Vault energy drinks, keyless entry systems for all school lockers and a brand new laptop with wireless web access for every South Carolina public school student."
Tenenbaum discounted Willis' criticisms as politically-motivated.
"He's just worried about our upcoming gubernatorial primary," Tenenbaum said, before husband Samuel Tenenbaum stepped in to clarify that his wife was not yet an announced candidate for that office.
Gov. Mark Sanford's spokesman Joel Sawyer indicated that the current occupant of the governor's office was considering the proposal, but that any support he offered might be withdrawn at a later date should Henry Eichel at the Charlotte Observer call him and ask difficult questions.
"We are supportive in theory," Sawyer said. "But that could change based on the media calls we receive."
Evidently the only individual in South Carolina opposed to the plan was our hero, Slick Willie. In fact, a FITS correspondent observed the governor's former right hand man angrily clutching the Tenenbaum press release and shoving it into a piece of furniture in his office as soon as it came off the fax machine.
BEA Chairman John Rainey said his office would begin reviewing the $2 gazillion request immediately, but hinted it would receive a favorable hearing.
"We are here to serve the interests of the education bureaucracy and do whatever it asks of us," Rainey said. "I know what a gazillion dollars is, and yes this is seersucker, thank you kindly."
State economist "Biggie" Gillespie agreed.
"Unless it is a job-creating income tax cut, we will find the numbers to make it look plausible."
Will Folks once again railing alone against the wind ... but then again I AM WILL FOLKS.