caught a whiff of a lilac bush this weekend. It was glorious. I’m nearly six months post mild COVID case and still struggling on the sense of smell. I was excited about this random smell interaction. Now that I am getting some of it back, I’d like to apologize for any body odor I may have sported over the past six months. Didn’t matter much to me, since I couldn’t smell, but I see how that might have bothered those around me. Anyway, my apologies. Somebody cut this column out and send it to my wife.
I can assure that my mental acuity remains intact. In fact, I consider it to be near presidential level. Take that as you may.
Let’s take a quick look at real estate. You might put some oven mitts on to read this. Platte County is “el fuego.” Besides taking away your smell, COVID apparently makes us buy houses. The only thing that is preventing more houses from selling is that there are so few for sale, with inventories at historic lows.
Platte County had 235 total sales in December. 197 in November and 240 in October. Compare that to 167, 127 and 164 in 2019 and you might see what I mean.
Median sales price in March was a whopping $384,748. In March of 2020 that was $262,000 and $276,750 in 2019.
The low inventory has caused competing offers on most properties which has driven sales price to list prices up to unprecedented numbers. In March, Platte County reported 100% of sales prices meeting the list price. That’s off the charts. It was 99% in February and 98.1% in January.
Public education is one of the most frustrating institutions to me. It is a perplexing problem because there is a disconnect to me between the actual people on the ground and the actual success of the system. Basically, I think it is possible to walk the fence on this issue. I think public education has lost its way. It’s an overfed bureaucracy that has become beholden to mostly federal laws and mandates and it has left the hardworking and talented educators to coexist in a broken system.
Teachers’ unions have created some of this disconnect in addition to the federal government. The President of the American Federation of Teachers is a lady by the name of Randi Weingarten, who makes $405,794 American dollars per year. She spends a lot of her time on Twitter fighting with people that advocate for public education reform. Another portion of her time has been spent blocking a return to school for thousands of students, during this pandemic.
This week, she tweeted this,
“115% of mothers with young children left their jobs in 2020 because of childcare responsibilities.”
Apparently, math was not her expertise, cause that’s not possible. She later admitted to the mistake, but it’s this type of hyperbole from leaders that has exasperated public education disconnect from the real world.
Schools were originally set up for local leadership. School boards were created to provide local and meaningful input and direction. That is all but gone in the current scenario as local boards have no control over the federal mandates that they are handed and get to make few substantive choices. Instead, federal government officials and union representatives are controlling our schools from New York and Washington D.C.
Administration has become bloated throughout the country and education has faltered. Until we can restore some local control, I’m pessimistic things will get better.
(Guy Speckman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or smelling lilac bushes)