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Tuesday January 16, 2001

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Remember the days when the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl was just the Fiesta Bowl? Do you remember when stadiums and buildings had names that didn't involve those of their sponsors? Do you remember the days when a donation was a donation, and not a bid for free advertising? You might remember them, but it seems that they are going the way of the dinosaurs.

And public schools, the last bastions of citizen control, are too falling victim to our overly corporate culture.

From marquees, buildings, books, and teachers salaries, private corporations are stepping in to pick up where tax dollars leave off. So what is the problem? Well, nothing yet, but this buddy-buddy corporate relationship is fraught with potential problems, and the problems inherent in public schooling can only be temporarily helped by individual and corporate philanthropy.

In the current political climate, education is the red hot issue. And as it was debated in the election, the issues surrounding education continue to occupy high levels of attention. For the first time in our nation's history, everyone on either side of the isle agrees on one thing: public education, as it is, is not doing nearly enough to address the real needs of the American child. Proposed solutions to these problems range from vouchers to larger federal subsidies for failing public schools. All of these options have been discussed before, but what is really different about this debate is that the government has begun to look outside of the public sector for help on their dilapidated system.

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