Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Chump Change


The Government of Prince Edward Island is shouting from the rafters and trumpeting loudly about the fact that C├ęcile Arsenault was able to wrestle $45,000 from the J. W. McConnell Foundation so that some kids could get some arts in 'em.

Unfortunately, if you break down that figure (and honestly I don't know how they are going to break it down, so I'll give a bunch of different possibilities) it works out to $31.40/child, or $3,461.54/project, or $1,551.72 per artist. I also don't quite understand how Debra James Percival [misspelled in the press release] can handle 278 students by herself, while John Haines, Loretta Campbell, Lynn Townshend, Mark Haines, Nancy Willis, Susan Bruce, Teri Hall are the artists required to manage the 69 students taking part at Fortune Consolidated school.

Yes, $45,000 is a lot of money, but once parceled out, it quickly becomes tiny. I imagine that these projects are each going to last a term, even if Ms. James Percival is getting all $3,461.54, that means that the PEI government thinks it is ok for an artist to earn $13,846.16/year (each term is 3 months, I think, it has been a long time since I was in school) because I can't see how teaching 278 kids how to etch is anything less than a full time job.

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