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[Susan notes: Would this new version of Race to the T. O. P. satisfy Barack Obama, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, Eli Broad?]

Published in Seattle Times

To the editor

Thinking outside the box

The problem with school financing is that we haven't gotten creative enough. While in college, my son earned $100 each month by donating plasma. If a bloodmobile could be deployed monthly to each public school, its staff could pump in an extra $30,000 to $40,000 annually. ["Senate approves budget with big cuts to education," NWTuesday, April 19.]

For "frills" like music, art and PE, we would need to be more creative. Establishing a Teacher Organ Program (T.O.P.) could be a win-win.

Here's how: For every organ a teacher donates, wealthy philanthropists interested in education reform make a tax-deductible donation to the school.

Just picture -- smiling teachers in hospital gowns with their principals displaying $50,000 checks while thankful recipients of a lifesaving kidney look on. This would give "Race to the T.O.P." a whole new meaning!

With moves the Legislature is making, principals could utilize organ harvesting as a viable funding stream into the foreseeable future. Without due process, a principal could rate a few veteran teachers unsatisfactory, moving them to the top of the layoff list. This would make room for new teachers who still had both kidneys intact!

While I realize this proposal wouldn't address the entire shortfall, in today's climate, it feels like the type of out-of-the-box thinking that just might fly.

Sandra L. Hunt

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