Minneseota Department of Education spokesman Bill Walsh recently got himself into hot water with some remarks to reporters about a bill that would direct $750 million more to public education than Gov. Tim Pawlenty recommended in his initial budget request. The bill's sponsors, including Sen. Steve Kelley (R-Hopkins), would not specify where the additional money would come from.

The Associated Press quoted Walsh: "It's gutless to say 'We want more money for education and this much more' without saying how to pay for it."

This prompted Sen. Kelley to call for an apology, and education commissioner Alice Seagren to promise that she would meet with Walsh about the incident. Scholar hopes that Walsh will clarify his harsh remark, but not back down from his challenge to Pawlenty critics to show how they would pay for their proposal. Perhaps Seagren should hire ScrappleFace as a consultant; here's how he would have advised Rod Paige after Paige facetiously called the National Education Association a "terrorist organization (WARNING: the following is satire and does not represent anything that actually happened or was said by anyone):"

Paige Sorry, Meant to Call NEA 'Extortionist Cabal'
by Scott Ott

(2004-02-24) -- U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige issued an apology today for joking that the nation's largest teachers' union is a "terrorist organization."

"It was an inappropriate choice of words to describe the NEA as a 'terrorist organization,'" said Mr. Paige. "I consulted a dictionary today and found several more appropriate terms to describe the highly-paid Washington lobbyists who masquerade as altruistic advocates for America's children. Therefore, I revise my previous remarks. The NEA is not a terrorist organization. The NEA is an extortionist, obstructionist, monopolistic cabal."

Mr. Paige added that his remarks did not necessarily apply to America's hard-working public school teachers, who he described as "NEA victims and conscripts."