WASHINGTON—According to bewildered and contrite legislators, a major budgetary mix-up this week inadvertently provided the nation's public schools with enough funding and resources to properly educate students.
Sources in the Congressional Budget Office reported that as a result of a clerical error, $80 billion earmarked for national defense was accidentally sent to the Department of Education, furnishing schools with the necessary funds to buy new textbooks, offer more academic resources, hire better teachers, promote student achievement, and foster educational excellence—an oversight that apologetic officials called a "huge mistake."
"Obviously, we did not intend for this to happen, and we are doing everything in our power to right the situation and discipline whoever is responsible," said House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), expressing remorse for the error. "I want to apologize to the American people. The last thing we wanted was for schools to upgrade their technology and lower student-to-teacher ratios in hopes of raising a generation of well-educated, ambitious, and skilled young Americans."
"That's the type of irresponsible misspending that I've been focused on eliminating for my entire political career," Ryan added.
Ryan went on to tell reporters that the $80 billion budget slip-up will "unfortunately" help schools nationwide to supply students with modernized classrooms and instructional materials. Struggling to control his frustration, Ryan said he prayed the costly mistake would not allow millions of American students to graduate with strong language skills.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called for a full investigation into how the nation's schools were able to secure the necessary funds to monitor teachers and pay salaries based on performance.
"The fact that this careless mistake also ended up financing new teacher training programs, allowing educators to become more than just glorified babysitters, is disgraceful," Reid said. "Now we are left with a situation where schools can attract talented professionals who really want to teach our children, which will in turn create smarter and more motivated students who wish to one day make a contribution to society."
"In all my years in government I have never seen such a shameful error," Reid added. "Our appropriations process has gone horribly awry, and I for one demand to know how it happened."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) echoed congressional leaders and vowed to do "everything in [his] power" to resolve the costly error that led to schools updating their curriculums to emphasize math, science, and language arts, and provided students with instruction on how to use newly purchased computers to aid their research.
"Once these kids learn to read and think critically, you can never undo that," Boehner said. "In 20 years, we could be looking at a nightmare scenario in which vast segments of our populace are fully prepared to compete in the new global marketplace."
"It could take a whole generation to cancel out the effects of this," Boehner added.
Congressional leaders also stressed that providing the nation's students with an adequate education that prepared them for college or supplied them with a solid grasp of basic knowledge could also have a devastating impact on the economy by creating a new class of citizens uninterested in settling for fast food meals and useless plastic knickknacks.
"And politicians will be adversely affected as well," Boehner said. "What will our nation do if the next generation knows that all we care about is our own selfish interests and pandering to the wealthy elite? Is that the future you want? Not me."