news & tips
A collection of helpful articles on teachers and teaching
Paying for Education
With only two days of the school year left, I look back on what has been the hardest year in my educational career. Larger classes, less money, higher stress levels. Next year is slated to be even worse with the addition of five furlough days (less salary) and even less resources like adequate counselors and classified personnel. “What are they thinking??!” people ask me when I tell them what the educational picture looks like. The problem is they are not thinking. They, the state, any state, is just reacting and trying to fix broken state budgets on the backs of schools. It is like trying to repair your roof with wood from your foundation- sooner or later your whole house will collapse. The corners we cut in education today will come back to bite us within five years when inadequately prepared students are out in the work force. Or not. Our social service sector will be unable to handle the caseload of individuals who are not qualified to be productive members of society.
So what do we do? As teachers do we continue to do as much as we can for the most that we can? Some are hoping that the furlough days will “wake up ” parents to the true plights of public schools, but I somehow doubt it. I think it will take a much more radical movement to shake the family tree and create parental responsibility and community commitment. I say that it is time to revive the voucher movement and put that back on the table. Until parents have to PURCHASE education in the same manner that they buy a car or carton of milk, we will always have a weak, apathetic support system. An injection of free enterprise into public education would revolutionize schools, curricula, parent involvement and student participation. It is the way the rest of the world operates and it is past due in education.