Wednesday, March 09, 2011

It's Time To Double Down on Public Education

Those of you who have not been paying attention to the really awful budget situation in the Great State of California, may not know that even the best case scenario means a nasty multi-million dollar cut to public education.

When the children of California become caught in a nasty political squeeze play that has shaped the American political landscape over the last decade, you know that politics has sunk to a new low. No more politics as usual. We can't afford the political gamesmanship & our great State's future depends on fully & adequately, and dare I say it, even lavishly funding our public schools.

Let's show our elected officials the honorable way out and let them know that we won't sit quietly by while they mortgage the future of California for personal gain. It's time for the people to lead and the politicians to follow. All our children are all our children and they should bleed no further. Stop the hemorrhaging.

When cuts to education pull the already bottoming out budgets to below sustainable levels, the effect is a gutting of the schools by carving into infrastructure eviscerating the whole operation. In our city, for example, none of the Elementary schools have a vice principal - as if, there was no need for a lieutenant in charge of the many facets that Vice Principals used to stand watch over. Music, language arts, drama, and even science - yes science - have been relegated to enrichment programs as if they were afterthoughts to the required and mandatory curriculum dictated by standardized tests. Don't even get me started about how unbalanced a standardized, fixed, test-driven curriculum is and why it is a fundamentally flawed way to treat all children - as if they were automatons and learn in a uni-dimensional fashion.

Indeed, our State is in a financial pickle. But if you believe the hype that we are broke as a community, you are buying into the propaganda shoveled in heaping piles by those on the right that believe our money is better off in their pockets. Now is not the time to slash and burn California's and for that matter America's schools. Now is the time to invest in the children. Instead of decimating OUR schools, I say double down on public education, shoot we can even use the money raised by tripling down on public education.

Think about it. How much does it cost to incarcerate an individual? While it is not possible to calculate the good value a fantastically educated child can drive, but we most certainly know that uneducated individuals are a fiscal and social drain on every aspect of the very fabric of our society. Wouldn't you rather invest in the children at the front end and hopefully divert as many children into viable careers by educating them in positive ways?

We can't afford to settle on any thing less as a Nation, as if we abandon the investments in all our children, we abandon our own selves as a society. The status quo, and the initiatives driven from the right are not my values, and don't yield the America I believe in. And if you believe in all our children, you would support superior schools from the ground up as a means of investing in our future. In the long run, doubling, even tripling down on public education will save us money, and the ROI will be enormous; almost incalculable - priceless you might add.

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