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School Budget Cuts Need More Than a Band-Aid

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Guest blogger Jen: Last week, I attended a meeting wherein our school's parents' association looked over the annual fundraising budget. Should we keep the PE teacher? Yes. (With the obesity rate in the States at a high for children, that wasn't a question.) What about the Spanish teacher and the drama teacher? Some may think that these positions aren't necessary, but in truth, they prepare kids for the real world.

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As a parent, I feel that each year I give more. More of my time, more of my money, more of myself. "It's for the good of my kids and their friends," I tell myself. But at the same time, I don't see help in sight. I take time away from my own kids, and I'm spending more out-of-pocket, thereby tightening the budget belt in my own home.

So yeah -- I'm tired. I'm tired of seeing my tax money being spent elsewhere, on everything but the issue that means the most to me: education. I'm frustrated that the money has been spent on filling potholes during the day (causing massive traffic jams and making me late for work) rather than on an after-school program for my kid. (Neither my husband nor I can pick her up early; we have to be a two-income family in order to keep paying bills -- including those that have increased tax rates so that the aforementioned roadwork can be done.)

What happened to America? What happened to our schools? What happens to the kids who don't get into a good school, or whose teachers are failing them? People, we need to help our kids and ourselves. It's time to give Washington a ring, an e-mail and a holler. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has submitted a bill -- Senate Bill 3206, the "Keep Our Educators Working Act" -- to the House of Appropriations. The bill would provide $23 billion nationwide to save teacher and personnel positions that are necessary to keep our schools from going from bad to worse.

Why should anyone care? Because without education, we have nothing. There will be more crime, there will be more unemployment and we will see towns socioeconomically divided because of the schools. Without this bill, we will have even bigger class-sizes, fewer teachers, more inefficiently run schools, fewer programs and more kids on the street.

Education gives our kids not only the hope to dream, but the tools to succeed. We have underestimated the value of education because the United States has always been the best at things. Guess what? Not so much, anymore. Unemployment is crippling our cities, fat-cat corporations are getting money to drill (destroying our environment in the process) ... plus, it's still a long road to any substantial economic recovery.

Let's face it: We need our kids well-educated, because they are going to need to know how to rebuild America. Call your State Senator or Representative Dave Obey (D-WI), Chair of the Appropriations Committee (202-225-3508), today. The House will be voting on SB 3206, and they need to hear from us that they must support this bill, our children and our future.


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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lisa May 24, 2010, 11:14 AM

My answer to this was send my child to private school. We found the money, did without some things, and it was the best decision for us.

Kristen May 24, 2010, 4:09 PM

Our answer to this was to homeschool. It was has been AMAZING!! Our children are thriving in ways we could have never imagined and so is our family AND our marriage.

Trish May 26, 2010, 12:55 PM

To Lisa and Kristen - Do either of you plan on collecting Social Security someday? Or seeing a doctor or dentist in your senior years? Or want bridges or roads that won’t crumble due to engineering miscalculations? Do you plan on flying on an airplane 20 years from now? Are you confident that your plumbing will always work? … Plain and simple, the students of today are the workers of tomorrow, so your answers of private school and homeschooling do nothing for the greater good of society.

Cheap Conveyancing  February 15, 2011, 2:57 PM

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