I received an email from my university’s Alumni program urging us to contact our state legislature about the loss of state funding and it saddens me. In a time where people are losing jobs, education needs to be at the highest priority but instead it takes another massive hit.
On one hand people who want less government assistance programs and less spending are getting their wish but there has to be another way. At what point are we going to put education first in this country? We can cut waste in the schools but it’s not like there is all that much to cut from. Instead why not model more from these institutions that have been functioning and use them to fix the problems with bigger waste. Use these institutions to educate people now so that we can use our greatest resource, the people. Instead we are cutting funding to the one thing that might actually be our savior.
I’m scared for our future. I often refer to the cult movie Idiocracy when something from the movie comes true. And I’m sure the movie was base on a few generic things but the basic premise is that American society is getting dumber every generation. I think it begins with moves to put education on the back burner in favor of other government programs. What good is national defense and healthcare going to be to us in a few years if we are too stupid to figure anything out? Where will out greatest minds come from if all our educational institutions are closing down? How effective will we learn if there are 40 to 1 student teacher ratios?
Our schools can’t be babysitters to the disenfranchised youth; they need to be models of our society. Educators need to have the resources to provide for the students and that requires funding. The alternate future is every school becomes more expensive and that create a larger gap between the people that can afford school and the rest of the country. And the wider this gap becomes the less likely Americans will be qualified to work at the jobs that pay well and then they will be filled by people from countries that do make education a priority. And hey that is their right. But is that how we want our future to work out?
I was just listening to a story on NPR where they were praising a state funded music program in South America. During the story they interviewed an American that was down there to study how it was being run and they commented that this type of program is impossible to get done in America. And I was saddened, again. How is it we cut programs like the arts and education even at the highest levels but somehow can afford fighting the battles of other nations? It is truly a disturbing future we are creating and I don’t want to have that for my children.
So do what you can. I’m going to send a letter to my State legislature and urge them to think long and hard about what kind of future they want for their children. So I urge you to do the same and if we unite our voices we can be heard loud and clear.