Find a way to support education

Published 11:08 pm Thursday, December 10, 2009

Over the past few years the same story has been written over and over again. The story has told of economic struggles, declining tax revenues and governmental spending cuts.

Along with those cuts have come reductions in the spending allocated to our education systems.

Public education systems across the country have cut teachers, support personnel and programs to help balance budgets. In many cases, students have seen their chances of taking advanced and different classes cut with the teachers who taught them and seen the number of students crammed into each classroom increased.

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Public education is an expense. It does not generate revenue. It is — by definition — public. It is funded by taxpayers and is often looked at as an area that can be trimmed and cut.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Education is an investment. An investment that must be nurtured, looked after and properly placed. Education is an investment into our community, state and country’s future. Public education is an investment into our children’s future.

Public school systems do not have a board of trustees that can simply vote to raise tuition 5, 10, or 30 percent to cover budget shortfalls. Public systems are not able to rely on rich television contracts showcasing football or basketball games. Our public systems must survive with what they get. Period.

In this current economy, the level of funding to our public schools will be reduced. Our systems will again go through the process of budget cuts, cutting teachers and programs.

And, we will all look around and wonder why test scores have dropped or dropout rates have increased.

One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

For years, we have cut teachers, cut programs and removed advanced classes. That cannot continue.

If we want improved results from our schools, if we want the best for our children, then we must find ways to better fund education or make better use of the money received. We must challenge our school leaders to change the way they are doing things and think outside the box.

For if we continue to do the same thing, then we are insane to think anything will be different this time around.