Our school districts are in trouble. There isn’t enough money to support the needs and wants of our districts. The shortfalls are threatening many districts to consider cutting everything from forensics to football.
I went to great public schools. I had great teachers and not so good teachers. But, there was never a chance that I was going to fall through the cracks.
It’s different today. Economic issues, single parent homes, technology, drugs, sex, and more have put the schools in a position to deal with more than ever.
I’ve listened to the old sages argue the old “it was good enough for me, so it should be good enough for them.” But, you don’t hear the old sages saying that about their Medicare, Social Security, senior citizens’ discounts.
The fact is that our kids should be educated in a way that fits today, not my day, or my parents’ day.
How do we do it?
Just paying taxes doesn’t do it, not now, not ever. Taxes only cover a portion. The rest we need to do.
We need to sit down with our school boards and determine what the public can do, and what the teachers can do. We need to sit down with the teachers’ unions and work with them to take some of the jobs out of the system and put them into a volunteer effort. We have examples all over the place, just at on a smaller scale.
Instead of thinking of how we can cut, we need to think about how we can supplement what we have, how we can grow, how we can achieve. We want more, not less.
An area of support could be the unemployed. With 9.7 percent of us collecting unemployment checks, this is could be a huge windfall for education, or any public needs, for that matter.
This is not meant to shame those who do not have jobs, but to realize that tax dollars spent can be used for public good, and that there is dignity in work. Why couldn’t an unemployment check come with the requirement of 20 hours a week of public service?
We have Lions Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Women’s Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, and more. We have more retired people than ever before. Why can’t we have local school district clubs, clubs that take on some of the labor that tax dollars currently support?
Retirement used to be the precursor to death. Today, for many, it’s the precursor to a great life past paid employment. Who says a retired person couldn’t contribute to our schools?
It’s time to brainstorm. It’s time to rise above, not cut. It’s time to take inventory of all of our assets. It’s time to think about real solutions.