Money is not education’s problem

Published 12:34am Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It is difficult to tune out education advocates when they are constantly complaining about more and more money for schools.

You would think schools had been thrown under the political bus and left for road kill. I have yet to hear anyone discuss the root problems associated with the public school systems other than the allegation they are woefully under funded.

If I understand the advocates correctly, if there were more tax dollars thrown at education everything would be dandy.

We really are fortunate schools cannot borrow money like the federal government or it would have been over long ago.

However, if the schools are in crisis, the Alabama Legislature should do the right thing and forfeit their exorbitant pay raise they passed for themselves in 2007, and earmark it for schools or All Kids.

Personally, I think they had hoped everyone had forgotten about that burden they placed on the taxpayers. The Democrats rammed it through over the objections of Republicans, but Republicans are in charge now, therefore, they should now show some leadership. If it is not repealed or turned over to the suffering children of our state, Republicans are no better than Democrats.

Frankly, I do not believe either Democrats or Republicans would be in favor of that arrangement. If we could buy our politicians for what they are worth and sell them for what they think they are worth, the coffers would be running over with money. For sure, no one should expect full time pay for part time work.

Admittedly, it is difficult for someone of my generation to sympathize with the plight of the public school system.

My generation grew up with primitive conditions compared to today’s schools. Two room rural elementary public schools, where three grades were taught in each room by one teacher in each per room. Schools were without electricity or any modern conveniences.

Things were only slightly better in junior and senior high, but certainly not to the level of today. In addition, our parents provided food, school supplies, paid tuition, lab fees and whatever else was required in school.

I’m not sure how much today’s parents contribute to their children’s education but apparently it is far less now.

It is my contention the problems with public education is not with money, but with the disintegration of the family unit, intrinsic bureaucracy, the Department of Education, National Education Association, Alabama Education Association and, most importantly, the foundation of the schools.

“The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” — Benjamin Rush, On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic, 1806.

 

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