Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cut the Budget

I was just reading this article about further financial woes and teacher layoffs facing the ailing School District of Philadelphia. I was browsing through some of the comments below the article and this one comment really stood out to me, and this person said everything I was feeling so perfectly that I had to share:

The District has money. The state has money. The United States of America has money.

You worked for it, you know it exists. They're just not spending it on your kids. Or your health. Or your public transportation. Or your bridges that are falling down.

But back to the specific issue at hand, my favorite part of the press release was this:

"But, the anticipated funding cuts, now being proposed, will in fact disrupt the district's ability to serve Philadelphia's 200,000 public school students and sustain the momentum of the past eight consecutive years of rising test scores and charter school expansion."

The momentum of the past eight consecutive years of... rising test scores and charter school expansion?

Huh? From the build-up, I thought maybe it was going to say we had experienced eight years of improving the drop-out rate, sending more Philadelphia students to college each year than we did the year before, seeing more and more Philadelphia students take charge of their own education, design class projects alongside their teachers, coordinate volunteer programs, get involved in their communities, tutor younger students, visit more college campuses, etc. etc. You know, some actual measure of education that improves the functioning of one's mind, builds character, and leads to more and better options in life.

Nope. Eight years of rising test scores and charter school expansion.

Eight years of empty numbers and increasing privatization of everything that the American public once valued. Now the value of education is: Which companies can get in on the money? Everything is for sale, even your child's education.

Great. Hate to disrupt that. Would that we could.

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