When I went to bed last night, I thought I would have to write a very different blog post this morning. I was afraid that, although I would be celebrating Obama’s win, I would be mourning devastating budget cuts to California’s public schools.
I was so afraid that I think I composed an entire blog post in my sleep about what we would have to do now, as a state, to make sure that we don’t lose an entire generation of children to this crisis. I was prepared to write about how public education affects ALL of us, not just families with children…how public education:
- Is an ECONOMIC ISSUE: There is literally no path to innovation and job creation without an educated workforce. Period.
- Is a CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE: There is literally no path from poverty into the middle class without equal access to quality education. Period.
- Is a WOMEN’S RIGHTS ISSUE: Public education is professional discipline that has been built on the backs and in the hearts of women throughout modern history. I believe that this is WHY it is an under-paid profession. We say we want our kids to be highly educated but we don’t value the people who are doing the work to make it so. When we talk about equal pay for equal work, we have to talk about why teachers aren’t paid as much as lawyers. We just have to solve this problem.
- Is a COMPASSION ISSUE: Kids spend the majority of their time in schools. Within these walls, they are learning how to express themselves, how to relate to other kids and adults, how to be effective in the world. When classrooms are crowded, when teachers are stressed out, when buildings are falling about, when all art and play have disappeared, when nutritious food isn’t available…etc. etc. etc…basically, when these places lack all of the necessary ingredients of a peaceful environment, how can we expect kids to be able to learn compassion?
Good thing I didn’t have to write this blog post though, huh. $6 billion in cuts were avoided when Californian’s did the right thing and passed Prop. 30. I can just sit back and celebrate now, right? It passed! We don’t have to worry for the future of our children…of our country now…do we?