Public Schools Need Funding
by: Reagan Rodgers
As the child of two educators, I have always been extremely aware of a two things. One being that education is perhaps the most valuable right all American children are lucky enough to have. The second is that some Americans don’t value education, namely politicians, of whom have a tendency to not fund public schools like they should.
When I was 10 years old and Rick Perry was the governor of Texas, my parents took me to a march on the capitol building. We joined around 11,000 teachers, students, and others in a peaceful protest that consisted of speeches, signs, and umbrellas with words like “It’s raining, Gov. Perry!” (in response to his decision to cut nearly $10 billion from the state public education fund and refusing to use the ‘rainy day’ fund set aside for this purpose). It was at this age that I began to truly see just how important it is for schools to get the funding they need. This budget decrease resulted in art and music programs being cut, class sizes being increased, and school staff members being let go.
Watching former teachers being let go because there just wasn't enough funding to keep them and watching class sizes double because schools had to let teachers go was hard. For some states, this has gotten bad enough that teachers are on strike. In Oklahoma, students fight over chairs and textbooks because anything decent is so rare that it's worth fighting for. Thankfully, Texas doesn't treat teachers that horribly, but still not enough funding is given to teachers.
Many politicians do everything they can to continually take from public schools simply because they think everyone should be attending private schools. While the idea of getting to attend a cushy private school sounds nice, not everyone is rich. Several people who support this idea have students in the public education system, which, to me, is a major flaw in logic.
Instead of cutting funding from public schools in hopes to encourage parents to enroll their kids in private schools, the state government needs to redirect its goals towards providing an education for every child. The goal should not be to keep giving more and more advantages to the rich, but instead to provide opportunities for the middle and lower classes. Public schools are so vital to almost every single child, and they should be the most important thing to the state government officials, not the least important.