Colorado teachers are headed to the State Capitol on Friday, April 27th. They are following behind West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona in demanding sustainable salaries and increased school funding. You can watch a good video here: April 27th Colorado Teachers.
Colorado, like Oklahoma, has 4-day school weeks to save money in 45% of their districts. You can read a good article here from Colorado Public Radio: Colorado Public Radio Article 2017.
Reflection: when I was growing up, my community put education first. Yes, it is costly, but education is the focal point of any community. Quality education levels the playing field, and is the economic and social engine of any healthy community. It says a lot about our priorities as a country when we don’t put education first. And, we can’t compete with the rest of the world unless we do. Let’s put children and families first in all that we do!
Have a great day!
Are the Kids All Right? A society that is civil makes sure to take care of the youngest. Children do not vote, so how do they rank in the electoral process in your state? And who watches out for their interests?
Weekly Action: Universal prekindergarten would be a great benefit to families and to our economy. Access to education and care during the first 5 years is critical to the success of any child over their entire life. Does your state fund prekindergarten programs? If this issue so moves you, how can you get involved?
- Georgia was the first state in the nation to pass universal prekindergarten funding back in the late 1990s. An entire generation of Georgia children have had access to prekindergarten.
- California tried and failed with their ballot initiative back in 2006, but a new coalition called Choose Children is going to try again by putting the interests of children front and center when we vote for the next California governor in November 2018.
Reflection on Georgia:
Universal prekindergarten is now funded in Georgia without income limitations and is a bi-partisan electoral success. It is here to stay and benefits the state in so many ways. How did it come about? Here is a great article from the Atlantic:
Georgia’s program could be funded at a higher level, in order to eliminate the wait-list. However, Georgia, unlike California, has a solid base of understanding across all electoral constituencies upon which to build.
Each day, my thought goes out to how to build a more civil, supportive society that benefits all and becomes “the norm” upon which a vast majority can agree. Universal prekindergarten is one of those issues that can cross polarized political lines. Instead of arguing about what the future should look like, it is important to recognize that, in some states, the future has arrived. Let’s all follow Georgia’s example and put children first!
Have a great week,
My phone banking team was calling into Oklahoma in support of a State House candidate in October 2017. The fact sheet said that the schools were only open 4 days a week due to state budget cuts. I was dumbfounded. I had never heard of that before. And here we are a few months later and that fact is in the news everywhere. Vox News has a great set of podcasts as to what is happening in Oklahoma, West Virginia and Arizona and you can listen here: Vox: Oaklahoma Walkout Explained
Why is education important? Because it is one of the tools that equalizes society and provides an engine for economic growth. Without it, we will not be able to compete in the world. Period.
Weekly Action: what is the state of education in your community? Is education a priority or is more support needed? Please call your State and US Congressional Representative and thank them if the schools are in good shape. If the schools are underfunded, ask them to make education a #1 priority. The calls only take 2 minutes and they are the first step in putting an issue on your elected representatives’ radar.
Personal Reflection: I grew up in a small town in Ohio with a school system that was first rate. I didn’t always like going to school, but, I never doubted the value of the education I received.
The schools had a lot of community support. One year, my mom headed the committee to ensure passage of the “tax levy” to increase school funding. She always said that the tax amounted to the cost of a bag of groceries over a one-year period.
About that bag of groceries: If people in communities are getting raises in their jobs, then they have the money to give the schools a raise. If wages are not increasing and not equal, that bag of groceries becomes a big deal.
Without adequate funding, the schools start cutting back and do not provide art and music and other activities that make life worth living and it all becomes a downward spiral.
Let’s start an upward spiral and put families and communities first.
Have a great week,