Olympic Runners

Alex Paramo

Today my daughter ran around a track several times to raise money for her school. While this is a great cause, I wondered why everyone is not running around tracks to raise awareness for the need to better and more equitably fund our schools. As we all know, the U.S. position as a top educator has been on the decline for several years. Why are our elected officials not making education their top priority? Are our children not our future anymore? There are over 55 million students in our public school system, isn’t it time we make those students a true top priority? While the U.S. spends more money on education than any other country, our teachers are not the highest paid and therefore it is unclear what these funds are being spent on. Additionally, public schools face budget cuts that force them to eliminate Arts and other programs.

It is time that we have a comprehensive national strategy/plan to bolster up our public education system. A plan that includes leveling the playing field to ensure that every child, regardless of income, has an equal opportunity and access to a top-level, education that includes the Arts and extra-curricular activities. A plan that includes a strategy for developing our current crop of teachers, while also attracting talented individuals who are dissuaded from the profession due to the low pay. A plan that includes funds for parent education programs that would enable parents to sit down and help their children succeed academically. A plan that would place new/emergent technology at the finger-tips of our students. A plan that includes inserting peace strategies/education into the curriculum. Unless we demand increased funding by reorganizing our national priorities, we might have to enlist Olympic runners for our public school fundraisers. I would gladly vote that we take at least half of the military budget to finance the new national education plan and I think you would too.

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