To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

New Observercast

Money And Education

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BY SHARON MARTIN

Sharon MartinThere’s a lot of money to be made in education … unless you’re a teacher.

Teachers with proper training are indispensible, and the folks in power are still trying to figure out how to dispense with us. Public schools are also vital. And so are supportive parents. Parents support, teachers teach, and students learn.

Testing companies and for-profit schools siphon away money needed for public education to thrive.

What is the reason for chipping away at this bedrock of democracy? Why do elected officials jump on the testing and privatization bandwagon?

A look at campaign donations explains the most likely reason. In exchange for campaign cash, our representatives at the Capitol are willing to destroy the very foundation on which the jobs and lives of their constituents stand.

It is true that some of our schools are failing, starved for the resources they need and spending the little they have on yet another test that funnels money into corporate coffers. Lawmakers spread the lie that choice will fix failing schools.

It is also true that some charter schools are superb. According to a Stanford University Study, 17% of charter schools outperformed public schools.

Also a fact: 37% of them did far worse.

Children in poverty and English Language Learners benefit from charter schools. This makes sense; children in poverty often come from cash-strapped school districts. And all students would benefit from more learning time.

Testing that is mandated for public – but not private – schools takes as many as 20 to 30 days out of the 180-day school term. Testing isn’t learning, folks.

In the United States, there is a correlation between a state’s per pupil spending and per capita income. In Oklahoma, where we rank fourth in the percentage of citizens who are hungry, we also rank near the bottom on per pupil spending. Cuts in education spending and the drive to privatize will only make things worse.

Educated citizens are good for the state. They are healthier. They raise healthier children. They pay more in taxes to fund education and other necessities. And they contribute to a better quality of life in the state.

Cutting corners on education is no bargain. And robbing schools of the funds they need so our elected mob can pay back campaign debts is outright theft.

Public education and highly skilled teachers in the classroom are indispensible in a democracy. They are also one of the best bargains around.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Sharon Martin refers to a democracy as if it’s something to be cherished. The United States of America was not founded as a democracy. The founding fathers warned against a democracy. It is (or was before the Constitution was shredded by the PATRIOT act and other unconstitutional legislation) a Republic. Perhaps if the system of education in this country taught history as it actually occurred the nation wouldn’t be in the sad condition it’s in.

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.