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Begging for Educational Funds

At least 23 states have made huge cuts to public education this year and school districts are searching for ways to make up for the losses.  There are going to foundations, parent-teacher organizations, and business groups.

In New York City, foundations are being asked to pay for classroom supplies, music and art lessons.  In Lakeland, FL a church has provide $5,000 to pay for an elementary school’s resource room and math and English tutors.  Businesses are being asked if they would place corporate logos on cafeteria walls and on school ball fields.

School budgets have been cut beyond the bone and into the marrow.  Class sizes have been increased, the number of hours and days reduced, electives eliminated and students and parents are being asked to pay for workbooks, Advanced Placement Classes, extracurricular activities and basic instructional activities.

In Miami, FL, 4,500 students were cut from after-school programs.  Texas has cut pre-kindergarten programs for 100,000 children.  Not surprisingly, poor students are disproportionately affected far more:  in Pennsylvania education cut amounted to $581 in the poorest 150 school districts, but only $214 per student in the wealthiest 150 districts.

I am not a lawyer but I believe that this is a violation of the 14 amendment which guarantees equal treatment under the law.  It is time to bring law suits to stop these cuts.  Where is the American Federation of Teachers, or the National Education Association?  the Supreme Court of New Jersey ordered Governor Chris Christie and the state legislature to reinstate $500 million in funds for poor urban districts.  A North Carolina judge blocked cuts that would have decimated a statewide preschool program.

POLITICIANS HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL OBLIGATION TO PROTECT PUBLIC EDUCATION.  Remember that when you vote.

It is bad enough when students are begging motorists to have the cars washed in order to pay for school uniforms and activities.  Will politicians be happy when students and parents take to the streets to raise money to pay for textbooks, or chalk?

 

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