I found this quote when looking up the history of public education in the United States:
“The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.”
How can we solve the problems we have created if we don’t understand them? How can we better ourselves as human beings if we ignore the mistakes we have already made? The vast majority of things we now take for granted could not have come about without education. And why shouldn’t that be open to everybody? How are we all equal if only the rich get to learn things? How can a person know where best to steer their life if they have no idea how to build the foundation for that life and what the choices for growth are?
And yet, what we have are conservatives, having tied themselves to the fundamentalist Christians, deciding that, in the words of Pink Floyd, we don’t need no education. They have a special way of “knowing”. And it seems to be coming back to bite them on the ass.
And I say, “It’s about fucking time.”
I’m in Tom Corbett’s state, and this guy has been a disgrace on education. (To be fair, he’s been a disgrace in a lot of areas, but this post is about education.) This FactCheck article shows what the claims are on both sides and explains how each side tries to spin what is actually happening.
So did Corbett increase education spending by $1.5 billion or slash it by $1 billion?
As with Michigan, the two main variables are the end of federal stimulus dollars and increased state payments toward the education employees’ retirement system.
Corbett is trying to claim an increase by including payments to the retirement system. That money does not go to education. This article also shows that the per pupil numbers Corbett is claiming have nothing to do with his choices — it’s all local sources propping up that number.
Education is the path for getting us out of our current predicaments, and it is the path for bettering ourselves. Cutting it off is destroying our future.