Monday, June 27, 2011

Education Spending

Corbett planned to wipe out more than $1 billion in basic education funding, when proposed his budget. That included zeroing out grants to districts for prekindergarten, full-day kindergarten, and class-size reduction in kindergarten through third grade. Unbelievable. I know we have to save money and reduce our spending, but reducing education dollars in the long run will actually cost us more.

How? Think of it rationally. Uneducated children are more likely to commit crimes and that will cause our law enforcement dollars to go up. Young adults who don’t know the fundamentals of reading may not be able to properly read a food label and could compromise their health which ultimately will cause our health care costs up. Ill prepared youth will not possess the critical thinking needed to learn complex skills and get jobs like doctors, scientists, lawyers, and other professionals which will cause a shortage in those fields and limit what can be worked on. Bottom line is that reducing spending on our children now will hurt our future later.

This is even more pronounced in the poor school districts are already compromised with reduced spending ability for their students. The richer districts may be able to make up the difference on the backs of the parents (which is a whole other issue) but the poor districts cannot rely on that assistance. If a child is not given the tools to learn effectively, the child will be at a great disadvantage later. Those children may not get the motivation they need to transcend the effects of poverty and larger groups of people will be unable to change the course of their lives for the better.

Of course that is probably precisely what our current administration is trying to do. If we reduce the amount of poor who are able to compete with the upper class then a “better” class of people will continue to be able to live as they are accustomed to and won’t have to worry about “those people”. This is not a question of saving money necessarily, this is a question about saving the future for the financially advantaged. But in the long run it affects everyone, and it is short sighted to expect otherwise.

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