What To Do NOW

It’s that time again. Parents have been busy checking off the list of supplies their child will need to start school. We’ve seen multiple FB posts by parents stunned at what it will cost them to make sure their children have what they need and that’s before school fees.

But that’s really not the purpose of this post.

What we would like to point out and share is how this all comes back to what our government (Federal and State) are spending – or more accurately, not spending – on our children’s education. AND, our President is calling for cuts to federal education spending by $9.2 billion.

Parents aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch when it comes to additional spending for the start of school.   Teachers feel it too. Yes, we’ve all heard about the Oklahoma teacher who resorted to panhandling on the side of the road to help her fund classroom supplies, but we have teachers right here in Jeffco who are asking for donations (DonorsChoose.org) to help them fund needed supplies/tools for their students.

One, a Kindergarten teacher at Arvada K-8 has resorted to asking for donations a few times over the past year to help her provide Wiggle While They Work seats, an easel, and a classroom rug for her 24 kindergarten students.

Another post was to help a 1st grade teacher:

“…my friend Shannon is an amazing 1st grade teacher for Jeffco Schools. She has worked so hard for this grant, and is just $175 away from her goal for flexible seating for her students in her classroom.”

And our state education leaders are wondering why we have a teacher shortage.

We came across this recent article by our friend, Jeff Bryant.  http://progressive.org/public-school-shakedown/is-back-to-school-season-more-expensive-yes-and-heres-why/

Jeff takes a look nationally and poses the question:

“Who benefits when we cut school funding?

Slashing education budgets at the federal, state, or local level doesn’t save money; it just shifts costs somewhere else.”

Essentially, all our education woes are interconnected: severe teacher shortage, the expense of school supplies at the start of the year, in some cases loss of programs, and some districts even lose a school day.

It’s all about how we fund our public schools – or, most recently, don’t fund our public schools.  

In Colorado, we haven’t been able to brag about adding to what we fund public education for many years– in some cases, our legislators have made a big deal about not cutting as much as they originally thought, or slicing the pie differently (they do a lot of that lately); but the size of the pie hasn’t grown since the Negative Factor – now more appropriately referred to as the B.S. Factor (the B.S. actually stands for Budget Stabilization, but you can attach your own meaning to it and we won’t argue).

Here are some good things we can all do with little effort NOW:

Sign this petition posted on Great Education Colorado’s website:

Directed to Colorado’s congressional delegation – Oppose cuts in education funding and keep public dollars in public schools

https://greateducation.salsalabs.org/providestepsnotstumblingblocks/index.html

Sign up for The Colorado Education Network – bringing together people and organizations who support public education and are committed to finding common ground in ensuring it is available to all. http://coloradoeducationnetwork.org

Most importantly, please remember, we all have the greatest impact and the most influence at a local level. Pay attention to our Jeffco Board of Ed races and get involved.