This from Franklin Schargel, one of my favorite authors, motivational speakers, trainers and lifelong educators.
It is time to end the charade of the concern of politicians and conservatives about the future of America. The United States supports the building of schools in and around the world because we know that education is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to build a country. Go into a room of highly successful people anywhere in the room and you will find one commonality. Most people sitting in that room were able to achieve their success by succeeding in their educational systems. Education should be the one budget item that is protected at all costs. In the 21st century, great countries will have great schools. So it is strange that we engage in nation building in foreign countries and scrimp at home. How is it that we can afford to increase our military budget, and cannot afford to invest in America’s children’s future? It would appear to me that this is a great way for our country to compete with other countries in the future. If we look at China and India, they were able to leapfrog much of the rest of the world by laser-like focusing on education.
We keep on hearing that education is expensive. It isn’t! Ignorance is. We either will pay for education up-stream or the lack of education downstream. Over 70% of our nation’s prisoners are school dropouts. We were told that the reason we couldn’t limit executive pay on Wall Street was because we needed the best and brightest to run these companies, yet the same people who told us that are now saying we need to limit teacher pay to save money.
Good schools benefit everyone. Poor children who get a good education become successful adults who contribute rather than drain the system. Tax dollars are going to them one way or the other. We need to find a more equitable way to pay for schools other than property tax, especially as our population grows older. It creates a huge burden on property owners and massive inequities. America was built by having free, public education for all. Yet, we are abandoning our goal of a good education for all. Budget cuts are undermining our long-term prospects for a prosperous society, by shortchanging our youth of the skills that they need to contribute. We’re eating America’s seed corn!
Thank you Franklin!