"Let's Redirect Education Funding"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our country’s politics are just short of ridiculous but are quickly racing along to reach that point.

We all are aware the year is 2013 and the next national election is a year distant but some party members feel the need to gain a head start. Ads accusing officials of failing to properly represent their constituents are appearing on TV, print news media and via telephone surveys.

I received a call the other day requesting I provide answers regarding the things I felt needed correcting and how I would go about doing so. I chose not to participate in the survey but my answer would have been; “I would like to find a candidate that could think for themselves.” If I wanted to advise what should be done, I would run for elected office. At the very least, I would expect to be paid what elected officials or their office aides receive for providing assistance.

As I listen to endless political discussions, I hear many speakers passing the buck. (Surprise!) Some say our country’s problems are caused by the lack of “efficient schooling.” When the discussion reaches this point, some are quick to blame our education deficiencies on the seniors. They say the consensus among seniors is: “I have no children in school therefore I will vote against school funding.”

As I see it, the premise that seniors all vote against education is totally wrong. Most of them have grandchildren in the schools systems: why would they not support them?

A way needs to be found to improve school systems without decreasing funding, cutting teachers or their pay. More thought needs to be applied to how our schools are run and if we are headed in the right direction.

I’ve met students who can barely spell their own name and many more that have great difficulty dealing with simple math equations. We have created more problems by providing computers and other electronic devices to grade school students. They allow them to sidestep the need to learn the three R’s. (Remember them: reading, writing and arithmetic).

We allow conversations electronically in phonics instead of requiring proper writing and spelling.

It has always been my belief, since the advent of the electronic-digital age: the new wave is moving us along so fast we are actually regressing. Before all of us have learned how to store secrets electronically, others have learned how to locate them. Just consult with Mr. Snowden. And consider this: the country he is hiding in is considering turning back to the days of the Underwood and paper. A big problem with that move may be all the file cabinets where paperwork could be stored have been scrapped. With today’s electronic storage, a complete file cabinet of information can be stored on a stick the size of your thumb.

As I listened to a discussion about what to do to support our schools, I heard another remark countless times. The pre-schools have failed to benefit the youngsters educationally; they simply serve as a babysitting service. Too bad the kids are not allowed to be kids for a while instead of “achievers.”

Voting against financial support for education will not benefit our youngsters in any way — we all need to support our schools. We could do so by demanding that a portion of the billions in aid we send to countries overseas be put to work more beneficially in our country for education.

Most students drive, are dropped off or ride a bus to school and have no difficulty finding it. A good sum of money could be re-directed by eliminating the fancy facades; gigantic lettering and elaborate landscaping. Flashing, electronic signage with dates and time provide little benefit for students; they have only to glance at their phones or check clocks in classrooms. They are also expensive to maintain.

If all items not necessary for educating were eliminated, we could reduce architectural, electrical, landscaping, maintenance and a host of other expenses. There is no advantage for students to have such expenses in school budgets. While discussing this idea I was told that perhaps some of those items are paid for with grant money: grant money comes from the general budget funded by our tax dollars.

We need to study the needs of each school system, determine how teachers can be trained and equipped to teach their students what their future holds and how to function and succeed in a new age. Perhaps less time should be spent studying the past.

With proper studies and a direction focused on education, we may become an advancing country instead of one that is rapidly falling behind.




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