There is no shortage of reasons we need to have a world-class education system, but at its most fundamental, we need to make sure the generations that come after us, who will run the world we retire into, are not stupid. I support the full funding of education, especially early childhood education. Today, we do not have a unified system for early childhood education, which means we are throwing our tax dollars at a patchwork of systems, hoping it will produce results, despite history showing us that it doesn’t.
A major challenge is the fact that we rely so heavily on local property taxes. Wealthier areas can afford better-funded schools as a result of this system. The children who live in less affluent areas will not have the resources to provide a good quality education. That produces a socioeconomic – and often racial – disparity in education.
Schools need social workers, nurses, counselors, and librarians. It’s not a question of what teachers want. These are the support staff that allow students to have a full education. Simply asking teachers to take on these new roles is not what they trained for. It’s not what their job is supposed to be.
The largest increase in costs in higher education has not been educators; it has been administration. Do we need all the new administrative positions that are swelling our expenses and our pension costs? Especially in light of the fact that our Constitution requires us to fulfill those new pension obligations, we need to be sure that these positions are necessary.
Private business talks about spending more for top talent, but we change the narrative when it comes to teachers; teachers are highly educated and well-qualified, but too often seen as expendable hired help. We need to stop thinking of schools as businesses; they are not here for profit, they are to make sure we have an educated populace.