Children are the future of our society. If we want smart, accomplished citizens who can make informed decisions, start wonderful businesses, and create a fantastic future, we need to invest in them. It doesn’t matter if that child is born to parents who are impacted by poverty or to parents who are wealthy and can afford a world-class education. Both of those children will grow up to affect our future as a society, so great education is a wonderful way to invest in our future.
So why are we struggling to provide free, quality education to children worldwide? And why is the U.S. turning against extracurricular classes, special needs classes, and providing adequate school funding?
Let’s explore some of the reasons and discuss what you can do about it.
Education is not dying. But in America, it is going through a rough time. Public education is headed by a woman who believes that privatization, which is shown to have negative educational outcomes, is the way we should go. Education is a path out of poverty.
And it’s not just math, language, and history — it’s making good education decisions: like including music classes, like sports without fees in public schools, or providing teachers the tools to do their jobs. Even with the associated costs, sports and music are shown to give people better educational outcomes. And when you charge for them, you can prevent lower-income families from taking part. It can be very tempting to cut these courses, but they are vital to offering a complete educational experience.
There are signs to watch for when looking for signs of educational death. Do your politicians brag about defunding educational funding? Talking about property tax cuts means direct cuts to public education. Pay attention to what your school and government are teaching local children.
What Does Good Public Education Look Like?
Good public education is more than up-to-date math textbooks, seats, and teachers; it’s about providing our teachers and schools with the tools and resources to prepare children to be smart adults. That can mean different things for children in different areas. A child living in a fly-in only cabin out in the Alaskan wilderness may see huge benefits from online education, whereas a child whose parents work out of the home may see more benefits in subsidized child care. Good public education is focused on children and how we can use techniques we know will help them succeed to become better, smarter adults.
How Can You Support Education for Children?
Public education is a great way to invest in a society. We all understand that children should be given the best future we can offer.
But how can you support your school?
Individual actions are a great way to take control over your children’s future: things like buying additional school supplies if you can afford it, voting for better schools, or advocating for children whose parents can’t take the time to help out. If you have the time and resources to help in bake sales, don’t look down on the people who can’t. Be the community for them.
Community actions help with large-scale changes. While you may be able to read to your child at night, help them with their homework, and take them to additional after-school classes, other people in your community may not be able to. Attempting to change the access other children have at a large scale is hard, but it can be something to attempt. A fantastic move would be talking to local representatives and voting for people that present strong education platforms.
Education is vital for children. It’s an investment in our future as a society. There are plans that are better for some areas over others, so be sure to advocate for strategies that help your community. You can support education. You can support the future.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons