By Spike Dolomite Ward, a heartbroken public school mom
So you don’t have kids, don’t want kids, can’t stand kids, and could care less about what you hear on the nightly news regarding the further deterioration of public education in America. Or you have kids, but also have a lot of money, and can afford to send your kids to private school (away from “the element” some of the more “high bred” parents have said), or you are retired and are done with the whole business of raising kids and could care less about what is happening at the school at the end of the block, where your own kids went, back in the day when parents all sent their kids to the school at the end of the block, during a time when there was no such thing as one private school for every public school, magnets, charters, or work permits in the more elite zip codes. Why should you care?
1. Because this is America. We are not third world, even though many of our schools are.
2. Because well educated people don’t break into people’s homes in the middle of the night while they’re sleeping to steal their stuff so they can sell it out on the street and thus pay their way through another miserable day of their own private hells.
3. Because well educated people grow up to get really good jobs. And when more and more people get better paying jobs, they pay more taxes. And when they pay more taxes, local services improve, such as police, fire, and street maintenance.
4. Because neighborhoods have lost their hearts. We need the neighborhood schools to open their doors again to be the center of the town squares where things happen and people get together.
5. Because investing in public education opens our own small worlds, where we can all become a part of the greater good, and continue on with our own life long educations.
6. Because Americans have been living for themselves for far too long. Looking out for Number One has made a bunch of zeros out of all of us.
7. Because we all need the kids of today to be smart enough to get us out of the messes that we have left for them.
8. Because when we’re old, we’re going to have to depend on the next generation to take care of us. Will they take good care of us, when we haven’t taken very good care of them?
9. Because every kid in America deserves a great education, no matter where their parents come from, how much money they make, or what color skin they have.
10. Because John Adams said so! He wrote, “Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially for the lower classes of people, are so extremely wise and useful that to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.”