Hot Topic, School Funding
Every election I have voted to increase school funding by paying more taxes, and every year I see these emotional pleas for more funding. I don’t have children at home, but have volunteered at the schools, and have donated as well. I thought that one of the benefits of voting to legalize marijuana in Colorado, was to help support the schools. According to CPR, that is not the case. My taxes are crazy high! When I look at my yearly property tax breakdown, and a significant amount of that is going to the school, why is it that the schools are still underfunded? I realize that’s a complicated question to answer. I don’t remember the schools in Oregon ever complaining about needing more money. I do not expect teachers to supply their own classrooms, and I do support good wages for teachers. As fellow educators, what is your opinion on this?
“We don’t ask ask doctors or nurses to pay for medicine or surgical equipment.”—Wow, this really struck a strong chord within me. I never thought about how others social services are completely funded; firemen are not buying their own fire trucks. It is really difficult to pinpoint where money is going. For Colorado, a lot of the Marijuana money is placed in underfunded schools throughout Colorado. As stated by Rittman (2016), “The first $40 million goes to a state program called BEST, which awards grants to local school districts to build and improve school facilities. Again, $40 million is not enough to build a bunch of schools and change the face of education in the state, but it is producing tangible upgrades through the BEST program, particularly in rural districts. This most recent year, the state collected $2.6 million above that $40 million cap. That money is transferred to a public school fund, where it contributes a tiny amount to the $5.4 billion cost of running public schools each year in Colorado” (news source). It seems like this money to going to good sources, but as always, we need more money.
I also think that it is hard for many schools to gain equitable funding because of the PTA. One school raised 150 thousand dollars while another school raised a few thousand. How is this fair? How can a school in the same district have much more money and better supplies versus a school that may be right across the street? If we are to start making schools fair, it only makes sense that schools be capped off at a certain rate for how much PTA money can go to one school. After this, the remained money should be distributed throughout the community. As you stated, you don’t have children at home but you still want to pay for children to have a wonderful education. If this is the case, PTA members shouldn’t have a hard time seeing that we need to have all our children be intelligent community members. I really hope schools can start sharing money that is raised to help all our educators, students, and community members raise healthy, happy children.
The first quote about doctors not having to pay for supplies, or pilots to pay for gas is such an amazing connection here to the injustice that is plaguing teachers. Our kind hearts are being taken advantage of and is such a shame. The United States should really be caring more for their students and the people that are educating them, but we are very far from an ideal world with education funding. A good read.