Education is the engine that will take us into the future. It is the journey of discovery of the world around us and our own inner world where we explore our own creative impulses.
Education is the venue where we pursue truth and facts and attempt to balance reason and passion. It is the cradle of Democracy. If we hope to confront the problems of our time we need to make it our first priority.
Recently I heard of public schools in Baltimore, Md., where there is no heat in winter, plumbing failed and pipes broke, resulting in no drinking water. I’ve heard of other schools where the roofs leak and the mold in the walls causes the children to be ill. Meanwhile, tax payers are paying millions of dollars for air strikes on Syria. It seems to me that our country would be better served by spending more money on education and less on bombs!
If we are serious about confronting the challenges that are impacting our lives, we need to seek representation in government that will support and fund public education. Recently I met Dan Feehan who would like to represent us in Washington and found myself enthralled as he presented his story. He discussed his experience as a soldier, teacher and Assistant Secretary of Defense. But what “blew me away” was his bearing. He managed to combine both confidence and humility. Also present was Thomas Trehus who is offering himself to represent us in our State government. He included in his presentation the fact that he lives with his family on a farm in rural Spring Grove. It’s wonderful to know that talented and qualified contenders exist, but in our society it depends on voters being informed and willing to relinquish old habits in order for them to be installed.
Education begins at birth. Our parents are our first teachers. They introduce us to the world and start the process of exploration. Each child is a gift to be unwrapped. When our child starts his or her formal education we are entrusting our most precious asset to others. Still parents have a role. They participate in PTA, voicing their opinions and being part of school programs. My husband and I are most grateful to the teachers of our three sons. They loved the subjects they taught and they loved the children. They respected the fact that each child is an individual and brings different skills to the learning experience.
Over the years we have seen a trend in cutting funding for education. Teachers are not respected and underpaid. Schools are overcrowded and understaffed. Students are not always provided with up-to-date books and equipment. Often art, music and sports are sacrificed.
Lately with the random gun violence in schools, conversation has taken a new turn. We have become fearful. It’s been suggested that we turn our schools into fortresses and arm teachers. This is not a good environment for learning. We can’t stop these attacks but we can reduce the number by keeping guns locked up and funding care for the mentally ill.
We have the resources in this country to offer our young people “the best education in the world”!
If we wish to make progress in dealing with poverty, injustice, climate change, drug addiction, healthcare, gun violence and be partners in the global economy, we will need all of us to become “Team America” working together to make it happen.
For those who have an open mind (or not!) more information can be found on the candidates websites!