Change for Change: School Budget Cuts Hit Our Youngest at Home

16 Aug

orig. published 3/2/11

I don’t remember alot from when I was a little girl but I remember playing
with my Barbie’s, soccer, andSaturday morning cartoons but never once did it
cross my mind to worry about money or anything that money may or may not buy,
that was for the adults to worry about. $253 million, that’s the deficit at the
Dallas ISD and it seems like more and more that is all we hear about, lay offs,
budget cuts and shortages.  Whether we know it or not, our children are picking
up on this message and fear and at what cost to them?

This week, a 2nd grader at Diamond Hill Elementary in Fort Worth decided that
she would help.  With sincerity in her heart, little Maria Meneses, took a
plastic shopping bag to school with her and gave it to her principal saying,
“here, this is going to help.”  The bag only held $5 in loose change that was
originally meant for another good cause but didn’t get donated in time and the
rest was her college fund, but to Maria this money was going to help save a
beloved teacher or administrator that she didn’t want to loose.

How sad, that at a time when stability and encouragement are so needed, our
children are not worrying about if their friend will trade items with them at
lunch but about losing a teacher, a role model.  How did we get here America?
How did we lose our way?

Maria has many ambitions in mind for the future, a teacher, a zoo keeper, a
vet but none of these dreams can come to fruition unless she has the education
she needs and deserves to make it happen.  Why are we so far in debt?
Approximately half of the education funding comes at the local level so why
are cities like Dallas wasting money on renovating long abandoned hotels to
“help encourage economic development” when when its all said and done we won’t
have anyone educated enough to work in them?  How did our priorities get so
screwed up?

It seems that not all school districts are in this bind.  Three DFW school
districts saw the cuts coming and tightened the purse strings to prepare for the
future.  This is a concept my parents taught me long ago.  From cutting energy
cost by encouraging everyone to turn off the lights when leaving the room to
raising attendance levels these school districts have managed to save not only
educators jobs but also kept from closing campuses.  Why were these districts
able to prepare for the future while the rest were not?

Why are our children paying for the sins of their fathers and what can we do
to give them the security and growth that they need?

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