Real Public Education Crisis is Leadership, Not Funding
Public education in the United States is in big trouble. The rate at which students now drop out of school is worrisome and standards have dipped greatly. Yet, very little has been done to tackle the menace of educational decadence in the country. It goes on to indicate one thing: leadership is the main problem of public education in America.
The failure of our decision-makers to pay necessary attention to public education in recent years clearly proves without any doubt that they do not care about what happens to our children in public schools. Poor leadership has contributed to the precarious situation that public education now finds itself in. Here are some of the ways in which the Government has been hurting education in the country.
Much has been said about the cuts in funding which public schools are contending with. The mere fact that funding of public school is being repeatedly cut says a lot about the importance – or lack thereof – that our policymakers give education. A report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities states that between 2008 and 2016, funding per student dropped in 29 states across the country.
While it is understandable that the Great Recession of 2008 led to reduced funding for the states, it is unacceptable that a whopping cut of 10% and more was recorded in 17 of these states. This is very bad and shows that the leaders do not care about the future of the country since the kids are the future. With the cuts and resources that are becoming scarcer for public schools, maintenance of facilities is becoming increasingly difficult, while the ratio of students to teachers remains very high. This has significantly crippled education in America.
Reluctance to upgrade the schooling system to conform to modern realities
There have been calls for the whole education system to be revamped, or at the very least, for drastic changes to be undertaken by the government. So far, the people we entrust with the task of making decisions on our behalf have been unwilling to take this step. For example, the state laws of some states allow teachers to punish students by literally hitting them, something which would be illegal if done elsewhere. This is unacceptable in the 21st century and numerous calls to abolish this abusive punitive measure have fallen on deaf ears.
Sadly, more money goes into the funding of the so-called “elite schools”. This type of schools cost more to run yet, restrict admission to a few privileged ones. Since the students who attend these schools are very small (less than 15%) in the country overall, the majority who attend K-12 schools which make up over 80% of the entire student population of America are neglected. This is in dissonance with democracy, where the majority is prioritized.
Our leaders must take responsibility for the failure of public schools and start taking serious steps towards addressing the real problems affecting public education. Without this, the future of the country is in serious jeopardy.