Schools should fo­cus on ed­u­cat­ing

The Covington News - - Front page -

The peo­ple who pay taxes in this county and all of us who have chil­dren or grand­chil­dren have ev­ery right to be concerned with what is hap­pen­ing to our school sys­tem.

Some peo­ple are act­ing like they just fell off the hay wagon and didn’t see this com­ing.

Prob­lems in our ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing sys­tem ac­tu­ally started back in the late ’60s and ’70s.

Schools be­fore that time did one thing and they did it well — they ed­u­cated chil­dren and through that ed­u­ca­tion, and the com­plete co­op­er­a­tion of par­ents, pre­pared their stu­dents to change the world. And, change the world they did.

Many of you who are read­ing this right now are a part of that gen­er­a­tion.

In the late ’60s and ’70s there was a ma­jor so­cial up­heaval in this coun­try. The up­heaval it­self was good but the re­sults were not as im­pres­sive.

Dur­ing this up­heaval, there was a clamor that kids were go­ing to school hun­gry and that was af­fect­ing their learn­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Heck, I never ate break­fast and I sur­vived, but in the ’70s many of us bought into that pro­pa­ganda and school break­fast pro­grams were started. At first this was a sim­ple so­lu­tion. Then nu­tri­tion­ists got in­volved and so on and to­day a sim­ple break­fast meal has turned into full-fledged meals be­ing served for break­fast, lunch and some cases din­ner to not only stu­dents who need such ser­vices but to many whose fam­i­lies can af­ford to pro­vide break­fast and lunch to their chil­dren.

Then there was a push to pro­vide ser­vices for hand­i­capped chil­dren. I ac­tu­ally agreed with this, as did many oth­ers, so pro­grams were started for these chil­dren. Then pro­grams were started for the gifted chil- dren. Again, on paper this sounded like the right thing to do. But then we made a se­ri­ous mis­take — we al­lowed aca­demics to com­pletely run the school sys­tems. Most aca­demics have lit­tle busi­ness sense; as far as they are concerned, it could just as eas­ily grow on trees.

To­day we spend so much money sup­port­ing those two pro­grams, which in fact af­fect a small per­cent­age of our chil­dren, that all chil­dren who do not fit into those two cat­e­gories are al­most for­got­ten.

The aca­demics that have run our school sys­tems dur­ing the past 40 years have man­aged to di­rect money that should be used in the class­room into self-sup­port­ing and self-serv­ing bas­tions of power.

We have con­doned this by sit­ting idly by and let­ting the schools be­come the catch-all for ev­ery so­cial ill we have not wanted to ad­dress.

As par­entswe­have turned over our kids to a sys­tem that now feeds, clothes, coun­sels, pro­vides health care and in­doc­tri­nates our chil­dren.

In or­der to per­form all these tasks, which re­ally don’t in­volve ed­u­ca­tion, the aca­demics who run our schools have had to hire staff and more staff to fa­cil­i­tate these pro­grams. They have pushed the sys­tem to its break­ing point— hence, ex­actly where we are now is what we have cre­ated our­selves.

Even though what is go­ing to hap­pen here is go­ing to hurt all of us dur­ing the next cou­ple weeks and months, we can use this ex­pe­ri­ence to take back our schools. We can de­mand open ac­count­abil­ity from our school of­fi­cials, we can elect busi­ness peo­ple to serve on the school board, we can take back our rights as par­ents andwecan en­sure that our schools get back to what they were set up to do — ed­u­cate our chil­dren.

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