Santa Fe New Mexican

Solve many problems with two more years of school

- PAUL KALENIAN Paul Kalenian lives in Santa Fe.

Imagine for a moment if K-12 reverted to a tuition-based education. The concept not only seems backward, but we would bankrupt America in a single generation. Long ago, we recognized that all Americans need the basic building blocks of public education, allowing the time for nurturing and developmen­t that K-12 provides. Thankfully, free K-12 public education is the norm, paid for through tax dollars. In a world that has become exponentia­lly more complex, America needs to extend its public education system beyond K-12 to encompass the vast new knowledge required to earn a living in today’s ever expanding world. Public education provided via our tax base needs to be extended to at least K-14, recognizin­g the time needed for greater knowledge acquisitio­n. Simply put, this world is more complex, and more knowledge takes more time to learn. Optional private (tuitionbas­ed) education needs to stay in place at every level, allowing for the specialty paths required to advance our horizons. Imagine a taxpayer-funded K-14 education. Americans would enter the workforce or specialize­d college of their choice two years later as more mature, better

focused and prepared citizens … with zero accumulate­d debt.

The trickle-down effect of an American population with two years of additional education would pay dividends, offsetting its simple taxpayer cost. A more mature population with better education would result in making better choices. Better health, less crime and a happier life through retirement are the results of a better education.

Imagine living in a future America where every student had the right to K-14. Many of our current problems would be solved by a more educated America.

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