Most of us get up every morning and go to a job whether we like it or not. We have bills to pay and children to feed and more likely than not, a property tax check to write yearly. We pay because we have to, because we want to keep our houses, or simply because we feel that it is the right thing to do. We hope that with every tax payment our money is being invested wisely in the community. Who stops to think about how much of our tax dollars and therefore school district dollars are actually wasted on this notion of “free public education for all”?
Horace Mann, commonly credited as the father of the common school movement in America, has left us with a legacy that is threatening to bankrupt us all. His heart was in the right place, as are many liberals who propose a social program to help the less fortunate, however like many this is one program that simply doesn’t work out on paper. Statements like “education is the great equalizer” and “providence has decreed that education is the right of every human being that comes into the world” make us all feel inspired and hopeful, however once the budget is presented, and we are notified that this funding is linked to our property taxes and if not paid could result in us losing the very homes that we work so hard for, we feel more than violated.
On Monday, March 14th, 2011 Texas teacher’s unions (Texas AFT) are planning to march for lobby day in Austin. The general public likely believes their motivations to be pure because “teachers don’t work for the paycheck, they work for the kids”, right? Let me clue you in…
While teachers are not paid very well to do the job that they do, if the districts stopped paying, they would definitely stop showing up. The unions are organizing teachers around “keep yourself off of the unemployment line”, not “save the schools for our children”. Our public education system is definitely flawed and probably needs to be tossed out altogether, but before we do that, we should definitely get some things straight. Education is not a right endowed by our creator, it is certainly not a right that others should be forced to pay for. Teachers are needed and they are great, but at the end of the day, they work for the taxpayer. They also work in a system that gives the taxpayer a poor return on his/her investment and if public education were a wall street stock, it would be junk.
Before jumping on the bandwagon of “save our teachers, save our schools”, stop and ask yourself, who is going to continue to pay this outlandish bill when reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic in the common school system are no longer effective?