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Sunday, February 27, 2011

BUDGET CUTS AND EDUCATION

The $9 billion deficit is hurting all over. There are no good places to cut, and not everyone can afford more taxes of any kind.

Education should NOT be the first place that budget cuts should be made, and trust me from what I am reading and know, education was one of the last budget areas to be touched. Before cutting education, municipalities lost all of their Highway User Revenue (HURs) fees (Mount Rainier lost almost $300,000), and State Aid to Police (another area in which Mount Rainier lost thousands of dollars).

OTHER ISSUES WITH EDUCATION

There is an issue with the major budget cuts to education that are being proposed, but there are other issues that go beyond the budget. When we fight to keep school funding, let's also fight to make sure that school funding for education is NOT being used for administrative overhead, and other issues rather than those direct services needed by our students. Let's hold the School Board MEMBERS and LEGISLATORS accountable for how current and future education dollars are spent. Let's insure that those precious education dollars are spent on educating our children. Let's say no to a "larger" administration building with all of the fluff proposed by school board staff and administration.

I personally do not believe that just pouring more money into education is the answer. I believe we should all demand for our children what is provided for children in the "TAG" program. I believe that each child in our school system would do much better, if they were afforded those same opportunities provided selected children participating in TAG.

I strongly support community/neighborhood schools, and fought very hard to keep those schools open when the County was cutting them and donating the properties for $1. The best example of a community school at its best is Mount Rainier Elementary School. I know because I get to work with the principal, teachers, reading specialist, children, and others who actually know the families that are struggling in my community.

I also know that we cannot keep throwing money at the education problem in Prince George's County. I know that we can and should hold our SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS accountable for what is happening to our schools and to our children. I know that we as parents are also RESPONSIBLE for the quality of education received by our children. PARENTS, we must get more involved in our schools and our children's education. WE MUST DEMAND quality education, not just higher HSA/MSA or whatever test we are teaching our children to pass in order to graduate. TEST SCORES are just that test scores. Education is a whole lot more, and our children are being short-changed.

SERIOUS about education in our schools? Then do something about it!


Make sure your children are ready for school. Set some rules and require them to abide by them. Teachers are not there to babysit your children. They are there to educate them. Teach your children respect of authority, and hold them accountable. Be your child(ren)'s parent, not his or her best friend. Respect taught at home will go with them to the schools and allow the teachers and other educators do the job for which they are paid. Then we will no longer have to spend money on metal detectors, school security, high definition cameras, and other indirect services in our schools -- money that could go to keeping our guidance counselors, reading specialists, and ESOL teachers.

JOIN your local PTA/PSA or start your own parent group that becomes the watch dog of education in your elementary, middle school and/or high school. You will be surprised at the difference you can make.

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