March 23, 2017
At the risk of being too simplistic, I can only
wrap my brain around the new Federal Budget proposal in terms of the
environment in which I spend my time. The proposal includes a massive
boost to military and Homeland Security, while cutting huge percentages
of domestic programs. If we drop that Federal Budget scenario down to a
microcosm—say a public high school--here’s what it would look like:
We’d have state of the art camera security and a strong police presence
around the perimeter of the school in order to protect the students from
harmful outsiders. There would also be a highly visible police
presence within the campus, in order to vet each student to ensure that
they fit the correct profile of students we want to educate within our
walls. Drones would be enlisted to fly over the campus periodically to
make sure all students adhered to appropriate conduct codes, and to
ensure that no one on the outside attempts to scale the heavily
fortified wall surrounding the compound. God forbid we should want to
educate those who didn’t start their education here.
Inside the classroom however, the children share meager materials—
They’ll be sitting on the floors, because there aren’t enough desks.
They’ll be sharing texts, because there is no funding to ensure each child has a book.
kids than we thought will have books today, though, since several
students are home sick, not having the ability to access health care.
students are unable to focus on lessons, because they struggle with
mental health issues for which there is no assistance—or their parents
Students break for lunch at noon. If they weren’t fortunate
enough to bring their own lunches from home, they will be going without.
They should have known better than to be born into a family without
sufficient means to provide them lunch.
Don’t worry about
afternoon music classes; there aren’t any. Those go by the wayside when
funding for NEA becomes obsolete. Ditto for field trips to the local
Programs to assist students who need additional help in
acquiring English language skills, or students who are struggling and
falling behind in reading and math? Good luck. Perhaps those students
should try NOT having another language as their primary language, or
perhaps they should just try not to have learning disabilities. Again,
they should have had the foresight to be born into families with better
Yes, unless born to privilege, in our little school the
kids will lack resources. They’ll be hungry, and in need. Access to
the most basic of needs will be limited; access to culture and art
non-existent. Not to worry, though—no harm will come to them from the
world outside the school house doors. Probably. On the inside,
however, they’re on their own.
New Beginning 1064
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