The state needs to invest in its schools

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Budget cuts hurt future of education

By Forest Lassman


flassman@jccc.edu


Schools are a vital part of any society. They allow for people to learn more and grow, which is why it is baffling that the state seems to be doing as little as it can.

In 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that funding was so low it was uncon­stitutional. This moment should have been the wake-up call to the local government to focus more on education, but it hasn’t.

Last month, the state passed a new school funding system that changes how funding is distributed and causes $51 mil­lion in aid to be lost.

Many school districts that are already strapped for cash will be forced to make even more cuts, further decreasing the qual­ity of education.

This is the exact opposite of what the state should be doing. We should be in­vesting in our future by making sure our children and our children’s children live a life where they are better educated than we ever were. By cutting funding, we are limiting their opportunities.

A strong school system creates a strong base across the state of well-educated people who will be able to perform at a higher quality. It should be of supreme importance, not something we give the bare minimum to support.

I am a product of the state’s educational system, and as good as it was to me, it did have major problems, and I want it to become even better.

I had lots of ultra-supportive teachers in my school experiences. I was pushed to always try and do better and was con­stantly challenged to think better and more critically by almost every instructor I had. As hard as these teachers worked, I could clearly see the limitations they faced. A lot of them had to bring in a lot of extra content from free sources due to the textbooks be­ing outdated and not as in-depth as they needed to be.

As hard as my educators tried, they couldn’t do everything they wanted to, no matter how creative they were. For every student like me they inspired, there was another they couldn’t reach. I saw a lot of students I was friends with drop out due to lack of interest. Most of these students regretted the decision and had to work hard to try and get a GED later in life.

Instead of trying to cut back, we should be making a larger effort than ever to make the state’s education the best it can be. If we invest more into schools, we can help motivate more to do more with their lives, which will help the entire economy in the long term. Even though the economy was hit hard by the recession and worsened by a bad state governmental response, educa­tion should never pay the price. We should always be working as hard as we can to make the future the best it can be.

 

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