First, random thought for the day. I love house/dance/remix podcasts. While it a cliche, I love the big producers as well. I’m listening to episode # 718 of Clublife by Tiesto. It is thumping in my room and I’m loving it on some pretty different levels. I know that kind of music isn’t for everyone, but if you are a fan of club music, I highly recommend this podcast for music that speaks to your soul!
Another thing that speaks to my soul is The West Wing. I’m sure I’ve written about it before, but unless you’ve lived under a rock, you know of this show. If not, Google it. And while it’s certainly a left lean show (Democratic President and all), it speaks to so much issues we are facing right now as a country, education being one of them.
Sam Seaborne speak about how school should be palaces, the competition for the best teachers should be fierce, how school should be expensive for the government but “absoutely free of charge for its citizens”. I’ve watched this exchange countless times and thought the “what ifs” about these statements as they make sense to me.
However, here in Iowa, they don’t make sense to the Republicans in charge. They’ve underfunded schools drastically for the last 9 years and have given tax breaks to businesses for hundreds of millions of dollars.
I know, right? But this year, in the midst of a pandemic, our leadership in Des Moines have created an all out war on public education, calling for not only vouchers (10,000 “student first” vouchers at $5000 a piece), but a bill to require all districts provide a 100% face to face option (with no recommendations on masks or social distancing), another bill dealing with changing rules of open enrollment, making it easier for students and families to change schools, and the creation of more charter schools, schools that are publicly funded, but not part of the school system.
The voucher program alone could have a price tag of $50 million dollars, while the Governor is offering another “historic investment” in public education of around $20 million dollars. Then, the charter schools, the cost of school rushing to get ready a 100% face to face option as we talk about new variants of the virus. Anyone see the issues?
Now, while I have zero issues with someone who homeschools or makes the choice to attend a private school, I do have issues with my tax dollars being spent to send them there. I never asked for anyone to fund my daughters in college, we planned for this expense. If you want to have kids and send them to a private school, there is PLENTY of public money all ready out there to draw from, but the my biggest issue, what about personal responsibility? When you made that choice to have kids, did you change your life style to get them to that school? And if not, why should I pick up your tab?
This doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the Republican distain for Iowa education, educators, and the educated as a whole. And after this year, because we continue to elect this party, they’ll be back to take away more from public education. Then, in 2022, someone will yell “late term abortions” and get their base fired up, get the majority expanded, and we are back at it again.
I’m at that point in my life I see where the next few years will go, and honestly, it scares me. Iowa is turning their collective backs on the one thing that can bring this state back, our children. Both of my daughters have said when they are given the chance, they are out of Iowa because they see it as a backward state, one that does not support them as strong, moderate (one of them), liberal women. They’ll take their college degrees, their paychecks, and go fund another state’s taxes while we try to cut more into the basic services all Iowans need.
And that palace, it certainly won’t be a school. Why not? Because that would suggest we care about education.
Right now, the actions of our elected official in Des Moines speak way louder than the “we support education” words they will use.
Please. Watch. Remember this empty feeling of not mattering. Use that to fuel the 2022 rebound.
I don’t care if Iowa is purple, it holds all of us accountable. No one will be accountable for this disaster coming at us. No one but teachers, who will once again, do more with less, love their students, and pick up the pieces of their own shattered dreams and say, “Remember when Iowa was known for it’s educational system? Yeah, me neither.”