This "Obvious Advocate" was printed in the Mpls StarTrib awhile ago. Thought I'd show it to my friends, as well. Please feel free to share. I'd like to think this is rather significant.
It’s obvious politicians don’t like to “spend” on education. The Federal gov’t is cutting funding and subsequently, so are states, including here in Minnesota. Teachers are getting laid off, programs cut, and class sizes are increasing! It’s obvious these politicians need education. They don’t seem to know the difference between an “expense” and an “investment.”
Education is, literally, an investment…in children and adults, in us and society. We get the best “bang for our buck”—or return on our tax dollar—by providing early education, prior to kindergarten, especially for lower income kids. I’ve heard and read many times, most recently in the Mpls. StarTribune in an op-ed by attorney Michael Ciresi and economist Art Rolnick, that: “Every $1 ‘invested’ in high quality, early-learning programs yields up to $16 in societal benefits.”
It’s obvious why: a business coalition formed to confront education issues [Op-ed, StarTribune, 9/18} found that half (HALF!) of Minnesota kids – disproportionately lower income and minorities – weren’t getting the brain development they needed to be ready for kindergarten.
The group concluded that: “Getting kids ready for school was the best investment Minnesota taxpayers could make. [Obviously] Kids who succeed early on in school are less likely to drop out when they get older, less likely to get in trouble with the law, less likely to get pregnant and less likely to tap into public programs. Instead they’re ready to be trained for employment or post-secondary education and become economically self-sufficient taxpayers.”
Duh! It’s obvious. Don’t blame the kids that were never read to, for instance. It’s not their fault. Blame yourself for being unaware or, maybe, apathetic.
Don’t think this is relevant to you? What if “getting in trouble with the law” for a kid who drops out meant a robbery, an assault, a murder… if not to you, to a member of your family? How about that cost? That “expense? Wouldn’t an investment have been a better idea?
It’s obvious we all have to be aware, speak up, and educate our politicians. Remember they work for us. So, we need to pull our heads out and do something. Do something! You are not helpless. No whining about race or blaming a kid who dropped out of school when something bad happens. We need to give all kids a fair shake.