Improving the U.S. Starts with Improving Education

Lance Hostetter
The Paw Print
Who wants a tax increase?  I sure don’t.  But, that’s not the point.  We all would like a tax decrease.  It’s money in the bank, another penny saved.  That’s nice for Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Taxpayer (to quote Warden Norton from the Shawshank Redemption).
So when many people read the proposed tax increase from Colorado Sen. Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) we cringe at the thought of more money going to the state government.  It’s a plan that costs me money… my money!
Then we read the proposed budget by Democratic Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, which cuts $375 million from Colorado education.  Good plan.  It saves me money and continues to put American students further and further behind other countries (China, Japan…).  What good does education do anyway?
Last week The Valley Courier reported San Luis Valley Schools will again have to make budget cuts.  Nice.  This on top of the estimated $5.6 million cuts from last year’s budget.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t we be investing more in education, not less?
Four years ago, I was a senior at Alamosa High School; I was taking Advanced Placement Government.  The books we used then were four years old.  They still use the same books.  Let’s keep cutting the budget.
Over four years ago, Alamosa High School began receiving notices that test scores were too low and  needed to be corrected.  The blame fell on the teachers, not the incredible lack of supplies, old books, and archaic technology.  Much of the same can be said for schools across the SLV.
We are in the age of cutting budgets, saving money, reducing deficits – which many agree the federal and state deficits need reducing, but at the expense of what?
Like many people from my generation, much of my news comes in the form of late night television.  We learn of something from comedy, then go to a reputable news source to learn the facts.
While watching David Letterman late last week, I found myself listening to the comedian argue with Tea Party Senator Rand Paul about educational budget cuts.  Paul argued that budget cuts must be made across the board, no matter how painful.  Letterman argued the opposition, at least with education.
I found myself agreeing with Letterman.  How do we expect for our country to improve if we keep slacking in education?  We must ask ourselves what is more important – money or education?  It does not make sense to continue to take money from our kids to save money for our kids.
The argument for the state and federal deficit is that the burden will fall upon the shoulders of our children, our children’s children, and so on.  It already has.  When education suffers, our children suffer and our children’s children suffer.
It would make more sense to give more funding to education so our children and our children’s children can find innovative ways to bring the United States back to the fore, instead of watching idly as we fall behind the innovative countries that have become China and Japan.
We used to have the most prized educational system in the world, a K-12 system that prepared students for the world’s best higher education.  Now we watch as we fall behind.  Now we watch as the burden of money becomes an increasingly heavy burden for our children and our children’s children.
Now is the time to realize that cutting funds for education does not help budget deflation – it inflates the budget.  We need to quit hurting our students and start saving our country. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet