Let’s pretend! Let’s pretend there is a new law. The new law says: All public school teachers MUST send their children to public schools. This would draw some attention!
Some public school teachers might say, “Yeah! If you’re going to be a public servant, you should make use of public services. This is how it ought to be. Good law, public school teachers NEED to send their children to public schools.” On the other side, some public school teachers might say: “I have every right to send my child to the school of my choice. My job should not dictate where I send my child to school. My child deserves the best I can give him/her. While I work for public schools, I should be allowed the school of my choice for my child.” There might be others that would say: “NO ONE should be told where to send their child. This is a personal decision based on what parents feel is in the best interest of their child. All people should have the right to select a school. This law goes against the rights of parents and against the rights of children.”
When we believe people should only have access to public schools, we are basically telling them that public schools are the only systems that can educate children, and we are telling them that they have to send their child to a public school system. When it is our desire to ban other types of schools such as charters and schools that provide vouchers, aren’t we are saying to the poor and now even the middle class that public schools are your only choice? The only option you have is the public school system. Be real, the only people who are able to afford a different school experience where charters and vouchers are not allowed are the wealthier people.
And what if we went even further and said, “If you teach in a public school, you must send your child to the public school where you teach.” We would probably have a huge uproar from teachers, especially those in “tough” schools. I believe teachers would fight that tooth and nail.
When we fight for education and teachers, let’s remember we are fighting for children first and foremost. We fight for children to have a quality education. This requires funding. We fight for excellent teachers to work with our children. We need to pay for this expertise. If adequate funding is being given to public schools and teacher pay is what it should be, do we need to dictate where people send their children to school?
Let’s fund public education properly. Let’s give our teachers what they deserve. Let’s cut out some of the bureaucracy and politics involved in education. AND let’s allow families to make a decision on what school they want their children to attend.
I believe in public schools. I believe in teachers. I believe in children. AND I believe that no matter what my status or my money situation, I should be able to pick a school that I feel meets the needs of my child.
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” Kofi Annan
“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” Franklin D. Roosevelt