Oh, to be a public school in California. For the past several years it’s been pain like at no other time, a thankless job of educating our youth with the least amount of resources we can ever remember and, through state deferrals, living on borrowed money, one year to the next.
Don’t get us wrong, there is still no more noble profession in this country as there is in educating children. It is building the future leaders, helping fill the minds of boys and girls with the knowledge they will need to become the men and women we look to lead us, to teach our grandchildren, to shape our policy, to run our businesses and provide our services, to help us and guide generations after them.
But California’s budget problems and the financial state of schools — with teachers and staff getting pink-slipped and losing their jobs, with materials getting older and class sizes larger — likely have some in the education community rethinking their vocation.
Quite sobering, indeed. That is why it is important to celebrate Public Schools Week around the state and this country. It’s a reminder about all public schools do, all they offer, all they accomplish.
It reminds parents and the community at large that no matter how bad times get, how far those state dollars must stretch, public education is doing its job, in spite of itself.
The teachers are making it work with more kids in their classrooms, less supplies and sometimes augmenting those supplies out of their own pockets. Staff is serving just as many children, with fewer helpers.
The public school system, for all its knocks and all the criticism, still works wonders, and at trying times like these, miracles. But work it does.
Remember that when your son or daughter comes home this week with a list of activities celebrating Public Schools Week. Attend one, or two, or more. Let the schools know you appreciate the work they are doing, and doing with less.
THE ISSUE: This week honors public schools.
WE SAY: School still doing well in bad times.
WHAT DO YOU SAY? Send us your thoughts on this topic to www.ivpressonline.com/letterstotheeditor