Well, well, Colorado. I’m disappointed. Not surprised at all, but disappointed. Our education will continue to fall behind other states in funding, the class sizes remain huge and unwieldy, and our high poverty students will continue to languish. It surprised me how many people read this blog who were led here by search engines looking for information; I hope that I helped you make a decision you could live with. So now I say this:
To those who supported the amendment: thank you for trying.
To those who say they support education, but didn’t like the amount of money, the way the amendment was constructed, the parameters of it, the concern about if the promise of funding would be kept…thank you. Fair enough reasoning. At least you had a reason. And if you truly meant it, I challenge you: help. Buy gently used books from a thrift shop (Goodwill sells them 1/2 price on Sundays) and donate them to a Title I school. Buy wholesale boxes of crackers, or good winter clothes, and donate them to a local school. Buy a box of copier paper for teachers or notebooks for children. Donate school supplies. Did you know that most teachers spend around $1000 per year of their own unenviable salaries on missing school supplies, books, paper, clothing and snacks? Donate time–read to children, become a Big Brother/Big Sister, volunteer for CASA, volunteer to teach reading at your local library. Volunteer to do a presentation about your job to a classroom. Tutor. Pressure local voters to pass bond issues or to replace school boards who mismanage money. Demand transparency. Vote in people to do the job. Vote out No Child Left Behind. Talk to teachers, ask what they need, and what’s going on. Get involved. Drops in the bucket–every bit helps.
And if you don’t, or your reasoning was that you don’t like children, or teachers are lazy and don’t deserve living wages or help, or you just didn’t feel like it, then hoard that money. Keep it hidden away so that you can pay top dollar for the few remaining competent professionals when we’ve failed to educate our future working populace. But don’t you dare complain about the state of education or today’s youth. Don’t you dare whine about teachers or their performance when you don’t give a damn about giving them the supplies to do it. You don’t care. You’ve made that clear.
I hold hope that we will find a different way to give our children what they need. In the meantime, think about it.
(As for the arrival of “school reform parties” and school boards…I’ll get to it. It’s a different post.)