PRIVATE OR PUBLIC: WHICH IS THE BEST EDUCATION?

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“Who will benefit, who will lose?”

In the past couple of days, Betsy DeVos has been named the United States Secretary of Education. Since being appointed, there has already been backlash over the decision of her to taking the reigns over the role.  Democratic and a few Republican Politicians on Capitol Hill feel her lack of knowledge in the field of education does not make her qualified for the job. This is a tough topic for me because I have never heard of Mrs. DeVos. The only thing I know is what everyone has been saying about her. One of the issues educators have was from an article I read in the New York Times. Contributors wrote the sentiment of educators who feel she will, “Allow students to use vouchers via taxpayer’s dollars as a means to attend private schools, religious institutions, homeschooling, and for-profit schools(article at the bottom of the page).” Now, let’s observe how this may be seen as a good idea.

I grew up in a poor to middle class neighborhood in Racine, Wisconsin. Since childhood, receiving a quality education had always been a priority of my mothers’. So she invested in our education at a young age. Setting us up, making sure we went to the best schools possible. If not the best schools, at least in a learning environment where our minds could grow. As for my dad, he is from Chicago, a city where over the recent years, education has been a topic of discussion. When observing DeVos’s plan, kids could use vouchers to go to better schools in safer learning environments, especially due to the rise in crime and school closures. Because if I’m a parent and my child/children test into a good school, why would I be against a voucher program advocated by DeVos?

Here is where the backlash comes into play. The educators are underfunded and feel that more money should be allocated to the schools. Instead of shipping children elsewhere, why not keep them here and provide them with the tools for a kid’s success. This would mean funding for new up-to-books, free or affordable meals for kids who are poor, pay increases so educators are not forced to leave the school where they teach, and adequate facilities for cultivating the young minds today for an America tomorrow. But is there another reason for outrage.

What about the idea that if parents can start choosing where their kids are going via government vouchers, then it’s see you later to teacher’s jobs. Because if I’m a parent in a poor community and I can use vouchers at the taxpayer’s expense to send my kid to a better school, why not? Why, it’s because the educators at these current schools are out of jobs. They want children to stay, not just because they want to teach, but also because of job preservation as well. My father works in the public schools of Chicago, and they have already forced a lot of them to take furlough days. Days in which they will not be compensated for; which will leave already low paid educators, even further destitute.

As for me, I’m an adult with no children, so I don’t now what is the right solution. For me, kids using taxpayer’s dollars to go to better schools sounds good. But I also understand the plight of an educator who would much rather use taxpayer’s dollars as an expense into existing public schools. One helps the student/s outside the public funded schools they will be attending. The other solution will assist the student/s as well as the teacher’s who don’t fall under the equation of privatized education, charter schools, homeschooled, or for-profit institutions. In the end, we’ll have to sit back and observe what will come of this. Because this is yet another decision, that will add to an already divisive country, brought into the loop by President Donald J. Trump that has the public rallying against him since his presidential victory back in November of 2016.

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