Recently, legislation has been introduced in Congress and in many state capitols to fundamentally change how we fund and provide public education. Some bills favor providing tax incentives or other forms of public subsidies to parents who want to send their children to private or parochial schools.
There are excellent private, parochial and charter schools in the US. But they can’t fulfill the fundamental need for all citizens to be well-educated.
“If an elective republic is to endure any great length of time, every elector must have sufficient information, not only to accumulate wealth..but to direct wisely the legislatures, and the executive of the nation…the permanency of our government depends upon such knowledge. It is the duty of government to see that the means of information be diffused to every citizen,” said Thaddeus Stevens when he was a state representative speaking in defense of the Free Schools Act of 1834.
183 years later, Stevens’ words still ring true.
In December 2015, President Obama signed landmark legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which is based on the Whole School, Whole Child, Whole Community framework of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ASCD. States have been preparing for implementation beginning in the 2017-18 school year. Now Congress is considering legislation to repeal this law and its core authorization act, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1964, a fundamental component of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” President Johnson understood that education provides a pathway out of poverty.
America’s children deserve fair and equal access to high-quality public education regardless of race, gender, religion, nationality, disability or geographic location.
Please join Fizika in advocating for stable, fair funding of public education.