There is no investment with a greater return than the money we spend on education. Especially education designed to develop an open ended, active curiosity about the world we live in, and provide the learning environment to satisfy that curiosity. The stability of our society relies upon it. Our ability to successfully navigate the challenges facing us now, and into the future, depends on the multi-disciplinary scholastic achievements of today’s students. As a nation we should acknowledge their importance and the critical role that education plays in the lives of our children and in the strength and security of our country. We should be doing whatever we can to enhance the vibrancy and academic depth of our educational systems in Pennsylvania and throughout the country.
Currently, the federal government spends more than 20% of our budget on our military vs. less than 3% on education. This reflects the current administration’s desire to deflect the requirements and intended outcomes of education into the hands of state and local governments. The Department of Education has laid out a plan that shifts spending to the states as much as possible, ostensibly to provide the states the ability to design their own educational systems, according to each state’s wishes. But the result of this action is to redirect monies to private schools, charter schools and other public schools of the students’ choosing. Perhaps that will further educational goals. However, I believe the clear message is that the current administration does not view our educational system as an important part of our national social structure. Certainly not as important as our ability to wage war.
I will favor budgets that restrict military spending to an amount that supports a realistic assessment of our foreign policy requirements and raises taxes on our wealthiest citizens. I would support redirecting the funds saved by these two actions into education, as well as other underfunded sectors, such as veterans affairs.
I support Community-lead administration of school systems, providing local parents and educators the ability to develop scholastically challenging, socially diverse, artistically strong and locally appropriate curricula.