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Tuesday October 15th 2019

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Forecast for Public Education: Stormy Seas with Winds of Change

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In case you missed it, yesterday, March 4, was “Day of Action to Defend Public Education.” If your little one moseyed off to school undeterred, or if you’re one of more than two million homeschoolers, you may be wondering what public education needs to defend itself against. The answer, in one word, is reality.

With the reality of an economic merry-go-round spun out of control and long taken-for-granted budget increases now a financial impossibility, there’s not going to be enough money for “business as usual” for government schools. That’s reality. Logic dictates that something’s got to give, just as it’s giving in millions of households across the country.

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Logic dictates that a decent education for your child could depend on you personally providing it.

Today, an Associated Press article by Terence Chea, titled at SFGate.com as “Angry Students Protest Cuts to Schools, Colleges,” reports results of a day of defending public education against reality. It appears now that the public trough of money is disappearing, folks are angry.

“Students across the country staged rowdy demonstrations that led to clashes with police and the rush-hour shutdown of a major freeway in California.”

Here’s a summary of what occurred.

“Police arrested more than 150 people who blocked the freeway after breaking off from a peaceful rally at Oakland City Hall…”

“University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police arrested at least 15 people protesting tuition hikes…some protesters threw punches and ice chunks [at police]”

Police arrested several at California State University, Northridge, including a faculty member.

75 police officers responded to University of California Davis for an attempt by 300 students to block a freeway onramp.

More than 200 professors, instructors and graduate faculty at the University of Illinois “marched through campus carrying signs that read “Furlough Legislators” (in response to recent furloughs at the school – perhaps they don’t know you have to vote out legislators?).

75 protesters were ejected after interrupting a state Senate debate at the Capitol in Olympia, WA.

About 100 more students and staff rallied at the University of Texas at Austin, protesting a 5.4 percent hike in tuition and fees.

I don’t know what Alabama promised him, but student Broderick Thomas joined a Montgomery rally because “it’s the moral duty of the state to give back what they promised.”

Another Capitol gathering, this one in Sacramento, included “hundreds of students, teachers, parents and school employees…to urge lawmakers to restore funding to public schools.”

One attending mom of three, Monika Monte, said, “My kids are seeing their PE, art and music teachers leave, and they’re even taking away school buses. I’m worried what will happen to kids all over the state if this continues. When does it stop?”

The reality is that “faced with plunging tax revenue and massive budget shortfalls, states have slashed funding to K-12 schools and universities. In response, school districts are laying off teachers, expanding class sizes and scrapping academic programs, while many colleges have cancelled classes, furloughed instructors and raised tuition.

“Experts say schools and colleges could face more severe financial problems over the next few years as they drain federal stimulus money that temporarily prevented widespread layoffs and classroom cuts.”

Just like the real estate bubble, the government school system has become such a cash-hungry cow, feeding it is now unsustainable. Parents at the Helm, if you are feeling there’s something wrong with the government school system today, please make alternative plans for your children. This is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s going to get a whole lot worse before – if ever – it gets better. Please start reading up on homeschooling now so you’re prepared to work it into your family’s life. I wouldn’t delay. Logic dictates that a decent education for your child could depend on you personally providing it.

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