We need to give more attention to education. Plain and simple.
During this past campaign, President Donald Trump said, “Without education, we cannot have the American Dream.” Which is why, in his proposal for the full budget in the fiscal year 2018, it was disappointing to see education receive a spending cut of $9.2 billion, or 13.5 percent. Students and teachers from kindergarten to college will be negatively affected by this change. However, there are more issues than money in the American education system.
According to the NEA in 2014, $197 billion are needed for repairs, renovations, and modernizations to bring onsite public school buildings across America up to good overall condition. That is $4.5 million a school. From 2008 to 2016, over 309,000 education jobs at the local level were lost, while student enrollment continued to rise.
I had the privilege of working with some of the people at the I Have A Dream Foundation in Des Moines, IA, where they are having education problems of their own. The people running the foundation shared personal accounts of heartbreaking scenarios some of these kids go through. I learned the implications of budget cuts to education. It leaves children, especially those who are underprivileged, isolated and in some cases helpless.
So I made a video.
The video touches mostly on what Iowans can do for education, but it can hold universal meaning. I knew going into it, the video wasn’t going to be picked up by CNN. I didn’t have a crew of cameramen and editors. The video was made with a DSLR camera, a tripod, and a laptop. I just want people to look in the mirror after watching the video. Ask themselves: what can I do to improve the conditions in my community? What is the state of education around me? How did we get here?
At the base of every successful professional and every good idea, there is a quality education at some capacity. The government from the federal level down must make it a priority to invest. However, it starts with the people. And if the budget passes, people will have to invest more than ever.