Thursday, June 9, 2011

A big thanks on the last day of school

Today is our daughter, Hannah’s, last day of 4th grade. A big thanks to Julie Engelmann and Scott Zachmann for teaching her this year.

I grew up in a household that valued education. My dad taught English at the local community college, and my mom taught kids with learning disabilities in the local elementary school. It was assumed that my sister and I would take our education seriously, do well in school, and go to college.

The climate for education doesn’t seem to be that different than it was a year ago when I wrote a tribute to everyone involve d in education. Budgets are flat; classroom sizes are large; test scores seem to overshadow everything. Everyone has an opinion about education—often negative. Our state politicians haven’t even passed a funding budget this year. I haven’t heard of any momentum to pay back the accounting shift that “borrowed” money in the last budget cycle. Our politicians are “borrowing” money from education to balance their budgets.

I think the last day of school should be a day to make a tribute to everyone involved in education. Just as our country gave a tribute on Memorial Day to our veterans who died, I think our country owes a tribute to everyone who has dedicated their lives to educating children and youth. I don’t think it would be out of line for our communities to gather at our local school with a honor guard and give a rousing ovation for everyone involved in education.

Thank you, teachers, bus drivers, custodians, coaches, para-professionals, administrators, librarians, crossing guards, and everyone else involved in education. Your commitment deserves our thanks. Thank you!

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