Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Feature: The Month of Budgets and Celebrations

May is a particularly busy month in education. Semesters end. Children graduate from preschool, kindergarten, sixth grade, eighth grade and high school, depending on their school's configuration. A stroll down Facebook Lane reveals smiling faces and successes that contradict Education Secretary DeVos' statement that Washington has been in the driver’s seat for over 50 years with very little to show for its efforts.” 

Although there is always room to grow (and Washington's money deserves only part of the credit for these successes), there is, indeed, much to show. These posts make me smile and hit "like" and "love" in celebration of the hard work of all of these children, their families and their teachers. 

Ah, their teachers. Pushing through exhaustion to celebrate this time of year with enthusiasm that rivals that of their charges. Limping toward a summer "break" that both starts and ends earlier each year so there's enough time in the school day to teach to the test, fully cognizant of the fact that much of it will be spent planning for the next school year, which, in my neck of the woods, starts in mid-August.

But I digress.

I don't want this to be a political post. Rather, I want it to be a "both sides" post. If I weren't an educator, I would be reading only the headlines about the current education budget proposal, but, since I am an educator -- both retired and active, because teachers are just crazy enough to do that -- I want to know more.

And I think you should know more, too. 

During the confirmation process for Betsy DeVos, a well-intentioned friend expressed her confusion over the rabid opposition to a woman who had no background in the schools that currently make up the backbone of our education system. "Is it just about the vouchers?" she asked.

She wasn't being snarky -- she wanted to understand. I think a lot of people do.

So, in honor of this hectic month in education, I want to share a bit about the teachers and a bit about the budget. I hope you'll take a look.

Because it's not about the vouchers. And it's not really about the teachers.

It's about the kids.

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