This I Believe

Scott - Aurora, Illinois
Entered on September 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Abraham Lincoln said it best when he gave the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863. Lincoln stated that “…our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation… dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” America makes a stand for equal opportunity, and has been doing so since 1863. However, how can we as Americans be provided equal opportunity when we are not even provided equal education? Isn’t education necessary for our citizens, especially to provide everyone with equal opportunities? If we as a nation are able to provide a proper education to more people, then we will be able to improve the society in which we live.

One of the first steps that can be taken to supply proper education to more people is to equally fund public schools. In my home state of Illinois, public schools are funded by property taxes, and if referendums aren’t passed school funding can be cut. In places with average lower incomes, referendums may not pass because the people in that community might not have the money. For example, on the east side of my home town a referendum wasn’t passed to raise property taxes, so in turn, the schools in that community had to cut all but two extra curricular activities. This leads to the perpetuation of poverty in that community, because the schools aren’t properly funded leading to a lower level of education and less opportunity provided to the kids of that school. And without that proper education it’s hard to acquire a decent career. If a more equalized way of funding school was put into place, more equal education and opportunity will be provided to children, which will lead to a bettered society.

Another way to help improve education and henceforth improve communities is to stop the mismanagement of school funding. In my own experience, my high school wasted a lot of money. A friend of mine worked for the school district to help set up their computer systems and while working, he found thousands upon thousands of dollars of hardware that had been bought but never used. Hard drives, network adapters, projectors, and many other expensive pieces of equipment unopened, forgotten, collecting dust in back rooms. If the school had managed their money wiser, it may have been able to provide better for more kids. And again, more opportunities could have been provided for children in my community.

If we take steps to better the education system in this country then we can provide more opportunity and better the society in which we live. And with a more educated society more people will be able to make steps towards making improvements beyond education. With a more educated public, more people will be able to take part in this country’s political issues and we will be able to stimulate the economy. It’s time to start doing something about this country’s education system and everyone has to do their part to make the necessary change.