Is Money the Answer?

It seems like the solution to so many education problems is money.  The schools that struggle the most are the ones who have the least resources and funding.  Teachers want to work at schools where they can have access to the resources they need.  They also appreciate working at school where the possibility of getting a raise is not out of the question.  So this seems like the answer to all of our problems—gives schools more money.  The thing with that is where does this money come from and who is giving it.  I feel like every year politicians running campaigns promise that they will give more money to education and schools.  No one generally disagrees with this, no says that teachers should get crap pay and that kids should have to go to schools with dangerous conditions.  People and politicians do not say this but their actions do.  No one wants to seem like the bad guy so they say they will give money to school but do not actually do what they claim.

Why is education not valued?  Some people argue that education is valued in America.  We are a nation of innovation and education is a part of that.  I say those people are wrong.  If education was valued we as a nation would put the money and time into the education system that it deserves to be considered valued.  Also if it was important should not teachers been seen as an important part of the fabric of the American identity?  Instead the mantra behind teaching is “those who can not do teach.”  What does that even mean?  How does that make sense?  How could I teach someone to do something if I can not do it myself?  How can I be a history teacher if I do not know anything about history, that logic is just counterproductive.

We watch this awesome ted talk (which I will include at the bottom of my post) in Politics of Reading this week.  A nonprofit went into a poorer county in North Carolina and is creating real change in schools.  The structure of the community and school is being redesigned.  They are also creating a design class in which student build a project for the community.  The students decided to build a farmers market, for the school year they will research and design the project.  In the summer they will get paid to execute the farmers market.  This idea is great and the way it includes the community is commendable.  My question is where does the money for this project come from?  This program is great put one of the main reasons this is possible is because money is donated to make it happen.

Why do we talk about reform and change if those things will not happen.  Real systematic change can not happen without money.  Money is not the answer to everything, it can not help a bad teacher magically become better.  It can help teachers who are honestly trying to do good for their students.  Money can give teachers a reason to further their education with master degrees, and becoming national board certified.  I do not want to hear politicians saw they want to help when they are not willing to invest.  That is what education should be, an investment.  If teachers are going to invest their efforts into students, and those students are investing their time and work into their studies, then it is the duty of our government and leaders to invest money into the system.

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2 Responses to Is Money the Answer?

  1. gabbylap says:

    There doesn’t seem to be an issue that money CAN’T solve. Urban schools embody the idea of resource scarcities. So many students lack access to tutoring, access to technology, and even basic school supplies. Teachers, like you mentioned, also struggle with not having the resources necessary to properly educate their students to the extent of suburban schools. As we saw in one of our class Skype discussions, some teachers have to use their own pay to support their classroom needs. Even when teachers try to supplement the resource disparity it still often falls short compared to schools that reside in more affluent communities.


  2. jmroney says:

    Money definitely is the biggest issue in the education system. The problem of not having enough money for resources is one of the most concerning problems for teachers in the classroom. However, what may me more integral being funded to the education system and classrooms, is the problem of economic disparities between students in their households. I really appreciated that TED talk because it took an extremely poor community, found ways to encourage learning through inexpensive resources (tires), and then motivated students to work together to build a better community together. I’ve always wondered, where does money from the Education Lottery go? At my job we deposit anywhere from $2000-$5000 just in instant scratch off tickets from lottery sales. That is one store. Now think about how much money every store that sells lottery tickets accumulates. Where is this money going? Instead of an NC education lottery, could it be downsized to whatever is sold in a district, goes to school in that district? This would still present a problem of distribution of resources, but there is all of this money out there that is not being used effectively. It is just really frustrating because students who have no say in the matter are suffering and not being given the chance at adequate education because of lack of funding.


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