Friday, 30 April 2010 00:00
The most insane aspect of the manner in which education is financed is that it’s an investment that, from a strictly financial point of view, has a return that’s paltry at best. High taxes (to pay for things like public schools), depressed wages and unaffordable housing are driving the young off Long Island.
Honestly, what percentage of the Class of 2010 will be living and/or working in the district in which they attended school 10 years from now? Just go on an alumni website and see how many of your classmates still live anywhere near their high school.
To address the issue of school budgets without addressing the issues of jobs, housing, wages, immigration and other taxes is akin to a doctor ignoring a severed limb as he attempts to determine why his patient’s blood pressure is rapidly falling. Still, until we can address these concerns, students in the classroom need to be educated. We can’t put them in some kind of suspended animation deep freeze.
The basic curriculum and enrichment programs (like field trips) need to be sustained, otherwise in 2020 our graduates will be young adults who are less educated than their parents looking at the prospect of having kids who will be even less educated.
If local school districts can’t obtain aid from a New York State facing bankruptcy, and a federal government heading in the same direction, perhaps they should consider loans from overseas banks and governments.