This past weekend, I attended a L.O.V.E (Lifting Our Voices for Education) Rally at Wesley Bolin Plaza in downtown Phoenix. From some of my other posts, you can easily understand that I have a fond spot in my heart for education. My wife is a 4th grade school teacher at Haley Elementary. I participate as a Site Council Member at the same school. When my wife told me about the rally – I figured why not? I have not attended a good rally in a long time. Education is important! For today and the future.
Arizona and public education has a long way to go to say they are doing their part to better the future. Did you know that Arizona ranks 49th in spending for education? 49th pretty impressive, NOT! With all of the budget cuts that have been thrown around, Arizona will probably be 50th or dead last. Definitely not something to be proud of. Some very well spoken seniors from Camelback High spoke. They each made their school and parents proud. I know I was proud of them! I think the one speaker that really hit home for me, was when an area principal got up and discussed his challenges and a what they have overcome – and how. He definitely is not backing down from the challenges. How much more can his staff of teachers, community and he do? – they are already running on empty.
What I was really disappointed about was the overall turnout. With continued budget cuts being threatened, class sizes continuing to grow and many extra curricular activities being cut – you would have thought that there would have been so many people that crowd control would have been needed. Well, far from it. The parking lot was not even full. Many schools did come out in force, but too few. Many parents brought their children, but too few. The news media was there – well, almost all of them. Why? Are we getting too used to this budget cutting and reduction of educational services to not care anymore? Is it just a sign of the times. Lifting your voices – means you have to have many voices to be heard.
If you want change – you have to be willing to sacrifice some. The weather was extremely nice sunny Saturday mid morning. The sponsors, provide some free t-shirts, information and the Basha High Steel Drum were playing. What was most important was the small but vocal crowd that only want the best for their students, children and our future. How about joining in????