Over the past few months, I have posted a few entries on education. During that same time the state government and the federal government for that fact has done very little to ease my concern on what is truly our future. It is the state of affairs around education.
Facts (straight from Arizona Education Association)
- Second in highest student-teacher ratio.
- Second fastest growing student population.
- Ranks 35th in the nation for average teacher salaries and is $6,536 below the national average.
- Ranks dead last in per pupil expenditure.
- Arizona ranks 49th out of the 50 states in the amount spent per student
- Arizona expended $6232 per student which is $2741 below the national average.
- Arizona would have to increase per pupil spending by 44% to move to an amount equal to the national average expenditure per student
- The cost to move Arizona to the national average is estimated to exceed $2.7 billion.
There is not all bad news for our Arizona schools – I did read a few reports that have us in the bottom third ranking in overall scoring and test results. Most of them have us in the mid to upper 30’s ranking. In the high 40’s in spending and that gets you to the mid to high 30 ranking in results. Just think if we were to put a little more spending in that bucket – no telling where our results would far, maybe to half or top third… Something to think about.
With what is on the table today.. We all are having to really look to pass a sales tax in order to save this. What other choice do we have? Our government today, is looking at billions in cuts… As a parent, I am not pleased. I have to do something… Here are my actions:
- As much as I hate to see an increase in sales tax – just another balloon squeeze. I will have to support that!
- Next time we have our government up for re-election, time to do some serious revisiting of who should remind. In fact, it is about time to kick all of them to the curb. Starting over could not make this any worse than it already is. At the very least, the officials that really support education and what is needed – need to stay.
- Get active in any and all education rallies throughout our state. Our voices have to be heard, but first you have to be in attendance. Thinking that there are already enough or that you alone can not change things – is not going to work. History demonstrated that active participation works, make it work now.
- Tell you state government, your elected officials in your district and the education department – it is time to wake up… Time to really look at what is important today and in the future.
The real question is – “What are you going to do?”