Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Yes, I'm Stepping On My Soapbox

Those of you who know me personally are probably surprised that I've waited this long to do a post from high upon my soapbox. Every now and then a topic ruffles my feathers so much that I step up and make my announcement for all to hear. Today the topic is local. The topic is taxes.

I've never been one to complain about paying taxes and I'm not particularly politically active although I've done my fair share of voting (and not always for the right person in hindsight). I recognize that there are inefficiencies in the system, but overall am thankful that they generally provide for the needs of my family and the greater good of my community.

HOWEVER, when I learned that state funding has been cut so severely that my local library, which is my family's single greatest source of information and entertainment, will no longer be able to offer interlibrary loans, I was dumbfounded. We don't watch a ton of t.v., so for us, this was the equivalent of taking satellite service away from the average American family. We just went from 400 stations to just NBC, ABC, and CBS.

The next area of tax funding cuts which is getting my goat is the public school system. Particularly, the increase in public school class size due to staff cuts. While this doesn't effect my family personally, as we were concerned about a class size of 30 back when my kids entered school enough to shell out entirely too much money for a private school education, it does effect my community. 40 kids to an elementary classroom is a puzzle to me. How exactly does a class that size function? How can one teacher properly educate that many children during the most formative years of their education? And then we are all supposed to be shocked and appalled when those teachers aren't in complete support of having their wages frozen or accepting less benefits. I'm exhausted just thinking about what those teachers face in one day.

Overall, what concerns me about these two areas of funding cuts is that they so blatantly reveal what little value our government/community places on education. Truthfully, I'd rather pay more taxes now than face a generation with less education than the last.

I think it's time for me to step off my soapbox and visit my local politicians...

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