Is America Sacrificing its Children and Future for the Benefit of a Privileged Few?


In the midst of the most life-changing recession in recent history, it has been a struggle for many to find their way. Many are still lost in a sea of bills, nowhere to live, no health insurance and no job. We rely on our elected officials on both the Federal and State levels. They are charged with governing the many, not the few who can afford to influence them, to make the right policy decisions. What is “right” can mean different things to different people. For the purpose of this article “right” will mean “whatever provides a benefit to the most people affected by such policies and further insures the security and operation of the country as it is constructed”.

Not that government must fill everyone’s needs but it must make the right decisions that affect the collective populous. Case in point is the state of our educational system. During the budgeting process what is first on the chopping block? Teachers! Class sizes! Curriculum! State governments in their rush to reduce corporate taxes and further reduce individual income tax make up the difference by cheating our children out of a good education. The state of Georgia is a prime example though not the only state to do so. More specifically, additional revenue is raised by cutting teacher staffs, increasing class sizes including kindergarten, and eliminating the arts, physical education and most foreign languages. With the sad state of our educational system, why not reduce administration costs to save a teaching position? What types of extra perks above and beyond their salary could the Superintendent forego to save a teaching position or provide a better curriculum?

In Georgia, the HOPE scholarship program that promotes academic achievement by funding college tuition and necessary fees is also on the chopping block. Funds are provided by the Lottery to any student who can maintain a 3.0 grade average or above. The state legislature recently passed a law limiting student eligibility and amounts they can receive toward tuition. Lottery funds also go to pre-K programs that may be cut severely. These beneficiaries of the Lottery are laudable. The country benefits from well-educated, motivated students. Without the pre-K programs the poor are sorely neglected. How can you better yourself without a good education? The state of Georgia is almost last in the nation educationally yet the children are the ones to sacrifice. Why not cut some of the Lottery overhead? Every year the administrators of the lottery give themselves big bonuses and raises, even in bad years. Government waste could be cut to pay for more pre-K. For some reason it is never a consideration. It is so much easier to take from those without a voice. There is no Parent Lobby. Children can’t make big political contributions. BUT children will one day make the laws that determine the quality of life if our system remains the same as today.

Or’frustrated youth unable to get a job and ill-equipped for society could hit the streets as they have done recently in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya to demand a better life. It has happened all through history and is happening now. Neglecting children in favor of the privileged few. Who are the “privileged few”? They are the people with the power to get all they can from the system with no regard for the rest of the populous. Yes, the rich get richer but being rich in and of itself is no crime. Isn’t that what all long for ? prosperity, a home, and money in the bank? There is no problem with making money but when the call comes for sacrifice all should sacrifice.