Often when my alarm goes in the morning, I groan because I want five more minutes of sleep. But the day after the Colorado elections, I didn’t just want to hit the snooze button. I wanted to rip the alarm clock out of the wall and sleep all day. Reality felt extra harsh that day.
Proposition 103, an attempt to raise three billion dollars for public education failed profoundly in the election the day before. Two-thirds of Coloradans voted down the amendment that would give a trickling stream of funds to the desert-like public education system in the state. This would have required a minimal sales tax increase by applying a tried and true formula: Increase a minimal amount of taxes to many in order to see significant results for the greater good. With the voting results showing such a significant defeat of the proposition, the message to public schools is loud and clear…and harsh for this teacher to hear. The public does not support public education. So if the public doesn’t support public education, who will?
I resisted the urge to throw the alarm clock across the room…and begrudgingly rolled out of bed because with all of the talk of holding teachers accountable, the accountability is already a reality. The students in my class deserve a quality education, despite the lack of support from the public. My students are depending on me, and I know this, so I will not let them down.
But a puzzling thought remains: if public school kids depend on public school teachers, then who do the public school teachers depend on?