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We the people need to take action on school closings

July 15, 2013 Posted by: Joe

 All problems in our society are at their core about money.  This is seen especially when we talk about schools.  The problem is simply that schools want the most amount of money possible to provide the best service to their students possible but the government wants to give out the least amount of money possible because nothing looks better for re-election than a budgetary surplus.  So the problem is money and the solution to money problems is more money.  The new government gets more money through taxation and nothing looks worse for re-election than raising taxes.  So what's the solution?  The solution has several parts that all more or less need to happen.  First we need to tax more efficiently.  Currently schools are paid for mostly through property which is determined based on property value (that's why low income area schools are poorly funded and higher income area schools are well funded).  So we need to fund schools not based on property value of their locations but based on need.  Other schools must be given money to modernize and schools with other problems should be funded based on the problems they face.  Second we need to fix the long term debt problem we face with long term debt solutions, not short term sequestration and frantic cuts to good programs.  Finally we need to make it clear to those in office what we hold important.  We need to tell them that schools are our top priority and should be funded that way and if they don't want to listen then they should find a new line of work.  We the people need to take back our schools and we the people need to make our voices heard.


15 Comments Comments Icon

  1. Steve - Philadelphia, PA
    July 25, 2013 at 10:02

    Joe, this is a very well-structured argument, using the 4 basic components of an effective argument demonstrated by Thomas Jefferson, in The Declaration of Independence, during your workshop session with him. You establish the unifying assumption (the "warrant"), which is the idea that all problems in our society are at their core about money. You take a stand with your "claim", identifying the problem. You explain your position with a clearly-stated "reason", and you back it up with thoughtful "support". This is of course not the only available structure for an effective argument, but you've certainly incorporated this technique into your rhetorical tool box, and you have used it effectively.

  2. Betty - Wyncote, PA
    July 25, 2013 at 08:57

    First, I am so glad you see the value of education. However, although I agree we need to put money in education, I also think school districts and educators need to be very clear about how they use the money given to them. Students must always come first! Throwing money at a "problem" can only be helpful when there is a clear focus on how to solve it.

  3. Sunflower - Philadelphia, PA
    July 19, 2013 at 09:48

    You guys should take one out of the Alice Paul handbook of peaceful resistance. She organized suffragists across the country to take action. Find out who represents you and your parents in local, state and federal government. Alice Paul would find out the birthdays of politicians and send them birthday cards with messages asking them to consider the suffrage amendment to give women the right to vote. She even sent birthday cakes to a few. Read about other tactics of peaceful resistance. It took years, but eventually women got the right to vote thanks to her efforts!

  4. Erin - Philadelphia, PA
    July 17, 2013 at 08:50

    You create a strong argument, but I'd love to see some personal connections in your essay. How are school closings affecting you, your family, and your community? Personal anecdotes can give arguments an emotional punch. Go for it.

  5. Paul Mazzuca - Alexandria, VA
    July 17, 2013 at 02:45

    Joe: Correlation is not causality; the Federally-occupied District of Columbia spends an exorbitant amount per pupil yet their real education is shamefully inadequate.

  6. Lois - Wynnewood, PA
    July 17, 2013 at 09:04

    Please run for office. Common sense solutions are really needed.

  7. MRS E. - FALLS, PENNSYLVANIA
    July 16, 2013 at 06:11

    Joe, you have people thinking, especially me. It is like the snowball rolling down the hill..it keeps getting bigger. I have a suggestion for you. Is there any child that you know going into kindergarten in the fall? Give of your time. Teach that child letters, sounds, colors, numbers and read books. What a gift you would be giving that child. Maybe we could start another snowball rolling.

  8. John - seneca falls, ny
    July 16, 2013 at 02:34

    Joe: Money is certainly a critical issue in education. I would offer another critical issue as well -- ideas. An author many years ago wrote a book entitled "Ideas Have Consequences." before you persuade people to spend more of their money on taxes for education you will probably need to persuade them that your ideas are worth the expenditure. You have expressed your ideas well -- how would you get them out a wide audience?

  9. Amy - Lowell, MA
    July 16, 2013 at 02:04

    This is a strong call for action that explores many facets of the problem. What are your ideas for fixing these problems and making our voices heard?

  10. Roxanne - Reno, Nevada
    July 16, 2013 at 10:57

    I think money is an issue, but I agree with Mrs. E that we also need people to take more responsibility. There are too many parents who don't take an interest, who leave it up to others to work out the problems. I don't like the generalization that all of society's problems are about money at their core, but I do like how you offer solutions to the problems that you see.

  11. Al - Aldan, PA
    July 15, 2013 at 08:45

    Joe, you really made me think about how education is funded. I agree with your argument about the problem with basing funding on property values. Are students from log cabins destined for lesser futures than students from mansions. Someone should tell Abe Lincoln. I think that's where Mrs. E is right. We need to invest as much community support into our schools as we do money!

  12. Bethany - Philadelphia, PA
    July 15, 2013 at 06:31

    I like that you explore the ways more than one issue is at play regarding school closings. I also like the way you employ the "We the people" line from the Declaration of Independence in your closing.

  13. Sarah - Port Richy, Florida
    July 15, 2013 at 05:09

    You state a lot of the problem, but how do we get our leaders to take the right actions? When will you be old enough to run for Congress?

  14. MRS E. - FALLS, PA
    July 15, 2013 at 04:37

    I disagree that money is the answer. Yes it is needed but people caring and taking part are also needed. Be it a school board that funds the schools or volunteers to assist the staff. Parents must be interested in their children and their schools. Everyone has the responsibility to see that the next generation is well educated to protect our freedoms. Joe I am proud that you see the problem.

  15. Renee - Philadelphia
    July 15, 2013 at 03:34

    I like the way you identify solutions!

 

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