This was written a week ago, but the sentiment is unchanged. We must keep this conversation at the forefront of every major national conversation.
Another school shooting happened today. 8 kids were killed on a Friday morning just outside of Houston, TX. Meanwhile teachers across the country demonstrate, march and strike in an effort to achieve fairer pay and up to date resources. Gun control and education funding seem like issues that rarely get talked about together, but on a day like today, it is hard to think about one without the other, and how obvious it is that they can both be pointed in the direction of goodness with the same thing: more funding for public education.
The basic human right to have access to a quality education is a privilege that has helped the United States of America become a global power. Generations of well educated adults have paved the way for the relatively high quality of life the majority of Americans enjoy today. And yet, it seems as if many of those in powerful positions around here have either forgotten this to be true or have decided that quality education is no longer a priority.
How we have managed to get to this point is unclear to me. Neglectful politicians have failed to put interest and more importantly money in the hands of educators for far too long. Teaching should be a sought after career. These brave men and women are tasked with not only keeping our children safe from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday but also explaining to them the way the world works, how they should interact with it, not to mention preparing them for life as an adult. They should get standing ovations at sporting events, the same way military do. They should be held in the same regard publicly as fire fighters or police officers. College students should be making the tough decision of whether or not they want to be a doctor, a lawyer or a teacher.
Only through quality education, awareness, knowledge, etc. do we advance and grow as individuals and communities, even nations. Pay the teachers. $30,000/year is not enough. 40k isn’t either. Starting salary for a public school teacher should be 50k min. Depending on the areas cost of living, teachers should expect no less than 50k-90k salary with full benefits, insurance and retirement package. They’re training AND protecting our young people, our future workforce, our future leaders, our hope for a better world. Pay the teachers, fund the schools. Take the guns away.