We are conditioned by this latest recession and economic downturn to accept bankruptcies. They have been common. Most of them have involved companies like Circuit City, Shoe Pavilion and Montgomery Ward, just to name three. I don't think many of us ever expected cities and states to go bankrupt. But it's happening. Added to that dubious list are public schools. A record number of California school districts are now facing bankruptcy. Twelve school districts in California cannot pay their bills this year or next "according to a biannual report on the financial health of the states 1,037 school systems compiled by the state Department of Education."
The financially challenged districts represent 2.6 million children. This is a disaster for the future of this state and country. Experts maintain that the situation could dramatically worsen if initiatives to raise taxes to help public schools fail to pass in November.
My personal position is not to compaign and implore you to vote to raise taxes in November. I am as tired of rising taxes as anyone. But I AM seriously concerned about the future of education in this state. I am also extremely annoyed at the politicians who mismanaged and kept diminishing educational funds to the point where we may no longer be able to guarantee every citizen and child a free public education. That is nothing short of a tragedy. I don't need to rely on hyperbole to impress upon people what no education or limited eduaction opportunities will mean to our economy and culture in the future. It would be catastrophic. The domino effect to eventual collapse of the state seems inevitable. Education is the foundation that every society is built upon.
Of course, if schools go bankrupt and there simply isn't a school for a child to attend, there will always be private schools; for those who can afford them. What happens to the kids whose families can't afford to pay for an education? If school budgets continue to take a hit from the state, it seems only a matter of time before everyone will have to pay tuition to even attend a public school. Obviously, this will provide a huge imbalance in our society. The "haves" will prosper and get an education and anything else they need and the "have nots" will languish in situations and lives that will offer little hope. That's certainly not the American dream that our Founding Fathers envisioned and I can't believe it's one that any of us would want to see our state settle for because they have decided to make education a low priority. I don't know how school districts will get the funding they need to survive. I just know that all of us must make sure that somehow they DO survive!