Sadly, the public education your child gets often is only as good as the public education you and your community can afford. When state funding cuts put a popular program or teacher or even a planned building at risk, parents and boosters sometimes are asked to step in, reach out, and come up with money to fill the gap. Depending upon the wealth of the community, parents, boosters, and organizations often can offset some of the lost funding. However, no amount of private capital can replace the public funds and civic support lost through budget cuts.
Of course, not every community is able to raise private funds to help. And the level of need varies from school to school and community to community. A wealthy school district may need only new landscaping. Many districts, however, particularly those with significant populations of low-income families, don’t have enough textbooks or well-trained teachers.
In recent years, we’ve been witnessing the “skyboxing” of American education. Like their socioeconomic peers at ballgames, students in education skyboxes are buffered from realities most students face by their well-appointed educational accommodations: “Need an extra AP program? Right away, sir. Would you like an International Baccalaureate with that?” Meanwhile, the vast majority of students sit in the equivalent of bleacher seats, or they are stuck behind a pillar, squinting to see their teachers in overcrowded classrooms.
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