I am writing to urge you not to support Gov. Corbett’s budget as proposed with its devastating and disproportionate cuts in education.
I believe education always is valuable to the individuals, the families, the cities, states and the country. Without education, we will not be able to compete with the other countries. Our children will not be able to better themselves or gain solid employment. The advantages that the United States has had, our country’s fortitude and ingenuity are as a result of—not in spite of—the education we provide our children.
I urge legislators to find another way to bring costs in line, if that indeed is the problem. If the U.S. Supreme Court has determined (in the ruling of People v. Citizens United) that corporations can be considered individuals for the purposes of Political Action Committees and funding, then I believe the same logic can be applied to taxes as well. While I know the popular thought these days is that taxes are evil—taxes are necessary in order for the citizens of the country to have the level of services to which they have been accustomed. And if corporations are individuals under one jurisdiction of the law, they should be individuals under all aspects of the law; therefore, making the corporations pay their fair share of taxes, not at reduced or “sweetheart” rates, is only fair.
If the corporations would pay their fair share of the taxes, I am confident that our youth would not need to suffer because of decreased funding to the school system (and that is K-12 and university level). Corporations are not necessarily creating more jobs in a state because they are getting these lower tax rates (and higher earnings, as a result). If corporations do create jobs, the jobs are going overseas, to China or to India, where the labor can be had cheaply and no one questions sanitation or labor standards.
If the Executive and Legislative branches continue to reduce the amount of assistance to the public school system, all that is going to be accomplished is an increase in unemployment as educators and support staff in the school systems find themselves out of work; families moving out of state to try to find work elsewhere, thus further reducing the amount of revenue available for the state and feeding into a cyclical state of cutting the budget to compensate for shortfalls; children not receiving the quality of education they need and deserve because someone has decided to take a business approach to education and has decided it is not profitable. Profits and losses are not applicable in the realm of education, and to try to use a business model to determine the value of education is setting the system up for failure.
You cannot compare apples and oranges or force a square peg into a round hole: Trying to use profit structures of business for non-profit entities is a fallacy of the highest order. Business models and privatization of public enterprises have shown us already that they accomplish nothing but increase toadyism, nepotism and disproportionate wealth, leaving the middle and poorer classes to wallow.
I have heard that public education is no longer the way of the future—that it is not a sound investment. That statement is preposterous. The day an investment in our children’s education and the cultivation of lifetime learners and tomorrow’s leaders is not important is the day I lose faith in all that our great country was founded on and look to move on.
I urge our lawmakers to reconsider these destructive and divisive practices. Invest in education—public education—it will pay us all back 1,000-fold in the wise leadership and scientific advances of our children and our children’s children.