Way back when, I used to run a periodic column called the Soapbox series. It was a chance to vent about something that I feel strongly about and is CLEARLY labeled as my opinion. You won’t hurt my feelings if you hit “delete” now, but I hope you don’t. I promise to keep it short and sweet.
What got me started was this: the First Book Tweet pointing me toward Children’s Literacy Development in the 21st Century at the Education Advocacy blog. Great article, new blog for my reader! Rosario Perez uses statistics to help hammer home her point, but this is the reality.
When we provide resources and supports for schools, teachers, librarians and parents to develop reading skills – we are not only investing in literacy – we are investing in our nation.
That is a sentiment near and dear to my heart … and why I find this drive to cut librarians and teachers from schools so disturbing. It is counter-intuitive and yet we do it over – and over – and over again. Yes, I know that school systems are trying to cut other things first (music, art to name 2); some systems are charge families when their kids ride the school bus; and some are or looking into charging extra fees to play on team sports. I’m not going there or we’ll be here for hours.
What I will say is this … if you want your voice heard, then you need to let Congress know. Now. There is a vote coming up Tuesday, 25 May 2010 for the Education Jobs Fund. This bill, presented in December, seeks to “funnel another $23 billion over two years to states to shore up their still-beleaguered local education systems.” The original vote to send the bill to the senate was close (217-212), and it will be hard to predict how things will turn out next Tuesday.
If you would like to learn more about the legislation, you can find articles and videos at http://www.educationvotes.nea.org. If you would like to forward a letter to your Congressional representative, go to http://www.capwiz.com/nea/issues/alert/?alertid=15045411&type=co. You’ll be asked to enter your zip code, which will give you your Representatives’ and Senators’ names … it is all automated, and YOU get to decide what to highlight about the importance of education for your kids. One paragraph or six … it’s up to you.
Disclosure: Information about the NEA Education Votes effort made available to the Reading Tub by Her Insight. The opinions expressed are my own and do not represent the Reading Tub.