Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Think it doesn't affect you?

Can you imagine your own elementary education without art, music, gym? Your school with no secretary, no nurse? This is the very real fate hanging in the balance for the Philadelphia School District if they are not granted necessary funding from the city and the state. If you don’t have school age kids or students in the district schools you may think this won’t affect you. You are very wrong. You and your children will share this world with uneducated children devoid of the joy of life and learning. What sort of citizens will they make? What kind of direct impact will they have on your life and the life of your kids? We don’t live in sealed boxes, we are all connected and the lives of educationally injured children will intersect with yours. Do something. Make your voice heard. We can’t stand for this. Email your senator, representative, Governor Corbett today. Your email can be short. Tell them you expect your society to properly fund education and that they personally have the fate of every single one of us in their hands. Here is my letter: June 5, 2013 To: Governor Tom Corbett, Senator Farnese, House Rep Thomas It is said that in America education is a right and not a privilege, that no child should be left behind. I am writing to plead with you to uphold that ideal and think of all the children, the families, and futures that you personally hold in your hands as you decide the fate of the Philadelphia School District. I have two boys who attend a Philadelphia public school. I am personally very involved in their education and their school. I volunteer in the classroom, donate time and money to school fundraising, pass on books to the classrooms and even buy reams of paper for the office and teachers. And there are many more parents who go above and beyond what I can do. The success of our particular public school is due in great part to parental involvement. And in an ideal world every parent could donate time and resources to their child’s school to ensure its success. But that’s not the world we live in. Most parents hand their children over to the school system entrusting school and government officials to do right, to do their best to help them raise educated, well balanced, adults and citizens. And as a government official this is your responsibility. The doomsday budget passed by the Philadelphia School District does not allow for music, art, gym, nurses, office staff, and after school programs. Are these things EXTRA? They absolutely are not. No person reading this letter would ever want their child to attend a school without these things or to send their child to sit in a desk for hours of book work in front of a teacher with no support and no resources. The most important lesson to be taught by any school is a love of learning. Depriving children of the opportunity to make and enjoy music, to create and appreciate art, to get some exercise and learn sportsmanship is a crime. And hours spent at desks without cultural enrichment and a break in rote bookwork will lead to joyless, detached children who are unable to sit still and focus. A teacher unable to rely on a school nurse or the office staff is a teacher working with enormous, crippling disabilities. I love Philadelphia. I plan to continue to raise my boys here in its diverse neighborhoods, in close proximity to the history, the arts, the museums. And I strive every day to make their education my biggest priority. If things take a dramatic turn for the worse, we could reluctantly leave, but so many families with beautiful, growing, yearning to learn children cannot. They are at the mercy of your commitment to fund and support the Philadelphia School District. And if all the families that can leave feel as if they must, they will leave behind a deteriorating city. We must fund our schools. We must BETTER our schools, keeping more families in the city, in the state. Your focus should be on growth and improvement in the system for these children, for these families, for the city, for our world. Isn’t that why you wanted to be a governmental official? To effect positive change? You can do that right now. You must. It is in your hands. With much hope, Nicole Eggerts

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