Governors to Parents: Please Help

by Tammy Drennan

Imagine states sending out letters like this…

Office of the Governor

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Due to budget restraints and our current economic crisis, the state has been forced to reevaluate the school services it provides. Many citizens are not aware that school costs consume 57% of the state’s budget. While we all want to see children well-educated, it has become necessary to examine and redefine the responsibilities of taxpayers and the specific responsibilities of parents for education and related needs of children.

To that end, here is the new delineation of responsibilities.

The state and local governments will provide the following school services for K-12 students: 

  • Instruction in reading
  • Instruction in language arts
  • Instruction in mathematics
  • Instruction in science
  • Instruction in social studies, history, geography and civics
  • Instruction in foreign languages
  • High school instruction in public speaking
  • College and career guidance for high school students

Parents or guardians will be responsible for the following areas of instruction and services for their children.

  • Meals
  • Healthcare and health instruction
  • Family planning and management
  • Physical education and sports
  • Socialization issues, including getting along with others, anger management, etc.
  • Instruction in the arts, including art, music, dance, theater, etc.
  • Enrichment activities such as field trips
  • Instruction in morals, ethics and/or religion

Resources for parents and guardians will be made available on the department of education web site and at public libraries.

Sports facilities at public school locations will be leased per local board of education discretion to individuals, businesses or parent groups. School auditoriums will be made available for nominal fees for arts related activities. Communities and families are encouraged to form committees to explore the use of said facilities.

We thank you for your willingness to take back some of the responsibility for rearing your children in order to help your state avoid bankruptcy.

Yours,

The Governor

Note: This is not a real letter sent out by any state, though it is one many states probably wish they could send. It would be a start toward a revival of community and family and a society defined not by politics and special interests but by the people.

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4 Responses to Governors to Parents: Please Help

  1. Frances says:

    Very interesting idea. I can already here the dads squawking about how their sons are not going to be able to play college ball if there aren’t any high school games to prove themselves in. I think some parents would rather you switch the lists around after all “socialization” is what they send their kids to public school for. (insert eye roll here)

    Any idea how much this would save the states? Or what percentage of the education budget the eliminated things take up?

  2. tdbwd says:

    Frances,

    Hi. I think you’re right — some parents would rather have the lists reversed. I hadn’t even thought about what the actual savings would be — that would be very interesting to investigate. Another interesting thing to ponder is: What if the lists were reversed; what if parents were fully responsible for seeing to the intellectual preparation of their children for life? Maybe having taken on such a serious responsibility, they would not feel a need to turn elsewhere for the more social aspects. Surely some of the things in the second list would get naturally bumped to the first if parents were taking on that list, like moral training. Hmm, much more to think about now. Thank you.

    Tammy

  3. lisa says:

    My dream letter!…
    Of course, I would add at the top of the list for North Carolina:
    1. All non-teaching positions held at the Dept. of Education will be terminated.(some of these people make $70K to 125K for doing nothing but pencil pushing, rabble rousing at meetings and spying(evaluating)on teachers)
    I am an advocate for no public schools, but with these cuts, children would at least get a free meal and a few field trips. ;). We could also make the case for property tax reduction because of the cuts.
    Also,
    I am late also, but my deepest condolences on the loss of your husband, Tammy.

  4. tdbwd says:

    Lisa,

    Hi. A good addition to the letter. I picked up my paper this morning and saw, amazingly, that half of the people polled in my state would support additional taxes for schools!! I wonder if they have any idea how much the schools already get.

    Thank you very much for your condolences. Today makes two months — a very short time, but it already seems like a lifetime.

    Tammy

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