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Well I was going to rant about this on tumblr but my app isn’t uploading the post (too much froth?) so fine, it can just live on my blog.

Okay, childless/childfree people, let’s talk for a minute. I don’t have kids. I doubt I ever will. I still vote for every way to fund education that I can, and I pay close attention to school board elections and other education issues. And it’s not because I have nieces that I love, and it’s not because I am so rich that I’m desperate to give my money away. It’s certainly not because I don’t have other things I’d rather be doing with my time and money.

It’s because I am trying to ensure that kids learn how to think and cooperate and socialize, so that they grow into adults who can think, and cooperate, and socialize.

I’m not a fucking island. I don’t run this country on my own. (If I did, it’d be a much different place.) The decisions that other people make effect me deeply–just look at environmental issues and the battle we’re still fucking having about denial. And the kids of today are going to be running this place when I’ve retired.

Allow me to repeat: The kids of today are going to be running this place when I’ve retired.

There is a reason people with wacky ideologies try to pack school boards–look at creationists and their endless quest to fuck up childhood education. This stuff matters. This stuff controls the future in both short and long term.You think your life would be half as good as it is now if fundamental biology education got torn up by the roots?

Education matters. Even if you don’t have kids, and will never have kids, education should matter to you. You are not paying for someone else’s little annoying monster to learn how to add fractions and not eat paste. You are paying to live in a place where the people around you can maybe understand complex issues that affect everyone.

And yeah, right now that doesn’t seem to be working. I agree it’s not fair to hook things to property ownership. It’s damn unfair to kids in places with low property values, and it’s an obviously bad idea unless you have a (gross) personal interest in perpetuating class-based inequalities. But I’ve also yet to see a funding issue of ANY kind pass by popular vote. (Up until this year I lived in Colorado.) And I agree something needs to change if we actually want to pursue that golden ideal of producing people who can reason and think critically and address the challenges of the modern world. But starving schools of funding ain’t it, and ignoring the issue ain’t it, and saying it isn’t your problem because you don’t even like kids sure as hell ain’t it. Why do we even keep having this argument?

Maybe because we still haven’t figured out that education isn’t a product, it should be a public good. Maybe because we’re still having more arguments over how much money teachers make than how much money people who get their living off capital gains make. Maybe because we’re more concerned with test scores than actual end results. Maybe because fiddling while Rome burns should be our national pastime, not baseball.

And we’re also still having this same damn argument about how you shouldn’t have to pay for education if you’re childless/childfree. Whether they sprang from your loins or not, whether you like it or not, you will be sharing the world with all of these kids and their ability to think or not will affect you and all other living things on this planet in ways you cannot even begin to imagine.

Education matters, and funding it matters. If you want humans to stop repeating the same stupid mistakes over and over, it matters.

/drops mic

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.


Dec. 31st, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)

It's truly amazing to me how many people just can't seem to grasp this concept. I suppose their failure to do so shows exactly why we need more funding for education. :/

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