To anyone who still has a dream. Whose aspirations for the future have not been crushed by the pessimistic and hopeless aura of the thousands of people who lose their jobs every day, and the tons of college graduates who still can’t find a job. To anyone who is in college, going to class at 2pm because they worked the drive-thru at McDonald’s the night before. To ANYONE who still sees education as the number one. Who still hopes to fulfill their desire to be that Therapist.. Doctor.. Engineer.. Writer..
This one is for you.
I recently got an email from the Florida Department of Education telling me, in more words than this, that though I have maintained my scholarship based on my academic standing, I will be receiving less money for the 2009-2010 school year. Congrats on your success in your freshman year of college Meisha, be very proud to know that after all of your achievements, we will be rewarding you with less money to pay for your education that you so obviously treasure. …. Wait a minute.. WHAT !?
Let me just pause here and mention that Florida Public University tuition has gone up 16% and so many Florida residents lose their jobs EVERYDAY, that we lead the nation in job losses – with North Carolina second.
Tracing this back to high school, budget cuts forced teachers to give EXTRA CREDIT to students who could bring in paper so the teacher can make tests and worksheets. They complained every day that the process to get copies approved was so arduous and futile that it made more sense to drive to Kinko’s with any spare change and flier papers, or if you’re lucky, the paper one of your students so generously donated – in an underlying effort to buy their grade.
Now let’s not forget that teachers are so severely underpaid that “spare change” was probably a little less than easy to come by – especially when you need it for 6 classes, twice or maybe even 3 times a week. But wait, there is a two word solution to this issue: Overhead projector. Ding ding ding. Hit the nail on the head. All you need is one copy, a light bulb, and a little high tech machine that will project – as the name implies – whatever it is you put on top of it. Well, that was easy now wasn’t it? All we have to do now with this 54 billion dollar budget cut is buy enough overhead projectors for an entire school, and times that by the amount of schools in the state. But don’t worry, the extra electricity we use can be paid off when we stop ordering books for the students. There is nothing wrong with carrying four heavy books back and forth everyday: they are growing kids. Well, hey.. For a free education, I will carry four books around no problem. But Miss, can you at least give me one with all of the pages?
Oh, high school. What have ye prepared us for? I know… For more budget cuts and job losses; and this time you don’t have to walk with your books. But you sure do have to pay for them. And we can’t forget that 16 percent tuition raise. Lower income, higher output. It should work out perfectly. And if you still can’t make ends meet, that is why we have bright futures! (Here’s 20 bucks. Don’t spend it all at once.)
To spare you the sarcasm, Florida is ranked number 10 in education in the nation, a DRASTIC improvement from 31st in 2007. Yet still, the unemployment rate is 8.5% (that’s twice as much as it was in 2007) in a country where 650,000 people lose their jobs every month, and a world where one percent of the population controls 80 percent of the wealth.
In this country’s history, it has been proven that it is the COLLEGE students who have been responsible for some monumental changes. Students like YOU who decided that women deserve equal rights, that racial segregation was unconstitutional, that the country create jobs. It is YOU who go out and fight in a war you don’t believe in, and YOU who lined up by the masses in the 2008 election to support Obama’s campaign for “change.” So once again, YOU need to stand up and be heard. Higher tuition affects YOU. Unemployment affects YOU. So just as you enthusiastically, and many ignorantly, went out and voted for Obama in November, so should you enthusiastically educate yourself and form your own platform for change; to counteract the perpetual cycle of aristocracy.
A college education is FREE in parts of Europe. Just saying.