Today is day seven of the 2012-2013 school year, and I am in awe of the number of students who are not back in school yet. My team of five people has spent the past seven days calling, emailing, and texting students, their parents, their grandparents, and their resident school districts because they have not re-enrolled with us and because they have not enrolled anywhere else.
Maybe we should get rid of public education?
I am starting to wonder if free public education is a good idea any more. Perhaps parents and children would take education more seriously if they had to pay for it. I already take education pretty seriously for my own children, but I can guarantee you that I would take it even more seriously if I have to pay $7K or more per child in order for them to attend.
We (as a school) spend thousands of dollars every year to track attendance.
We could save a great deal of money if education was not compulsory. Of course, I would be out of a job, but I am pretty sure that I could find another one. Seriously, though, think about it: for my school of 1,200+ students, there are four people in addition to me who are dedicated to tracking attendance and encouraging (bribing, threatening – you choose the word) students to do well. If we just stopped doing that, we would save the cost of the employees, the supplies, the office materials, and all that mileage that pays for me to drive around the state of Minnesota.
So – why do we require students to attend school?
We require students to attend school because it is in our nation’s best interest to have an educated population. We need to keep people out of prisons and to keep them working. The best way to ensure that students stay out of prisons in the future and in jobs in the future is to educate them. Ramsey County – and many other counties – in Minnesota believes this so strongly that they adjudicate students until the age of 19. Some judges have been known to get in the way of a student dropping out of school.
Education is important, so kids should go to school. And parents should make sure that their kids go to school
ps: I did not go into the fact that there are people around the world who would LOVE to have the free public education that we have (not to mention transportation to school!), but let’s face it – that argument is kind of like getting your kids to eat peas by telling them that people are starving in other parts of the world. It doesn’t work well in that scenario, and I doubt that it would work well in this one.