MCCOY || Madi Gregory || (812) 679-7524 || email@example.com
To the Editor and my fellow Indiana residents:
I am sure every state legislator buys insurance to cover her or his home, auto, boat, business, and health. On a regular basis, they submit their premiums without a second thought. Why? It’s simple---to save a great deal of potential expense in case of accident, sickness, or some other unforeseen thing happening to them or to their possessions.
For this reason, I struggle to understand why our legislators continuously fail to invest the funds that are critically needed to insure the future of our state and its economy.
The proposed state budget continues to reduce the amount of funding provided to schools that are serving the students who have the greatest needs. Why do our legislators continue to not insure the success of students who are growing up in poverty, which in essence is what they are doing by cutting funding to school districts who are charged with providing a quality education for those children and youth?
It is a fact: students who are growing up in poverty are less likely to attain the skill levels that prepare them for jobs that will support them and their families without increased academic supports.
It is a fact: if students don’t obtain the needed academic skills for success, they are—statistically—more likely to need public supports like food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, remedial adult education classes, and additional job training as adults---all more expensive alternatives than a quality elementary and secondary public education.
It is a fact: when schools receive adequate state resources to provide students growing up in poverty with the supports they need to learn and achieve, those students achieve at similar levels to their peers who are growing up in higher income homes.
It makes sound economic sense (setting aside the more compelling moral argument momentarily) to insure that these children who, either by accident of birth or other human-made reasons are growing up in poverty, get the quality education that will dramatically increase their chances of becoming productive adults. These adults are then more than capable of getting a good job and paying taxes which increases the well-being of the community. These adults then will not need public help but are financially independent contributors to the community. These adults might be the next great plumber, scientist, educator, or businessperson… and it starts with a child in an appropriately funded school, in a state that intrinsically values education for all.
Investing in the education of ALL students is the insurance premium we pay as citizens of this state and community to make sure our children don’t have to worry about the future but can instead be focused on building it. It is way past time that our legislators put our money where it belongs. Legislators: help ensure ALL Hoosier students get equitable support through equitable school funding and stop reducing funding to the schools who need the most added support. When voting on the state budget this year, please keep these students in mind.
John Brandon, President
Marion County Commission On Youth, Inc. MCCOY
MCCOY’s vision is to ensure every young person in central Indiana has opportunities to learn, engage, contribute, and thrive.