School Day$$$

September 8th, 2015 by Ken

It’s what we’ve been waiting for all summer – – the start of school.

All across our community, kids are returning to school – – parents are breathing a sigh of relief – – and thousands of school teachers and school employees are back doing what they do best – – educate our kids.

Think for a moment about the impact schools have on our community.   Hundreds of school buses are on the road.  Children, in numbers to large to mention, are walking the sidewalks or waiting at bus stops.

The streets are filled with cars – with parents taking their kids to school or picking them up.   Older children are driving themselves or their friends to school.

School employees are on the road – – heading to those single level buildings we call schools.   There are more than 50 school buildings in our three city area.   They are filled with students, teachers, secretaries, administrators, bus drivers, custodians, cooks, playground supervisors, and volunteers of all stripes.

Our community changes significantly once school starts.  And it stays that way for nine months.   All of that time we’ve placed our children in the hands of others – – to educate – – to develop – – to train.

But, it’s not just the physical impact schools have on our communities.  There’s also a major financial impact.

We spend billions of dollars each year to educate our children.   Education is one of the largest employers in Thurston County.

The amount of money which changes hands each month for education is in the multi-millions of dollars.

But, what’s interesting, is that we seldom question where that money goes – – how it’s spent – – or whether or not it’s being spent wisely.    We seldom have public discussions on education spending.  We leave that up to our elected officials and the teacher’s unions.

When school board seats come up for election – – most incumbents have no opposition.   In the Lacey schools this year,  two incumbent board members did not seek re-election.   Two local citizens – – Graeme Sackrison and Dave Newkirk – – have been elected.   OK – – the election is in November, but each is running unopposed.  And neither had opposition.

Unless some scandal occurs, we never pay attention to our schools.   As a community, we’re obviously happy with the education our kids receive – – and the way our money is being spent.

I just wish we weren’t so complacent and so compliant.

Posted in Government, Local Politics, The Real News

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