What is the Biden Administration doing (a) to help the15 to 43% of children who are traumatized in the US, (b) to help the 3 million who are food deficient and have to ask the teacher for food, and (c) to equip schools with the proper tools with which to teach children to read and write?
The answer is that as a result of the case of Citizens United in 2010 which allowed for unlimited spending in elections, government decisions are purchased with campaign contributions – legalized bribery.
Children do not vote so they can’t compete with corporate interests in the corridors of power which are awash with lobbyists’ money.
The politicians who run the government are uneducated about the education system.
For example, the current Democratic candidate in the Governor’s race in Virginia, Terry McAuliffe recently said that parents don’t have the right to dictate what should be on school curricula.
The Governor was arguably, for political purposes, pandering to the Teachers Union and the School Boards.
But if the man who wants to run the state government does not know that the public schools belong to the people whose taxes pay for them, how can he be relied on to reform the system?
The people may provide the funds to pay for the public schools but half of the funds come from property taxes which generate large funding differences between wealthy and impoverished communities. A fairer system would be to use state taxes to source the funds a la Indiana and Michigan.
Young people are society’s most precious treasure. But society is failing them. Children who are traumatized cannot learn and are more prone to violence. Children who are underfed cannot learn to read and write and are more likely to end up in a penal institution rather than a school of higher learning.
The failings of the educational system are not only stifling opportunities for our best and brightest but is itself falling in the world rankings especially in the areas of science and mathematics.
Constitutionally when the government does not do its’ job it is the right of the people to step in and do the right thing..
Firstly we need a Constitutional Amendment to reverse Citizens United and restore democracy in the electoral system.
Secondly, people have to stop voting against rather than for a candidate. Tactical voting lets in candidates who are not otherwise deserving of public office.
Young people are an untapped reservoir of talent and it is essential to give them the right tools to thrive such as abolishing student debt which stultifies growth.
This requires a Department of Children and Youth to implement trauma-informed education, wrap-around services, restorative justice, conflict resolution, mental health services and mindfulness in schools.
Elected officials have to be properly vetted and held accountable for what they do, remembering always that they work for the people and not the other way around.
PS. I am indebted to Marianne Williamson, former Democratic Presidential candidate,
for some of the ideas expressed in this article.
Victor A. Dixon Author and social scientist Bi-lingual Lives in Boynton Beach, Florida