To The Daily Sun,
Haley Thomas’s 1/29/20 letter makes valid points about childhood and generational poverty, and their negative effects on peoples’ lives. But Thomas’s apparent solution, increased school funding, is simply inadequate, and, based on decades of history, unlikely to improve educational results or reduce poverty.
Calling for school funding increases may make people feel virtuous without having to commit any real thought or effort, but it’s not going to help children prepare for productive futures.
There are many good, dedicated teachers and staff, but despite all the rhetoric, the public educational establishment consistently demonstrates that it cares far more about its jobs and paychecks than about students’ educations. If that weren’t true, students would be better-educated.
School boards that care more about students than their educational establishments would offer scholarships so students can escape public schools that aren’t meeting their needs.
Childhood poverty isn’t related to school funding, it’s the result of family poverty. Family poverty results from many factors, including parents’ education, skills, and job availability.
Fortunately, our economy is growing creating new and better jobs, record low unemployment, and rising wages; hundreds of companies are training people for their job openings; and President Trump’s tax and regulation policies and trade deals promise to create millions more good American jobs. Millions have already risen out of poverty.
But the biggest predictor of family poverty is whether the family is headed by one or two parents. Single-parent families are almost six times as likely to live in poverty as two-parent families. Single parents love and want the best for their children, and some raise very successful children. But parenthood is a very difficult task that consistently has better results, including much less poverty, in two-parent households.
Our society needs to promote, honor, and incentivize two-parent families and end welfare laws that reward single motherhood. Rich single women who become mothers should be identified as bad role models because they lead most single mothers to lives of struggle if not poverty. We don’t want to punish or abandon single mothers; we want fewer single mothers and to discourage them from compounding their problems.
Increased funding alone doesn’t address society’s problems, it only raises taxes.
To help students prepare for prosperous futures, support school choice and demand that your school boards offer scholarships. Honor all families, but encourage two-parent families because they are better for parents and children alike. To help families escape and avoid poverty, support President Trump’s efforts to keep our economy growing so parents can get better jobs and higher wages … and so when children leave school they find good job openings and can be optimistic about their futures.
(H/T: Laconia Daily Sun)