This post at 22words has really caused me to pause and think.
Partly because I have an ex-husband who is serving a prison sentence. Partly because I have children who are in the public school system (fortunately, they are in a fantastic district). Partly because I have experience working with inner-city kids whose public school experiences are less than stellar.
Nathan Bootz, Superintendent of Ithaca Public Schools wrote this open letter to the Governor of Michigan.
What he has to say makes sense. It makes a lot of sense.
Here are a couple of paragraphs from his letter:
“Consider the life of a Michigan prisoner. They get three square meals a day. Access to free health care. Internet. Cable television. Access to a library. A weight room. Computer lab. They can earn a degree. A roof over their heads. Clothing. Everything we just listed we DO NOT provide to our school children.
This is why I’m proposing to make my school a prison. The State of Michigan spends annually somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 per prisoner, yet we are struggling to provide schools with $7,000 per student. I guess we need to treat our students like they are prisoners, with equal funding. Please give my students three meals a day. Please give my children access to free health care. Please provide my school district Internet access and computers. Please put books in my library. Please give my students a weight room so we can be big and strong. We provide all of these things to prisoners because they have constitutional rights. What about the rights of youth, our future?!”