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Can we all agree that slashing $7.1 billion from education is asinine?

Of all of the hair-brained, short-sighted budget proposal ideas, removing billions of dollars from education takes the cake.

If there's anything that people of all political persuasions should be able to agree on, it's the importance of education.

A well-educated citizenry is the chassis that supports everything we need to keep moving forward—a thriving economy, safer communities, advances in science and technology, strong international standing, and more.


And as the top-performing educational systems in the world prove, a well-funded, equitable, government-funded school system is the most reliable engine humans have designed to keep the machine of civilized society running.

However, the 2020 budget proposal coming from the White House includes cutting $7.1 billion from the Department of Education. On the chopping block include summer and after school programs in low-income areas, Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs, and subsidized Stafford loans for higher education. And while those programs would be cut, more funds would go to charter and magnet school initiatives.

Why? Because public education doesn't require money, duh! College graduates can pay soaring tuition rates with their bootstraps, don'tcha know? And nobody needs after school or summer programs, especially not kids in high poverty areas, right? Nah. We just need to make sure that for-profit charter schools get a bigger piece of the taxpayer pie, because government-funded capitalism is totally the way to make sure everyone has equal access to quality education.

Or maybe we don't actually need to know the best way to educate our diverse and growing populace, because guess what— funding for scientific educational research is on the chopping block too!

(Sorry, sometimes sarcasm is the only reasonable response to absurdity.)

Federal fund allocations are complicated. But this part shouldn't be.

I know the arguments about education being funded locally instead of federally. I understand the sorta-nice-on-paper idea of "school choice." But we have models of successful educational systems around the world, and the vast majority of top-performing systems are government funded with a small percentage of parents choosing private education.

Considering how many schools in America struggle and how many teachers have to pay for materials out of their own pockets, I see very few scenarios where cutting money from education could be considered wise. Even if an educational program is ineffective, it makes more sense to funnel that money into expanding and increasing programs that are working rather than cutting funding altogether.

Call me crazy, but I think education should get every last drop of money we can throw at it. I attended public schools and I've taught in public schools. I know what a challenge it to meet the needs of all students. I chose to homeschool my own kids but still vote yes on every single public school funding measure that comes across my path. I've seen how money makes a difference in what schools are able to offer, and I prefer to live in a well-educated society.

It's not like we don't have the money for more books, when we clearly have the money for more bombs.

What really chaps my hide is that this budget proposes cutting $7.1 billion from education while adding $8.6 billion for a border wall and a 5% increase in defense spending (which equates to an extra $30 billion plus). I can get behind the proposed military pay increase of 3.1% because military families make enough sacrifices as it is, but do we really need to increase defense spending by that much?

We are already the most powerful military force on the planet and we spend more on defense than the next seven countries combined. At what point do we decide that the hundreds of billions we already spend on defense and destruction is enough, and start investing more heavily in the education and health of our people?

The vast majority of educational professionals I know believe that our current administration is taking education in the wrong direction, and this budget proposal highlights why. Both the president of the American Federation of Teachers and the president of the National Education Association—the country's largest teacher unions—denounced the budget cuts. AFT president Randi Weingarten said in a statement:

“This budget doesn’t fund the future; it does quite the opposite, forfeiting children by yet again cutting the education budget while safeguarding the tax cuts given to the wealthy last year. President Trump and Secretary DeVos have made a choice with this budget—enriching those who are rich and who don’t want for anything, on the backs of our children. Even their so-called priorities, career and technical education and child care, aren’t funded in a meaningful way. By eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, they are sending a message that public service doesn’t matter..."

“Rather than increase funding for kids with special needs or for those who live below the poverty line in both rural and urban America, or addressing the issues raised in their own safety report, DeVos once again seeks to divert funding for private purposes in the name of ‘choice.’ However, if they listened to parents, they would hear that, overwhelmingly, parents want well-funded public schools as their choice. By assaulting public education again, Trump and DeVos are defying the will of parents, educators and the American people who continue to march, rally and even strike to secure the investment our children and their public schools desperately need."

Let's bring this privatized war on public schools disguised as educational reform to an end.

It's time to put actual educational professionals with actual teaching experience in charge of education, provide them with enough funding to make our public education system what it could be, and then get out of their way.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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