As the year 2012 comes to an end, some thoughts about the state of education in our state come to mind. To wit, it seems like almost everyone in Arizona wants to improve our educational system and an almost equal number don’t want to pay for any of these improvements. There seems to be overwhelming verbal support for public education in Arizona until people are asked to monetarily support their convictions.
The elephant in the room that few want to see or address is that Arizona will continue to flounder in national educational competition until we provide additional resources to our schools. What person wants to go into education as a career today or remain in education as a career when their wages are disproportionate to their schooling, when they are continually blamed for the ills of the educational system even though they are not provided with the needed resources to succeed, and where their job security is jeopardized on an almost annual basis? Don’t believe this? Ask any relative, friend or neighbor that is an educator in Arizona and they will probably tell you that if they could, they might rescind their career choice. Money doesn’t sing or dance, but it does talk.
Here’s the bottom line: We’ll continue to be in the lower quartile of educational achievement unless we pay our teachers comparable to what accountants, business majors, computer technicians, district manager, engineers, etc., are paid. We want all of our educators to be exceptional, but we want to “reward” them with paltry wages. We do unfortunately get what we pay for and we’re currently funding a below-average educational system in Arizona.
I want to be around when we can proudly say to any business wanting to locate in our great state, “Come to Arizona not only for our sunshine, but also for our superior and stupendously supported schools.” The year 2013 would be a great time to start seeing serious support for our schools from our state solons.