Estimated reading time: 4 minute(s)
A couple things recently have made me wonder about the future of our country. I know that I have a limited view, as I have only lived 31.5 years here (minus 3, actualy, since I was in Venezuela for 3 of those) and for most of that I was not really aware of the adult world necessarily. But even with my limited perspective, I don’t think that we are heading in the same direction as the folks who were willing to sacrifice every bit of their lives for a place to live in freedom.
Not too long ago we received the proposed school budget in our mailbox. It was a nice little flyer with graphs and charts and tables. Everything was meant to make me feel good about the $38 million or so we were going to spend on something I don’t even really believe in over the following year. The good thing (if you can call it that?) was that at least about half of the total was covered by state aid to our district. The rest would be covered by the small amount of residents in our two towns. The proposed budget was of course an increase. It was on average around $100 or $200 per year per household, I believe.
But actually, I don’t remember the specific numbers because the last page is the thing that just blew me away.
My taxes are already too high. We have some of the highest school taxes by percentage in all of western New York. So, I was already planning to vote “No”, until I saw a nice little comparison chart on the back. They lined up last year’s budgetl, their proposed budget (which was higher), and the contingency budget, which was THE HIGHEST. And, almost as if to just rub it in… there was a little paragraph saying something like, “See? If you vote “No”, you’ll actually be paying more… so, you should vote “Yes”.
I was appalled. Angry. Ready to run for office and straighten up this mess. “That is un-American,” I said to Jen, “That’s like those countries where there are elections… but you can only choose one thing. I know that’s not what America is supposed to be. It’s “We the people”… not “We the select few who know better than the rest of you”.
One more story that evoked similar reactions in me.
While at the homeschool convention, we heard of a home schooling couple from Long Island who were asked by their school district to furnish more information than they were required to by law. They knew this, and said told the school district, “No, we’ve submitted all we are required to, thank you. We’ll be moving along now.” They even got the Home School Legal Defense Agency’s lawyers involved who legally, and acurately backed them. The school district, however, decided to make an example of them and now are (quite illegally) pursuing “legal” action against the family. They have managed to get the courts to allow them to investigate them for “Educational Neglect”. What?!? The family just would not submit birth certificates!!! Now, a representative of the school or state or something will be interviewing the children one at a time, without the parents present. That’s as far as it has gone currently, but it’s scary that it can even go that far!!
Who do we think we are? Why in the world do some of us feel we are better, smarter, more able to decide than others? Why are we letting this happen to our country?!?! We are a nation that is supposed to value freedom above all else. So many have actually given their lives for that, from the Revolutionary War until now. And yet, we spit in their faces by such actions. And astonishingly, both cases involve our public education system. Perhaps there is some connection, but I think it’s broader than that.
There is an ugly cancer in us that will eventually consume us entirely. The notion that some are better than others. Our declaration of Independence states quite clearly that “All men are created equal, and endowed with certain unalienable rights”. Those are the words we are founded on, and need to be reminded of.
We, the people of this great nation, need to be reminded of what America really is.