2016 was a very trying year. It was President Obamas las year in office, police killings seemed to increase more and more, and Trump won the 2016 election. While all of this news was very devastating, one event truly stuck out to me the most. The 2016 $1 Billion dollar lottery. The jackpot was over $1 Billion dollars and it was the highest jackpot in history. Normally I think about what I would do with all of that money, but other thoughts ran through my mind. What would have happened if that money went towards education? What if that money went towards low-income communities? What if that money went towards raises for the working class? All of these questions consistently went through my mind, and in today’s economy, I wish we had it for the community. Many people say “Money is the root of all evil,” but if you look up the original quote you will see that statement is wrong. The actual motto is “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” Finances can be used to significantly change someone’s life for better or worse. While money has a big impact on an individual’s life, it will only affect what you allow it to affect. If our country was able to raise over $1 Billion dollars for a “chance” to wins something, imagine what we could do if we made that money work for us all.
Education will always be something that is underrated. During political debates, budget meetings, and regular conversations, education is an afterthought. Despite other countries surpassing us in reading, writing, and arithmetic, we continue to cut funding from education. Between 2011-2015 the education budget for K-12 institutions was cut by 20% (Bidwell, 2015). Resources are scarce, less children are succeeding, and we continue to cut funding for our students. As a child I was always told “The children are the future.” If this is so, we are doing a terrible job investing in our future. The Jackpot in January of 2016 exceeded 1Billion dollars, and this money was raised from American citizens spending money on a gamble. If we can raise that much money buying tickets for a possibility, why aren’t we spending that much on our children’s future which is a certainty.
As of 2017 there was a total of 132,183 K-12 school in the United States of America. This included Public (98,817), Private (33,370), Charter (6,187), and Catholic schools (7,110). Let’s say every household in America with public school students were to raise $50 for each child. As of 2014 there were 49,484,181 students enrolled in public school. If each household raises $50 per child we would raise $2,474,209,050 to divide among 98,817 schools. This amount allows each public school to have an additional $25,038 for expenses. While that may not seem like a lot, that can cover updated computers, books, bonuses for teachers, improved food, better resource centers, etc. Now this is only $50 per student. Imagine if instead of buying Jordan’s, the newest iPhone, eating out every day, buying hair, we spent that money on our children. This may seem like a lot of money per parent, but in retrospect it’s not much at all.
f a parent spends $50 per child that is $4.17 a month. If you have a household of three children that is $12.51 a month. It may not seem fair for a household of more than one child to pay more, but if your money is going towards improving your children's education, shouldn’t that be worth the money? In an idealistic world our government would let education be one of the last funds reduced. Unfortunately, we live in a world where education is secondary to war, salaries of government officials, and bailouts. If we TRULY want our children to succeed, we must hold the people in power accountable. If they are not going to improve the education system, we must start taking care of the education system ourselves. Every child deserves a quality education. We as adults must work hard to ensure ALL children are equipped to lead the future we look forward to every day.