Brooklyn BloggEd: Oregon Budget Woes
I find it somewhat ironic and somewhat wonderful that I get the New York Times delivered to my door in Portland, Oregon. I find it so for two reasons. First, I love The Times. Have since I first went to college at Indiana and would wait at the student union as it was delivered late in the day to the bookstore. Now it comes to my door each morning, and I like that and I marvel at it. Secondly I find it ironic because I have come to know Joe Luft of Brooklyn BloggEd through our weblog work. From reading someone's site you get to know the person and you see what he or she cares about. I think Joe cares about kids, and as an extension, cares about the children of Oregon. I believe that because he has on several occasions pointed to articles from The Times about Portland and Oregon and our pathetic school funding situation. The irony is that in the morning Joe walks out and picks up the paper, 3 hours or so later I do the same and we open it up and we read the same articles and we both shake our heads.
I 'm glad he does. I'm glad someone out there is watching. Like in many states we are mortgaging our future in the name of tax cuts and tightening our belts. Joe and I have lamented about Oregon turning into a west coast Mississippi. For a long time the worst thing you could say about a state is to compare its education system to Mississippi. For a number of years everyone laughed at those jokes... I think now in retrospect, a more nervous laugh, but a laugh none the less. Now through the hard lens of experience... well it isn't that damn funny. We owe the children of Mississippi and their hard working teachers and families an apology. Because you realize these are real students, these are real families, and these are real communities that are experiencing this pain. It’s not funny to have an education system that is wanting.