Dear Future President,
When I was younger i always knew I wanted to go to college, but I didn’t know exactly how to get there. All I knew were the basics, get great grades, be a good student, be respectful to your teachers, everything that is essential to achieving academic success. While most had their parents to enlighten them on everything else required for the road to higher education, I had to acquire them on my own. No one in my immediate family had even entertained the thought of higher education. As my family and I moved from from one bad neighborhood to the next, I learned at a very young age that school was just not a priority for most around me. At home I had no one to help me with homework, or give me ideas for my science projects; they just weren’t interested. The only time education was important was when I was actually in a classroom setting. I tried to strive for excellence throughout my academic journey but the schools that I attended did not really help me to do so.
The public schools in low-income, high-risk areas are often neglected by the system. My high school and many others lack many of the qualities others schools have, one of those including not even having enough food to eat at lunch some days. These school districts frequently suffer from debt and bad representation which ultimately trickle down to the students. Students who attend “lesser” educational facilities are looked down upon, often because of things they have no control over. Old books, out-dated technology, less qualified teachers, and poor building maintenance are just a few of the factors that continue to hold back students who attend these schools. These districts often hire less experienced teachers for less pay, resulting in unexceptional and unreceivable teaching skills. It also isn’t uncommon to see teachers get fired and never replaced, something that happened to me more than twice throughout my high school experience. They do not hire people qualified or capable of running a safe and prosperous educational environment, resulting in an often switch up of educational staff such as principals and district officials.
Poorer school districts do not have the capability to offer a student what they could receive in a school district that is more well off. It seems that the school districts with an abundance of funds continue to grow while the financial stability of poorer districts are on a steady decline. Studies show that most states’ percentage of low income students in public schools are higher than 51% and more than 40% of low-income schools do not get a fair share state and local funds. This means that for some states like Mississippi, for example, that a have a percentage of a high 71% low-income students in public schools, many of those students are not receiving enough funding for their education. Being that making the amount of money spent in both wealthy and poor districts equal would cost only 1% of the districts’ budgets, the lack of budgeting equality between the rich and poor is highly unacceptable.
Substandard allocations for public schools not only perpetuate the stereotypes that schools in not so good areas have, but also perpetuate the stereotype of the area and people around it. The topic of low-income areas correlate with the minorities that more than often inhabit them. Black and brown students are having the right of quality education snatched away from them and the matter of educational disinterest is implemented at very young ages. The kids of these areas go to these schools learning mediocrity, so much so that when they finish they go on to lead mediocre lives.
Students go to school to receive and education in order to be successful in life, in a sense. I believe that the lack of educational competency these schools obtain are holding students back, while the more fortunate school districts have the tools to help their students prosper, virtually kicking high-risk area students out of the race before it even starts. Lower income public schools are not giving their students a fighting chance at being the best, better yet, not even a chance at competing with the best. I believe that poorer school districts should be given the same educational opportunities that every district has. If anything, these are the students that need those windows of opportunity the most, and right now that window hasn’t even been open to them. I am asking that you use your platform to draw attention to these suffering areas and students and help push the need of more funding in these districts. No student deserves to go through life receiving poor quality education. Think about your kids, and your kids’ kids and your grand kids. We are the future of this world, and a high quality education can only make us better as future world leaders and maybe even future presidents.