This past week I went on a trip to Baja Mexico to build houses. I solidified my understanding that I am very lucky and blessed. I
In the area where I worked, I met kids whose families have to pay $150 for a school uniform to go to school. No uniform, no school. When you’re family members are working for .50 cents an hour, $150 is a lot. It made me think back to our public school system in the States. I didn’t have to pay for a uniform to attend, we didn’t even have uniforms and the most we paid amounted to $100 for clubs and other fees. It seems like a whole different world.
Earlier this summer I remember seeing stories on news shows and online about state governments limiting teachers’ ability to collectively bargain. We have state governments limiting collective bargaining rights, cutting school funding and teachers going on strike. It’s a luxury to go to school in Mexico. Why are we fighting about who has the right to essentially form an interest group and cutting education funding? The kids we met couldn’t wait to go to school no matter how long it took for their family to save $150, .50 cents at a time.
Teachers, and workers of all kinds, should be allowed to join a union or not based on their individual needs. If they don’t want to join a union, they don have to. If they want to join a union, let them. I know the politics of that decision can get messy but I think it’s a shame that some states want to take so much out of the school system when kids in other countries actively seek out work to afford a simple school uniform. A school uniform opens doors for them.
Why don’t we start putting our differences aside and remember that an education is a blessing? Teachers don’t need their pay lowered and rights limited; schools don’t need funding to be pulled from under them. We need more funding and we need to treat teachers like they matter, because they do. Where would you be without your education? How would you feel if you were a child who just wanted to go to school but had to wait for your family to save $150 on wages similar to those of the Great Depression?
Let teachers chose what is right for them, don’t cut funding to schools and thank your lucky stars you have an education.