Editor's Note (The View From Here)

Examining Our Priorities

When I was young, it was obvious to me that my parents, teachers, and the policymakers at all levels were making decisions based on creating a better future for their kids. Today, I wonder if children have that same confidence. Several school-related topics have made headlines in the past few weeks that, if they are dealt with correctly, could help build that confidence. Here are just two.

School Infrastructure

The recently proposed Rebuild America’s Schools Act, H.R. 865 (116), would create a $70-billion grant program and $30-billion tax credit bond program targeted at improving the physical and digital infrastructure at high-poverty schools. More than one in four of the nearly 100,000 public K-12 schools in the United States are in poor or unsatisfactory condition. Recent polls indicate that a majority of Americans strongly support investing more in public infrastructure. Public schools are the second largest sector of America’s infrastructure, after roads and highways. If legislation is passed to invest in infrastructure, public K-12 schools need to be a large part of that package. All students deserve decent schools.

School Safety

The Education Commission of the States researched K-12 school safety policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to provide a resource, entitled K-12 School Safety: State Profiles. This resource gives an overview of relevant laws in each state. You can view a specific state’s approach by going to the individual state profiles page at www.ecs.org. The report does not make judgment calls, but by reading it, you may come up with some new or better ideas.

Some see these as political issues. In my opinion, school infrastructure and school safety are problems that we need to solve. While there are political factors to be resolved as we work to find solutions, we should be putting more emphasis on doing whatever it takes to better serve our kids—like our parents did.

A Reminder

You can follow me on Twitter, @SPM_editor, and you are always welcome to contact me with your thoughts and ideas at [email protected].

This article originally appeared in the School Planning & Management March 2019 issue of Spaces4Learning.