An American Education Week Op-Ed

The following was recently sent to newspaper editorial departments throughout Georgia:
It seems as if America has forgotten the critical role our public schools have played in its greatness and the role they must continue to play to keep us strong in this new world order. It bears repeating that public schools have been and will continue to be the backbone of America’s future prominence and success. However, this wonder of modern civilization, which has served our nation so well and has brought it so far, is being assailed when it should be receiving the assistance it needs to properly educate a new generation.
Our mission at the Georgia Association of Educators is to be a voice for our public schools to help ensure that public education continues to be a vibrant and relevant light through which our children matriculate. Part and parcel to that is working with whichever political party and/or officeholder is in place to help Georgia’s public schools grow and thrive.
On this 90th anniversary of American Education Week, which takes place November 13-19, we should remember that a great public education is a basic right -- and a basic responsibility. Our public schools continue to need funding, personnel, materials, and involvement from parents and their communities to do the job our state constitution says they should be doing.
GAE long has accepted the responsibility to bring to light what is needed for our public schools and our children to succeed. We invite anyone and everyone who cares about them, and recognizes the critical role they play in our nation’s and state’s prosperity, to add their voices no matter the party or affiliation.
American Education Week serves to remind all of us that even with the many and varied challenges they face; our public schools give many, who could not otherwise do so, the means to go as far as they are willing to commit themselves.
So let us take this moment to refocus on our public schools and recommit to making all of them the stalwarts of our democratic foundation that they were created to be. Volunteer at your local public school. Attend the local school board meetings. If you’re a parent, join your local PTA or PTO. Let’s put the “public” back in our public schools. Now, more than ever, our communities and nation need them and this will bode true no matter which way the political winds are blowing.
Calvine Rollins
President, Georgia Association of Educators