Monday, March 14, 2011

{My Thoughts} Tax Cuts = Life Cuts

Last night, I went to sleep worried, and woke up irritated.  Never in my life did I think tax issues would ever get me so heated that I would want to write about them.  Now do not get me wrong, I know tax issues constantly affect me... but to the point of not being able to focus on my daily life... nope, never thought it would be like this.

When tax cuts are proposed, schools always seem to be in the line up of the victims.  That is something I may not ever understand.  The chance of our country, state, county and even down to the city being able to thrive as a successful community revolves around OUR children.  The children who we teach now, will lead in the future. 

Here I am in Duval county, Jacksonville, Florida... home of the... umm... well... soon to be sportless, artless, busless school system.  Oh yes Duval, good luck getting new families to want to move here to buy up the empty, foreclosed homes.  I wonder if we will ever host a Superbowl here in Jacksonville again if the country finds out we do not support school sports.  Doesn't the city make money during the Superbowl?  What are we going to cut to make up for that loss?

Oh wait, I forgot to mention a possible 4 day school week... that I am quite sure the county will not be picking up the tab for childcare so parent's can go to work that 5th day.  Hopefully, the state welfare budget has enough extra funds for the families that will have less income because there work week has to be cut short... or they could just give the funds to the parents to pay for childcare for that 5th day.

I'm a stay at home / work at home mom (at the moment... not so sure for how long with the rising gas prices) so a 4 day school schedule may not have too much impact on our family.  AND we are a family that appreciates art and music so my children may not miss out on that too much from school.  AND although gas prices are ridiculous, even if they cut our buses, my husband and I would be able to provide transportation for our children to go to school...

AND THEN comes sports...

My son has played sports since he was 4 years old.  T-Ball and flag football at 4 are great entertainment.  Sports through the elementary years are exciting.  Then comes a time in every young athletes life who decides to stick with sports, when they begin to play with the middle school and later high school team, that they may just be able to go to college thanks to a sports scholarship.

School sports in Duval county is the only thing keeping some kids in school, giving them a reason to keep their grades up, and the only hope for some to go to college. It teaches character, discipline and so much more. I do not believe there are any programs in schools that would be considered a waste... each program does something for OUR children whether we understand it or not.

No more sports in school will also hurt our entire community. We will have more kids on the street, without educations, job training and a positive goal for life... which equals higher crime rates... and then of course equal lower property values (just something to think about for those who think this will not impact them).  School sports is not just about allowing our kids to "play a game" on the school budget, it's about keeping OUR kids in check... and it works!

My son who started playing sports at 4 and is now 13, will graduate from high school with or without sports... because "I said so!" He know this... and he understands, and agrees.  In our house, sports does not determine if he stays in school BUT it DOES determine whether he may attend a 4 year college or not. 

Isaac, my son, makes good grades.  He has only missed honor roll a few times and it was because he had straight A's.  Sadly, that is not good enough for an academic scholarship.  It is however good enough for a possible sports scholarship since he plays multiple school sports.

This morning, while listening to our elected (not necessarily by me) government officials talk about school cuts, a cold feeling hit the pit of my stomach... I may actually have to depend on winning the lottery to afford to send my son, who is filled with so much great potential, to go to college.  Now I know Isaac does not have a guaranteed college sports scholarship coming his way, but he (as well as many others) have a fair chance... or should I say, did (if certain lawmakers get their way). 

So where is the silver lining?  I am usually good at finding it...

Well I can say, if this happens the way that our anti-childrens' future, local government officials want it to happen, maybe when all the money they save from cutting programs is schools and later spent (and some) on expanding and building new jails and prisons because "our" children who once had a future end up there OR when I can afford to buy one of their mult-million dollars homes for just under 200k because the property value dropped so low, maybe then I can look back at this letter and say, "I told you so."  Too bad I know that the ol' "I told you so" line, never actually makes one feel better.


Brooke Anna @ Mommy Does...

Texas is in dire straights about Perry not accepting stimulus funds since he can't "plug" other project deficits with the Educational Stimulus funds... Since he can't have total control of how those funds would be budgeted (the stipulation is that Educational spending can't decline from the amount currently spent) he has simply refused to accept any funds at all.
I feel your frustration. Especially since I'm an aspiring Elementary teacher. Our nearest City is Corsicana and they are in the hole about 1 million dollars.
But! They sure have a new shiny football stadium built a couple years ago... that was worth a boat load. here is the link for that picture
and they are wanting to "push" some teacher I know into early retirement, and trying to oust others... pitiful.

Things Sent My Way

I'm a friend from the Purex Insiders. I'm so sorry that this has weighed so heavily on you that you've written from frustration, but I am glad to be hearing your voice. Too many politicians deal with budgets looking at people like statistics and dollar amounts like they don't actually translate to books and community groups. I'm a teacher, and a special education teacher at that, and it seems like special education is being treated like an "extra-curricular" so along with sports, art, music, so too go services. It's very frustrating but if we continue to make our opinions heard, maybe someone will listen. Here's to the next few years - it's awful for a lot of us right now.

Come visit my blog to follow back? Thanks!

Michelle @ Things Sent My Way


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