Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Locked Out and Invisible
During the past 16 months, I've had an opportunity to meet many people and families within our community. I've discovered that a very large number seem to be employed by our county's public education system. There are administrators, teachers, janitors, kitchen personnel, teacher's aides, grounds keepers, maintenance, etc. It seems that there are at least 2 employees for every student enrolled in the school.
When we lived down home, my personal experiences found most school personnel to be more supportive of our decision to home educate than the general public. However, up here those tables are most definitely flipped. When in a group setting, those employed by the public school system assertively ignore me and other home educators and leave us out of conversations - I even had one person step in front of me and turn their back to my face! Most just seem to pretend that we are not in the room. At first I was quite shocked by this blatant rudeness and prejudice.
However, after living here for more than 16 months, I've found that it's not necessarily home education itself these people have issues with. It seems to have more to do with the allocation of educational funds. Apparently, our county's public education employees believe they are grossly underpaid and they've decided that home education is a contributing factor to their low wages, remember approximately 40% of our county's students are home educated. Although every home educator within our county pays the same amount of local, state and federal taxes as anyone else within their income bracket, our state and federal educational system allocates education funding based upon enrollment numbers. Fewer enrolled students equal fewer dollars.
I am very disturbed that our local public education personal would place blame for a lack of funding on home educators - remember, we pay just as much in taxes as anyone else within our income brackets. Why aren't the public education employees taking their issues up with the education bureaucracies who allocate those tax dollars, regardless of whom they've been collected from? Home educators do not receive, nor want, any tax breaks for opting out of the public education systems.
This has become another reason added to my list of why we choose home education. If public education employees are so very uninformed as to how their employer, the education bureaucracies, work - why would I want them educating my children? State and federal bureaucrats need to be held accountable for educational funding - not home educators.