The following appeared in the “Speak Up” section of the Albuquerque Journal on Thursday, March 18, 2021. As the parent of students that HAVE attended Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) in the past, I wholeheartedly agree that “bashing” teachers is harmful. There are MANY hard working teachers at APS and other districts across our State.
HOWEVER, I DO wish more teachers who want to be in the classroom would have spoken out in some public way in favor of going back into their classrooms during the Pandemic. Unfortunately, the unions are very good at giving the impression that they are supported by ALL or MOST teachers.
More importantly, we have a systemic problem in American education. While my family (and others) can and will remove our children (as the author suggests) from a system that failed them, those resources simply revert to the District.
The FY 19-20 APS budget (mostly pre-pandemic), for example, was $1,475,755,646 to serve 79,363 students (also found in the budget document. That comes to a per-pupil expenditure of $18,595. If parents and families could access even a significant fraction of that cash in order to educate their kids at home or in a school of that family’s choosing, there would be considerably less animosity toward “teachers” and their unions.
Of course, it is noteworthy that the leading special interest group that opposes such choices in Santa Fe and other state capitols is the teachers union. Paying twice for education (once in the form of taxation and once for tuition) stinks, but after a year of home schooling my family is sending at least two of our children to school outside of APS.