High school project foes are selfish

Wow! I guess I must be much more important than I thought I was.

My ego has been more than bruised this week. The usual suspects are on the attack. Last week I wrote a simple article pointing out that we Americans have always supported our schools and suggesting that it was un-American not to do so. It was a broad philosophical statement. I didn’t call out any individual although, as the saying goes, if the shoe fits, wear it.

A whole lot of people are not in favor of using the offered state funds to keep our high school up to date. They keep trying to find intellectual rationalizations to kill the project. They would rather ignore the schools and possibly keep a few dollars off their tax bills. Yet somehow they came up with the money for the Taj Mahal of firehouses and for the library. Hmmm, I wonder if that’s because they may need the fire or police department some day or they may want to borrow a book from the library.

Included among the “no” people are folks whose children have already been educated and who want nothing to do with “passing it on” for their neighbors’ children. I call that selfish. Then, too, there are the whole crowds of anti-taxers who just make up lame arguments that don’t hold up to scrutiny under the light of day.

Some people send their kids to private or parochial schools and think that since they pay tuition, the public school kids should get an inferior, second-class education in schools without up-to-date science labs or computer systems.

This is just the kind of thinking that creates what I call “the new segregation.” Provide a first-rate education for those that can pay and a second-rate education for the middle and lower classes that can’t afford the extra money.

If a child is given a chance to get a first-rate vocational or academic education, that child is less likely to have run-ins with the law and to end up dependent on the state for support. Maybe the anti-tax crowd doesn’t care about that. Maybe they figure that if we lose the state money and their tax bills go up a couple of bucks, it will be someone else’s problem after they pass on to the great beyond.

Don’t make any mistake about it: This is an attack on the middle class whose children need to be educated, whether it is in the academic subjects or the increasingly complex fields of plumbing, auto mechanics, HVAC and the like.

Take a look at a greedy weekly journalist who orders up hits on local officials who deserve better for their service. And what about the few Long Island transplants who claim that they are all for education, but not for our kids or grandchildren or nieces or nephews.

They may insist that they are looking out for our middle class but just take a look at who they are. Every time you hear a word coming out of their mouths you had better believe that they aren’t thinking about our blue collar folks but about themselves. Ask yourselves who they are, where they live and whether their taxes will go up much more than yours and you will have your answer.

When I wrote my column last week I wasn’t that angry but I sure am now. I will fight for our blue collar and middle class kids and I don’t give a damn about whether my taxes go up if our kids and neighbors will have a high school that can do for their kids what it did for mine.

We can go to the light on this or we can let the selfish suck us into their mire. I’m counting on all of you to join me in this American enterprise.

Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle, 10/18/14

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