In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proposed a plan “to help make high quality pre-K available to every 4-year-old” that included a $75 billion budget, according to Forbes. It has since been dubbed the “Preschool for All” initiative and hopes to bring preschool to children of low-income families. The expectation is that the quality of American education will increase.
The quantity of money involved is enough to make one’s jaw drop, but that isn’t the part of this initiative that should raise the most concern. The idea that money will buy America better education should be what bothers people. There is a vital piece to education that is often overlooked, and it has nothing to do with money. Many students have no desire to learn. Because of this, the students that have gone through our education system do not reflect the results one would expect after 13 years of education. Empowering America’s youth by providing them with a stronger education will pay off many times over in the future, but spending a large sum of money will not achieve this goal.
The focus should shift to bringing a passion and drive for learning to these kids. For many children, education is the least of their concerns, but if school could be made into a place they look forward to going to every day, then perhaps that could change. If teachers and other members of society as a whole helped these students realize their potential and helped the students see that they can rise above their current circumstances, the attitudes of the children might change for the better.
Instilling a passion for learning in the children themselves will improve the quality of education more than any amount of money. However, sadly it seems that the concern is quantity, not quality, when it comes to schooling. There needs to be a reformation in the way children view school and education. Planting a thirst for knowledge would bring about more positive results than enacting a $75 billion plan that simply adds another year of learning to the 13 years that many already dread. Money is not everything, especially when it comes to education.
Jean Donaldson is a freshman biology major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column reflects the views of the writer only.