Parents Could Be The Solution...Now They are a Part of the Problem

I was unable to make it to the meeting concerning the stadium at the high school last night because I was already planning to attend “Cozy Up With a Book Night”. We had a huge turnout at Brookside for one of our PTA's most popular events. I want to thank the handful of parents and teachers who once again made another program a huge success for all. This year I have been the PTA Membership and Volunteer coordinator for Brookside and I have been pleased and disappointed. Pleased that we have about 150 PTA members but disappointed that it is still only a dozen or so members that regularly staff our programs and events.

If you read my blog, you know I am regularly critical of our board and our administration. The public school system in California has become another government program that has failed because control has been taken from our community by our state and federal governments. Beaumont Unified School District is no different from most school districts in our state. Parents are frustrated about the services and programs that are being cut because of the mismanagement of our state’s budget. Our administration hasn’t accepted that the days of increasing budgets as far as the eye can see are over.

In my opinion, BUSD is a good school district with good schools and good people but we are headed in the wrong direction. We are a small school district struggling with growing pains and a tough economy. Our elected board seems to be overwhelmed and have become too dependent on the district administrators.  The public school culture in California has become one where the politicians believe the solution is to throw more money at the problem every year. Our administrators, who are so accustomed to annually increasing budgets, have developed a mentality that if they don't spend all the money this year they will get less next year. Graduation rates at the high school have dropped to unacceptable levels.

Our district’s leaders believe that now the solution to keeping kids in school through high school graduation is to build state of the art athletic facilities. And our business leaders believe a new stadium will bring jobs and industry to our troubled economy. Our kids are getting lost in the business and politics of the California public school system.

More disappointing than anything else, our parents have given up. Parents could be the solution but, in my opinion, they are now part of the problem. In every school, there are a dozen or so parents putting in the time and effort to make a difference. But most parents have given up trying to effect change and keep control of our children’s education.

Parents need to step up and take control. We need to show our kids that their education is the most important thing we can give them to succeed in life. We need to demand that our board listens to us. We must demand that our board leads our administration in a new direction. We need to force our district to increase parent involvement. Most importantly, we need to take back the power that parents used to have when our parents and grandparents were in school.

The mess our state and federal government is making for our children and grandchildren may be beyond our reach but it’s not too late in Beaumont. Parents can still make a difference in our small school district. Please don't give up on your kids' education. With the bleak future of our state and national economy, a sound education is the best thing we can do to make a difference in their lives. Parents please get involved.