We stand up for a Massachusetts where everyone gets a fair shot, does and pays their fair share, and plays by the same rules.
I love graduations.
They come here in Massachusetts right in the middle of one of the small windows in the New England calendar when the weather is perfect. They fill us with hope for the future as we cheer on a new class of enthusiastic students ready for the next challenge.
As we wrap up a week of graduations across the state, there are things that put a damper on this graduation season.
Earlier this week, the Boston Globe reported that 1,359 Massachusetts students in Head Start programs will lose their desks due to federal budget cuts, among other impacts. That’s bad, but it could get worse: The Ryan budget would cut another $6.9 billion in education funding in the 2013 budget.
Of course, we want all those graduating students, and the countless others who will follow them to succeed, to get a fair shot. Yet, we know that our schools are struggling. So why are we cutting programs that help kids learn? Why are we laying off teachers, scuttling needed school repairs and shutting down classrooms?
Something is wrong with our priorities when Congress can’t close the loopholes that allow huge multi-national corporations to dodge federal taxes entirely, but insist on cutting funding for schools.
It’s tempting to feel a little powerless, but remember for a moment the last graduation you went to. The students are facing a tough job market, big student loans, and other daunting challenges … yet brimming with optimism and determination.
We know it won’t be easy to stand up to the those in power who choose corporate profit over expanded opportunity (talk about daunting). That’s why I’m ready to channel a bit of the optimism of graduation to keep pushing forward.