I never thought much about other public institutions or why they are important or even how they work in conjunction with our public schools. That is, until I had to use one. My story isn’t unique by any means, but it is important. You see at 18 months, my son didn’t make a sound. He cried, he laughed, but that was it. There were no words, there were no other verbal noises. He was silent.
My pediatrician was concerned, and referred us to a state agency called CDSA. The CDSA or Child Development Service Agency was amazing. We got a hearing test, evaluations, speech therapist list, but most of all a case worker to help navigate us through the process. I consider myself a fairly intelligent white suburban mom, but I wasn’t prepared for a child with a delay. No one really is.
We got early intervention services. As we began to navigate the even more intimidating county school system, we had a support system behind us. Most of all, as difficult as transitioning into Kindergarten was, we weren’t starting from scratch. We again had a team at our backs, thanks to early intervention. This helped us and our school.
It’s not just about early intervention services. By funding other public services we help out our school systems. So many times, our public schools are the last stronghold of public help for our community. Public schools across our state hold food drives, coat drives, and drives for other basic school supplies. Public schools do their best to deal with those left homeless, hungry, and in need of healthcare.
By supporting our county and state services, we help our public schools. By lifting up basic healthcare providers, affordable housing, and food assistance, we lift up those in our public schools. We let teachers teach. We let our schools educate. When we under-fund public services, our teachers, counselors, and administrators can’t turn a blind eye. Nor, can they always be the support those kids need. We need strong community services around our schools.
While PTAs and private foundations are wonderful. They are not sustainable on the scale to truly help all our community. Public services provided by county, state, and even federal agencies have long term funding through tax revenue. They have strict accounting rules and regulations that make sure money is going where it should. They have no motive to pay those at the top any more than a standard salary. They work solely for the public good on a scale that charities just can’t match.
So, when thinking about an amendment to cap our state income taxes, think about our public schools. However, also think about our community as a whole. Think about all children and how many are struggling, and how our schools are struggling to meet their needs. The stronger our public services in healthcare, housing, and food security the stronger we are together. #InThisTogether