A Message from our past representative, Vern Henshaw
I believe public education is the great equalizer. Public education gives every child the opportunity to discover and expand skills and abilities. Education gives young people the tools needed for self- betterment and hope in the future.
The founding fathers of our nation believed in public education. One of my favorite educational quotes comes from our third president, Thomas Jefferson. Regarding education, he said, “The purpose of public education is twofold: first, to prepare all individuals for citizenship by developing within them the capacity for full and intelligent participation in the process of deliberation necessary for self rule; and second, to identify and develop responsible leadership from the talents and abilities of individuals rather than from family or group privilege, economic wealth, religion or race.”
Children are not born with the skills or knowledge required for effective participation in a democratic society, nor are the skills acquired by simply going about our business. Rather these skills must be learned, practiced and nurtured.
Public education supports the development of leadership talents and abilities of individuals regardless of environment and demographic circumstances. Educators work to ensure that all children have equal access to educational opportunities. This makes public education unique to all other educational systems. Those who live without a vision of a healthier, more equitable future, have feelings of helplessness. Public education becomes the great equalizer because it provides hope-hope that politicians will recognize democracy’s future is based on a strong public education system, hope that people will come to see that good test scores do not necessarily equate to good neighbors and good citizens and finally, hope that today’s children will develop the traits and skills needed to preserve our democratic society.
Public schools are committed to working with all children, regardless of economic condition or language spoken, those from nurturing families and those from non-supportive homes. Public education creates experiences that teach democracy and brings about hope for a bright future. Public education is the “Keeper of the Dream.”