Public education may seem like a pure science that is populated by people who are above the human worries of life and live only for the joy of filling young minds with truth. However like in most things in life, schools do well or poorly largely driven by money.
One of the justifications for governments’ funding of schools is, you take out of the educational process any graft or influence peddling by private interests which in theory, if corporate interests or even wealthy individuals, can influence the schools because of wealth, plus could also dictate the curriculum and “slant” lessons might take and as such put a spin on the truth because the schools become dependent on the funding source.
In theory, public schools should be above funding issues because tax funds should pay for everything, so no one political or cultural influence can set the agenda of what is to be taught in school. That concept only holds up in theory, as if you spend any time in association with public or private schools, you know that money and education are intimately intermingled and there is plenty of influence going on all the time.
At the public level, sports are one of the big factors that drives public education, particularly at the high school level. In big cities, the high school sport teams are often feeder schools to colleges, that have a vital financial interest in recruiting the best high school players. Money flows from professional sports, to the colleges and even to high schools to influence schools to pour a lot of time and money into their sports programs. Rivalry and interest in high school sport that emphasis.
What is the problem with loving sports? Very often, large high schools will divert huge percentages of their budgets to the sports program, that only serves a fraction of the students of the school and those funds are taken away from academic and arts programs which suffer as a result. While a hundred boys might benefit from a well-run football program, thousands of students suffer to smaller classes, inferior classroom equipment and underpaid teachers because the sports teams get all the attention and the money.
At the private level, money buys influence even more blatantly – while your tuition and fees do pay the basic bills of the school, private schools are entrepreneurial and ambitious. The more wealthy parents and parents who can put a lot of money into the school naturally find their way to the school board to make decisions about curriculum and the direction the school will take as an educational institution in the future. Well meaning parents who are not wealthy, are not able to help the school stay focused on their primary calling, which is to bring the highest level of education to the student body.
The situation can also be aggravated at both the public and private school level when corporate interests get involved and you see corporate sponsorships of school programs resulting in subtle advertising occurring all around the campus. This sends a message to the students that the school can and has been bought and those corporate interests can have an influence over curriculum as well. As parents, your job is to monitor the extent to which funding changes the quality of education of a school. At public school level, you can voice your concern at School Board meetings or in other public venues.
The ultimate proactive way to get an education for your child that is not tainted by financial influence, is to leave the public school setting and seek a private school that has not succumb to those temptations yet. If you fund such a school, get involved and do all you can via fundraising to try to minimize the influence of wealthy individuals and corporations. In this manner the school that is there to serve your child can do so without the burden of influence from the ones that pay the bills. These would be the main concerns about the funding of the schools. Even thought, still most of the schools are not free of charge there is a large number of them that offer free of charge courses and degree.
You can find a scholarship online, you can even get MBA, PhD degree, not to mention the various e-courses that can upgrade your knowledge for free.
Here are some of the links where you can find free educational resources for literally all ranges of education and levels:Khan Academy , https://www.udacity.com, You Tube Education, Wikiversity, Virtual College -UK, Virtual learning – Canada, Virtual education- New Zealand, Virtual LRC , Edu Google, Coursera, Umea or iTunesU.
Education should not be a privilege to the ones who can afford it, but it should be accessible to everybody who needs it and wants to have it.