All around the nation there have been an abundant amount of public schools that have shut down as an answer to the budget crisis that America is currently facing. In almost every city in America there are schools closing due to funding. It is most occurring in Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York City. Specifically, by the end of 2014 Washington is projected to have over 15 public schools being shut down. This was intended to be more cost effective; however, it is just the opposite. The closing of these schools has cost almost 40 million dollars. It was also intended to “help students” get out of “failing schools. However, this school closure has just relocated children into other failing schools, which has not fixed the problem at all.
Unfortunately this has greatly affected minority children, mainly African Americans. The closing of schools are in predominantly poor and low income neighborhoods, where there are mainly minorities. There have been reported numerous amounts of violent outbreaks because of the integration of schools. When a public school in a typically white middle-class area was threatened to close, the parents of these children were able to protest in order to keep their school open.
Jaisal Noor, “Communities Fight Back Against ‘Racist’ DC School Closure,” Truthout, September 24, 2013, http://truth-out.org/news/item/19037-communities-fight-back-against-racist-dc-school-closures.
Student Researchers: Nicole McHenry. Indian River State College
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot d. Cohen, Ph.D., Indian River State College
This story about public schools shutting down raises a lot of ethical issues. The shutting down of these schools should not be a way of budgeting money. Public school systems are one of the most crucial necessities in America. It is also one of the most important things that the government funds. It is also extremely necessary for the young people in America. Perhaps budget cutting another area would be more suitable than budget cutting America’s future generation’s education. This is also an ethical problem because of the violence that has broken out because of these integrated schools. Bullying, segregation, and negative consequences have come from shutting down public schools. Unfortunately minorities are hit the hardest from the closing of these schools. It targets those who cannot fend for themselves or do not have the money to do so. This constitutes an ethical problem because the government has to decide to cut money from school systems at the expense of children’s school environment and their education.
Arguably, if closing down the schools would save money, then some good might come from it. However, instead, school closings have cost nearly 40 million dollars, and discriminated against minorities. The children in those schools being shut down are not being treated with compassion, love, and care. It is the education of the children that should be the government’s primary concern, not saving money at their expense.
There was also deception involved in shutting down the public schools. The government claimed that the reasoning for shutting down these schools was only to help children because they were stuck in a “failing school”. However, clearly the children’s best interest was not taken into consideration because they were just sent to another failing school. This was self-defeating and aimed merely at trying to save money, not improve the educational environment of the students. This deception and manipulation has also caused loss of of public trust in the government, especially for those families whose children are being forced into other failing schools. The poor and minorities, unfortunately, do not have the same chances and opportunity to protest the shutting down of schools as a middle-class family might have. The government just used that as an excuse to shut down the means of education for the children. This in turn has caused both physical and emotional harm, which is ethically wrong. It has caused bullying in school systems which has risen exponentially over the years. Also, fighting among groups of children has also risen.
The burden for budget cuts should not fall on children in the public schools. It is ethically wrong to cut the essential needs for children, which includes their education. There should be budget cuts to other government programs, but not to public school systems, which are supposed to support our future generations.