In Georgia, we spend too much money on criminal justice after spending cash for 12 years to education whose who would become criminals. New Governor and former congressman Nathan Deal was alarmed by the crime-related items in the state budget. To me, it’s like that old Fram oil filter commercial: “You can pay me now or you can pay me later” the mechanic says.
Well, we should pay teachers who today unfortunately do more than the teachers of old. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Spike Lee are pushing for more Black men to consider teaching. Currently, one percent of teachers are Black men and over the next 20 years many teachers will be retiring. In this down economy, teaching could be a cool option for those with the right temperament and the paid is not bad.
Education officials should look into a program Silver Springs, Maryland, had in the 90s called college style teaching. The D.C. Area had many retired federal workers and military veterans who would like to work part-time because they were basically fine financially. The school system found recruiting difficult because those who wanted to simply teach didn’t wanted the headache of hall, bus, homeroom and activities duties. While the majority of the teachers were “full teachers with full pay,” the college style teachers, who received less money, arrived on campus 30 minutes before their first class, taught two classes, had a planning period, taught two more class and left campus—similar to college professors.
Options for other duties like coaching and clubs came with more money in a cafeteria plan like current coaches’ stipends or supplements. We could be talking about former Wall Street executives, well-travelled war veterans, and high-paid factory worker who want a change for the last phase of their working years. If the schedules are right, these teachers might split time between teaching and consulting in their former fields. The real winners would be the children who would get teachers who know exactly what the workforce needs. I love the idea of lower grades kids having more positive men in the schools as role models.
Yes, our communities were better when parents and the church primarily raised kids. Today, music videos, the internet, 150 T.V. channels and the streets are framing young minds. If we don’t do something innovative soon, we will continue spending more money sending youth to Georgia State Penitentiary than Georgia State University. The rough kids disrupt the education experience for those to want to learn. I will tell you what: get this program before my 50th birthday and I will teaching four American government/civic classes and coach tennis for 30K and be glad to have it.
The added benefit of having clean-cut men in the schools is the character options for boys, and the experience of being around real men for girls whose fathers were elsewhere. Oh yeah, some of those life-long daddy issues and quickness to argue with men stem from rarely being around a certain type man. As Chuck D said in the rap rhyme back in the day, “with a man in the house…the bullsh__ stops.” I shouldn’t go there but let me rhyme, “with men in the schools…knowledge becomes more cool.”