Friday, October 28, 2011

Buffalo Schools SES program

Everyone is turning to the neighborhood Blogger these days as "the voice of reason." Despite the great responsibility that comes with it, I am willing to carry the weight of the world's problems squarely on my shoulders. I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who once said, ...Oh, never mind...

Apparently, the Buffalo District has come up with a great afterschool program called SES (Supplemental Education S?). Taught by certified teachers throughout the city, SES' goal is to provide extra support in Math and Reading to students in need of extra help. But, instead of academic need, the criteria for acceptance into the program is based solely on family income. Only the students whose families qualify for free/reduced lunches are eligible to attend! Another attack on the working poor.

So, families who work and are barely able to scrape by are ineligible to apply. I understand times are tough for many these days. But this is another example of why many people choose to stay home and let the government provide for their entire lives. The children of the working poor sometimes need assistance in these areas, as well. And their parents are less likely to have the time to help them themselves (because they're busy slaving away at their jobs).

The parents I spoke to are very frustrated and confused. One said, "My son comes home to an empty house every day, because we're working two jobs to make ends meet. While others, who sit home all day, will now have another two hours of free babysitting."

This is in no way meant to be an attack on students who receive free lunches. The teachers I talk to like to help all students. They say they find it especially gratifying when the students appreciate their help. A simple "thank you" sometimes makes all the tough aspects of the teaching profession more tolerable. And some students (from both low income and medium income families) are appreciative. However, the more we hand out, the more some people expect to be handed out to them. This program should be open to all and should have nothing to do with family income.


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