I was educated in private Catholic schools in Chicago. I grew up in a world of “Catholics” and “Publics.” Somehow, I understood that we were “better” — a higher economic status and better educated. My parents talked about “them” and pushed for vouchers throughout my childhood. It was not until adulthood that I realized how erosive and harmful this perspective was. It continues to undermine public education.
Public school children are “our” children. They are the children of Anchorage, of Alaska, and America. We may not “agree” with poverty and its presence in our public institutions. We may not agree with drug and alcohol abuse, welfare abuse, domestic abuse, and other social ills that often accompany poverty (but are by no means exclusive to it), influencing our public schools.
However, segregating economic classes was not an objective our forefathers pursued. Democracy is available to all of our citizens through public education. We must support this fundamental delivery of freedom to our children.
Please support public education as our state constitution’s authors and our country’s forefathers determined.
— Catherine Mannix