Letter: Children Not 'Bargaining Chips' for State
The General Assembly needs to roll up its sleeves and solve the problem of funding education, Joliet City Councilman Larry Hug says.
The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian and dissident anti-Nazi, who was martyred for his battle to help others. Frankly, Mr. Bonhoeffer was also spot on about children and the education we choose to provide, or not to provide them, for that matter.
I am writing this not as a Joliet city councilman, but as a husband, father and very concerned citizen of Illinois. I cannot “hold my tongue” on the issue of education. I cannot be silent on the gross larceny being perpetrated on our children.
First, let me be clear, I do not have all the answers for the mess that has been created by Springfield over the past three or four decades. It’s a saga of promises made and promises broken. It’s a crisis of neglect and intentional abuse through conscious disregard by many of the very representatives we’ve elected to manage our State. The short answer, stop stumping and get to work creating real solutions to the daunting problems you’ve created. Stop posturing, roll up your sleeves and do for the people what you once took an oath to do.
However, stop using the education of our children as a political bargaining chip. Take the gutting of our education system off the table so that you can find real solutions to the real crisis. Cut the pork barrel and favoritism projects that cost Illinoisans millions each year, but leave our children alone.
If anyone is dismissing my position I must ask, have you attended school board meetings in your district? Have you followed this financial crisis as it affects your district? I have going back some years now.
Taking more money from education, fast approaching over $1 billion in reductions, will not save taxpayers like you and I a penny. It’s simply a devastating realignment of our education funds to cover the gross mistakes of those in power who have failed us. It’s the “easy solution” that equates to a pilfering that victimizes our children.
Benjamin Franklin had a list of three top priorities; independence for our nation, public libraries and public education. Old Ben is proof that some values are timeless.
"...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children…." - Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey
Larry E. Hug
Concerned husband, father and Illinois citizen
Joliet City Councilman, District 1