Honors ELA 10
28 October 2016
Students Versus Inmates
Dear Future President,
America houses 25 percent of all prisoners in the world even though the United States only makes up 5 percent of the global population. Having such a staggering amount of inmates comes with a cost. “We spend almost $70 billion annually to place adults in prison and jails, to confine youth in detention centers, and to supervise 7.3 million individuals on probation and parole.” (Prospect.org). Tax paying individuals, who work very hard to earn a living, would prefer that their hard earned money to go towards something besides taking care of an inmate. Education budgets have been dropping tremendously within the last decade which is negatively impacting students. Prioritizing education is a must to see our future generations succeed in the real world. Therefore, redirecting more money into education than jails will lead to more beneficial school programs and increased school budgets.
First, directing money towards educational programs will help children succeed in the real world. After school programs have been existent for quite some time, but are not being used as often as they should be. Some schools across the nation are using these programs to positively reinforce learning while also help students prepare for the real world. Some students are already granted with these opportunities, “For many middle and upper class children, the after school hours are filled with sports, creative play, dance, theater, tutors and other extracurricular activities.” (the washington post). Parents have to pay for all of these activities, so what happens if a parent cannot afford to spend money on any of these activities? This Is where the programs come in to take action. After the school day is over, it leaves many students unsupervised because their parents are still at work which leads to another problem these programs can fix. Of course, many will probably disagree on the grounds that some people are going to be incarnated no matter what. This is true, however, with after school programs the percentage can be lowered a tremendous amount. Jodi Grant, executive director of the nonprofit After school Alliance states, “Students in after school programs are less likely to join gangs, be victims or perpetrators of violence, become teen parents or engage in a host of inappropriate behaviors” (Thewashingtonpost.com). With myself being a teenager, I hear what some students are doing outside of school which would change if they were better supervised and given the opportunity to go to an after school program. Therefore, with more students engaging in school programs, there will be less students susceptible to engage in a situation where jail time might be a consequence.
Secondly, schools need a bigger budget to sustain all students and their educational needs. The budget for supplies in the classroom is very low, even for the most simple supplies. For example, many of my own teachers pay for school supplies out of their own pocket which is unacceptable. This is the problem, so much money is being directed in the wrong place. Teachers should be praised, not underpaid. A good teacher can make all the difference in a child’s life. In eighth and ninth grade I had an amazing language arts teacher, she inspired to want to go change the world. I believe that if every child had at least one teacher as wonderful as she was, our country would be such an incredible place.
Dear future Mr. or Mrs. president please listen to me, as I pour my heart into this letter, you must prioritize education because it is the backbone to this great nation. We are responsible to provide the necessary resources for an education all because, “students may be 20 percent of our population but 100 percent of our future” (Prince Ea).