Let's admit it, the dramatic side of me is one prone to hyperbolic statements. But, I think it's safe to say that I am not alone given the recent turn of events in the US market. I've found it fascinating that the talking heads have been on television saying things like, "Now is not the time to assign blame" and the like regarding the fact that we are now facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. But when the Dow Jones closed at 8579, I thought I was going to be sick (remember when it hit 14,000?). So much for the 850 billion bailout (or rescue, depending on the speaker).
When I think about what this means for public education, I shudder (OK, I am trembling at many things right now, but I have to stop panicking about paying my bills). Budgets are going to be stripped even more than they already have. The feds are going to cut education spending, even though they will most likely NOT lessen the NCLB stranglehold. Things are going to get a lot worse.
But it's not just about education spending, folks. Families have been struggling for a while, and it is getting much, much worse. Too many families are losing their home to foreclosure. And it's not just people who own their homes. Families who rent are also being slapped with evictions because their landlords have been foreclosed upon as well. I am not sympathizing with the property owners here. People who are renting are paying like good tenants. And they are getting screwed.
People being evicted means more kids homeless. And this is not just an urban phenomenon. It's happening everywhere, and it's going to make learning more difficult than usual. But even for families who are staying in their homes, life is going to stay pretty tough. Parents are going to make hard choices between food, utilities, insurance, etc. It's a scary thought.
For those who believe children are oblivious to this, trust me, they aren't. Many of them pick up on parental stress, and it makes them incredible anxious as well. And it's hard to be a kid who is stressed about things that are hard to understand.