Between the Lines

Between the Lines By David Lias Gretchen Ludeman's efforts in Washington, D.C. apparently helped make a difference. We received a news release earlier this week, telling of Ludeman's efforts to lobby members of Congress to increase funding to education. She especially wanted to ensure that students wouldn't suffer in the future by being placed in larger and larger classrooms. I have to admit I was skeptical at first, not in Ludeman's efforts, but in Congress. They may find other issues more pressing — like the farm crisis, the fighting in Europe, the stability of the Russian and Asian economies, and of course, Bill and Monica. It was a shock to read Tuesday that the 11th hour talks between the White House and Congress were likely to produce an election-year infusion of more than $1 billion in additional federal aid to education — far more than most people expected with Republicans in charge of Capitol Hill. Perhaps members of Congress really did listen to Ludeman. And, perhaps, they sought what others have to say in our nation's history about the importance of education: "The highest result of education is tolerance." — Helen Keller "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." — William Butler Yeats "When I was a boy on the Mississippi River there was a proposition in a township there to discontinue public schools because they were too expensive. An old farmer spoke up and said if they stopped building the schools they would not save anything, because every time a school was closed a jail had to be built." — Mark Twain "Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another." — G. K. Chesterston "A child miseducated is a child lost." — John F. Kennedy "My family believed in the public school because they believed in a community. They believed the important thing was what was in your head. My grandmother was a schoolteacher. She taught in a one-room country school north of Anoka, MN, and my grandmother had a certain contempt for people who made a great show and were not that bright. My grandmother said, 'Don't be a 10-dollar haircut on a 25-cent head.' You avoided that by going to school and paying attention. You became a worthwhile person, and a member of the community." — Garrison Keillor, radio humorist "Education is the transmission of civilization. Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned again by each new generation." — David Kearns, former chair, Xerox Corporation "What greater gift can we offer the republic than to teach and instruct our youth?" — Cicero "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." — Benjamin Franklin "Children need all school workers. A person is not 'just' a janitor, not 'just' a custodian. Janitors can see children when teachers don't see them, and bus drivers recognize that children who are disruptive on the bus are likely to be disorderly in the classroom. They're partners in education. We need each other to make this work." — Rev. Jesse Jackson "There is a place in America to take a stand: it is public education. It is the underpinning of our cultural and political system.. It is the great common ground. Public education after all is the engine that moves us as a society toward a common destiny . . . It is in public education that the American dream begins to take shape." — Tom Brokaw

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