As parents across the country are rapidly finding out, there is no shortage of school issues to resolve in middle and secondary schools in their community. From school funding issues to problems with security, ethics, bullying and use of advanced technology, modern education has its fair share of issues in schools today. By becoming involved in their children’s and teens’ education, parents can get a better idea of the problems their local schools face. Parents who are “in the know” about their kids’ schools are in a better position to make positive contributions to help upgrade the quality of their kids’ education.
School Funding Issues
According to recent studies, the U.S. spends approximately $550 billion annually on public education. Most of the monetary contributions for elementary and high schools come from the state or local government, with a smaller percentage coming from federal sources. School funding from the state comes from resident income taxes and sales taxes. Each state has a legislature which helps determine how these funds are distributed. School funding issues often revolve around how these funds are dispersed, as many schools complain they are not receiving sufficient funds to sponsor their educational programs.
Local government funding comes from property taxes collected from residents and commercial businesses in the local area. Naturally, the wealthier the community, the more funds can be generated for local schools. In contrast, less money can be raised in poor communities, resulting in less income for schools from local governments. It’s no wonder schools in these districts suffer from fewer resources, lower quality teachers and poorer facilities. Many schools are fighting for a more equal basis for distribution of school funding to enable all children to receive a quality education.
School Safety Issues
School security issues have been in the limelight for quite some time. Children and teens in urban middle and high schools, in particular, continue to suffer from problems with physical violence, cyber-bullying, drugs, sexual assaults and other safety issues. High school issues with bullying and drugs have taken a heavy toll on the standard of education and prompted a rise in student dropouts. Before enrolling their teen in a particular high school, parents should review the school carefully to see how they fare in resolving school issues and maintaining a high educational standard. By safeguarding their teen’s education, parents can help protect their future.
LGBT issues in schools are also causing friction in many areas across the country. Many schools are introducing programs to help protect the rights of LGBT students and combat prejudice from other students, parents and teachers alike. LGBT students come from all levels of society and walks of life. Their choice of lifestyle should not make them ineligible to receive the same quality education as anyone else. If you are a parent of an LGBT student, you should ensure your school district upholds the same standard of education for your teen or child. Any discrimination should be reported to your Board of Education so these issues can be resolved.
Most schools encourage their students to participate in social activities promoted by their institution. Such activities may include school parties, sports, clubs and holiday gatherings. Sometimes social functions can be marred with racial, class or sexual discrimination, causing unnecessary problems. Many middle and high school students today lack social skills, which further complicate socialization efforts.
The main responsibility of teachers and school staff is to provide students with a quality academic education. This process involves teaching their students listening, communication, comprehension and team-working skills which can help young people work out relationship and socialization issues in schools. However, parents should make a greater effort to teach their kids social and interaction skills so they can get the most from their school experience.
Controversial School Issues
Ethical training and cyber-ethics continue to be controversial public school issues today. Although many schools consider the teaching of moral values a parent’s responsibility, teachers can’t help but get involved in ethical issues in schools, especially when faced with such problems as physical violence, verbal abuse and cyber-bullying. Many bullying issues stem from lack of training in moral education in the home. Children who are not taught consideration, kindness, respect and right behavior from wrong behavior at home will not demonstrate these values in the school environment. In fact, many school bullies come from backgrounds of violence and abusive behavior at home. For this reason, many schools are making an effort to tackle ethical issues in school counseling.
Bullying – which was at one time restricted to the high school level – has now become one of the most rapidly growing middle school issues in the country. Many middle school districts are experiencing problems with bullying among younger children 9-11 years of age. Even elementary schools are seeing a rise in bullying among children as young as 5 and 6 years old. Parents who abdicate their responsibility to give their children ethical training will eventually reap the results in young people with little to no people handling skills or moral values. Such young people will have difficulty integrating into any sector of society or establishing a career.
With the abundance of information and technology now available to middle and high school students across the country, the need for cyber-ethical training to help process this information correctly is at an all-time high. Cyber-ethics can help define appropriate Internet behavior for students across the line. By working together to discuss such ethical issues as cyber-threats, sexual harassment, information theft, cyber-stalking and other Internet criminal activities, parents, students and teachers will be more successful in dealing with these problems. Lack of ethics training in the Internet community has been responsible for a generation of young people misusing online privileges to the detriment of others.
Many students can benefit by having cyber-ethics incorporated into their school’s curriculum. Through this training, students can learn proper Internet usage as well as become acquainted with state laws and infractions in regards to cyber-attacks. Many young people begin cyber-bullying tactics as practical jokes or pranks against students they don’t like or as a way of getting back at someone they’ve had a bad encounter with. By being aware of cyber-bullying laws in their state, they make think twice before committing these illegal acts.
School law issues can range from racial discrimination to child abuse to unlawful access of student’s cellphone information to see if he or she has participated in a crime. Students face a diversity of issues in schools today that can have a detrimental effect in the quality of their education. Some students and their families have even resorted to hiring lawyers for school issues in an effort to get them resolved.
Not every problem that arises in school turns into a major school issue with legal ramifications for the future. Many problems can be resolved on a local level. Parents, students and teachers can often resolve school differences on their own by discussing these matters in a calm and mature way. Parent-teacher conferences open the door for parents to become more involved in their kids’ education and discuss problems and needs. Students can also discuss school issues with their school counselor and come up with solutions that will benefit everyone involved.
As the American educational system continues to evolve, students and parents will see many changes in school districts in their area. Most schools are open to change that can enhance the academic education of their students. Such changes could involve instituting new academic programs, investing in teacher training or upgrading their facilities. Schools are also looking into finding solutions to current and prospective school issues that can be a roadblock to progress.
Parents play a key role in ensuring their children are getting the most from their educational experience. Whether your child is enrolled in an elementary school, middle school or of high school age, your input can be invaluable to his academic training. Although school issues are part and parcel of the educational process, many issues can be avoided by parents being more involved in their kids’ education. By establishing an open line of communication and rapport with teachers and school staff, parents can gain a better perspective of how the school system works and how their child/teen is faring in his or her academic training. Parents who have a good relationship with their children/teens can also make a positive impact in their kids’ education.
Educating children and teens requires a teamwork effort. Most schools welcome the input of parents and students to make their institution a more productive and positive influence in the community. At the same time, students should do their part to make their education count by showing respect to teachers and counselors and making an effort to adhere to school rules. Through mutual respect and cooperation, today’s school systems can accomplish their objective of educating a new generation that can handle the responsibilities and pressures of our modern age.