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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/9/11

Defunding America's Future

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As American politicians search for cuts in State and Federal spending to balance the economic scales, they are aiming to cut into social programs instead of concentrating their fire on the issues that have actually led to our current, monstrous debt situation; Military expenditures, Corporate Welfare and Foreign Aid.   As the Wars in the Middle East rage on, America is spending an astronomical amount of money in other nations while our own falls apart.  

One particular target that has begun to hobble America is the insatiable attack against public school system. Some may see it as necessary to balance the Fiscal Budget but when a country spends more on the support of foreign countries than it does on its own future, one has to wonder whether the politicians pushing this agenda are truly serving in the interests of the American people.   When this question arises We the People must begin to question the motives of the in-place system.  

Our Representatives in Washington have passed a defense budget which includes measures to not only to defend against our "enemies" but with in same motion, aid them by supporting the building of their Nations. These people continue to erode the foundation of this nation but still persist in calling themselves "Patriots".   If one were to take an objective view of these actions, they would seem rather insidious, bordering on treasonous.

Some domestic programs that are apparently safe from cuts are throwing money at seemingly pointless endeavors.   As an example of this fiscal policy of misguided spending from Washington, Florida's Governor Rick Scott was recently faced with the decision of accepting $2.4 Billion from the U.S. Government for the building of high speed rail or letting it go to another State.   He said no to the offer because to accept would have obliged the State to $7 Billion additional to make it work.   Unless the project was salvaged, the $2.4 billion goes to another state that wants to build high-speed rail.   It would of course not make any sense for that money to go to the building of schools in Florida.   High speed rail means nothing to the future of our country when compared to education.

In contrast to this type of spending, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 1.   Under this resolution, "funding for programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education would be cut by $11.56 billion, or 16.5 percent, in fiscal year 2011 below the current resolution, affecting millions of students and leading to potentially significant job losses for teachers and other school employees." It would seem here is money aplenty for high speed rail but not for the building and support of our Nations schools.

There is such a demand for additional classroom space in this country to meet the demands of an expanding population, many schools have begun to site mobile trailers to create cheap classroom space.   It is supposed to be a temporary fix but they have become permanent fixtures on many school campuses nationwide. There are High Schools and Middle Schools in this country that exist totally as mobile trailer campuses.   These "Schools" were created to accommodate the needs of a growing population while the communities which they serve waited for funding for the construction of a real campus. But the funding never came. Instead our money which should be spent on America goes to foreign interests and our out of control military initiatives.

Case in point: In 2011, the U.S. "Defense" budget hit an astounding $725 Billion. That is the recorded amount apart from any additional Executive Orders and spending requests imposed through out the year.   It has been estimated that the U.S. will spend $3 Trillion dollars in Iraq when all is said and done.   This estimate does not include the money for Afghanistan or the impending conflict with Iran and possibly North Korea and now Libya.   Meanwhile, our children lose their teachers, their school funding and their hope of a college education.  

The United States spends an insane amount of money on interests in the Middle East.   The War Register's League has recorded that in 2009 alone, the U.S. spent in total Outlays (Federal Funds): $2.65 trillion. The following amount spent on Military is reflective of percentages spent from our Income Taxes and is broken down as follows:

-          MILITARY: 54% and $1.5 Trillion

-          NON-MILITARY: 46% and $1.21 Trillion In 2011, the budget is recorded to be $3.8 Trillion and with the past percentages of expenditure, it would mean, based on the government breakdown of the previous ratio, $2 Trillion on Defense.   Just imagine what that would afford our schools to provide our children a good education in this Nation.

If a portion of this money was used in the American Education system, the outcome of said expenditures would benefit this Nation greatly. According to, here's what the money spent on Iraq in 2007 alone ($447 Billion) would have provided we in the U.S.:

  • 21,510,598 full four-year scholarships to public universities
  • 7,689,734 new public school teachers
  • 58,770,981 chances for children to attend head-start

The money could also have purchased health insurance policies for 265,701,285 uninsured people or housing for 3,995,293 homeless families. Yet we continue to export our funds to support Libya, Cairo, Iraq, etc.           


Since the War on Terror began, combined with the economic recession shut off the funding spigot to meet the needs of America military initiatives, these schools go without those necessary funds.   NCEF, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Funding, has recorded the following disparity of funding for schools in America:

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Steven Forrest is a Project Architect living in St. Petersburg, Florida. Currently, he is working to implement Green Building initiatives in several communities across Florida. Given the current situation in America and the continued (more...)
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