Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Letter to the Editor


February 3, 2015

Poverty affects

children’s learning

Our governor recently mentioned truancy problems in schools that we need to address. Then in the same speech, she wanted us to become a “right to work” state.

The issues are diametrically opposed.

Poverty is the largest problem facing our public schools. Unions give working people a voice in bargaining for wages and benefits. “Right to work” is basically opposed to labor having a voice at the bargaining table.

Unions have resulted in wages being increased for all, whether union members or not. The war against unions has been ongoing since the 1980s. The increase in inequality has been aided by anti-union laws, which was no accident.

Studies have shown that poverty affects children’s learning in innumerable ways. Not enough to eat, (Republicans cut down on food stamps), homeless, gang violence, unemployment, poor schools being underfunded etc. Poverty is a huge stumbling imposed on them at the start.

The United Nations Children’s Fund report on wellbeing of children covering 35 developed countries listed the U.S. as being next to the bottom at 34. In 2013, children living in poverty in the U.S. was 22 percent; New Mexico was at 31 percent.

When Henry Ford started his company, he paid above the going rate and was criticized for it. He said (basically), “If my workers cannot buy them, then who is?”

The basic requirement for a democracy is a well-informed citizenry. We are failing our children that, through no fault of their own, are growing up in poverty.

There is no excuse for a country as rich as ours not to have a quality education for all our children. Our priorities are just way out of kilter.

The answer is addressing poverty, not charter schools or privatizing education. That has not proven to be any better.

Leon Logan



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