Opportunity Editorial

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Many people realize and understand that not everyone’s circumstances are equal, but are led to believe that we are all equal opportunists; however, with the wealth gaps, current schooling situation, and lack of opportunity in low income areas that is not the case. “Schooling in low income neighborhoods isn’t coming close to national standards”(David Card, Alan B Krueger, Labor Market Effects of School Quality: Theory and Evidence).

It’s a well known fact that if you’re wealthy, you’re more likely to go farther in life: In other words, you have more opportunity. With wealth comes better schooling, better learning tools- Computers, Teachers, Books, and an all around more of an opportunity for success. Whereas a child who grows up in a less fortunate environment, receives much less opportunity, and thus ends up having less of a chance for success than a wealthy kid who’s privileged from the start.

When this situation occurs, many great minds are going to waste, simply because their family doesn’t have the funds to pay for their child's schooling, and who’s to say that a wealthy kid would even do any good with all of the opportunity he or she has anyway. If equal opportunity is given to all kids from the start this world will be much more productive, because we’ll have great minds coming from all over the wealth spectrum, possibly becoming our future doctors, lawyers, and world leaders. The Movie Waiting For Superman exemplifies this idea by demonstrating how with budget cuts, that many public school students are not receiving the proper education they deserve. The schools of America are “Waiting For Superman” to come and rescue them, and relieve the burden put on them by the economic gap or “lack of money to provide proper schooling”. It’s my belief that we the people are superman, and it’s our job to provide equal schooling to all students no matter their economic class.

If better schooling is implemented in low-income areas, it’s much more beneficial than solemnly giving wealthy children access to good schooling just because of their money. Successful kids from low-income areas, are much more likely in my eyes to be able to help a lot more people than a wealthy child who succeeds would. Because those kids know and understand what it’s like to live under less than the best conditions, and now that they’re successful, they also know what it’s like to live the “Life”. Having doctors, lawyers and world leaders that know both ends of the economic range can greatly help our nations, by uniting the whole wealth spectrum, because they’re knowledgable of all of it. Whereas a wealthy kid who succeeds could try and relate to the less fortunate but can truly only relate to the only way of life they know, which is wealth.

Some skeptics may say, “Well, what if the less fortunate don’t take the opportunity we’re giving them, and we end up losing money from funding these programs?” I completely understand where this idea comes from, because some independent research studies have shown that most kids would rather slack off, than apply themselves to schooling, and this could end up being a problem, but you never know until you try.

It’s my personal belief, that no matter what the studies have shown, that all kids are different. And all of them deserve equal opportunity for success, but what they do with it is up to them. And who’s not to say that money is already being wasted on the schooling of wealthy kids, who would rather be slacking off than working hard. Kids will be kids, and most of them would rather do fun things than be in school, but for the ones who do, they at least deserve an opportunity for success. Because until you provide a child with the right opportunity, you never know what they may become.

People opposing the idea may also say “Well, where’s the money for these improvements, and programs going to come from?”. This is a very valid question and makes sense, because as of right now, we are in a recession, with limited funds as it is. And if we wanted to take action and raise the quality of schools in low income areas, we may have to raise taxes as well, and the majority of the population would not like that; however, the Boys and Girls Clubs is a prime example of our tax dollars getting put to great use, “Our aim is to ensure that all Club members graduate from high school on time, ready for a post-secondary education and a 21st-century career” (Kenneth P. Cohen: Chairman of The Boys and Girls Clubs of America).

Schooling in our nation today is put on the back burner, while government funds are being spent on other things that are less important. Schooling for all kids should be of the highest quality possible, and government funds that are being used for truly non important things need to be more geared towards the education of the future students of the world. Many people may at first think they’re just paying taxes for non beneficial things, but when they see what their kids have grown up to become, I hope they’ll think “Wow, there are many great minds out there just waiting for a chance to succeed”. Bottom line: every child rich or poor deserves a chance, to be successful!





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