The high cost of learning |

The high cost of learning

Our country is a leader in innovation and creation. We are first when it comes to economic success. We are likely the most free of all nations. Why?

I was born before World War II. When I went to college my last semester’s tuition in 1961 was under $100. That’s why.

Good and accessible education is the tide that lifts all boats. There are hundreds of stories right here in the Roaring Fork Valley of individuals who grew up in poverty, or who came here as young immigrants, and who now are huge successes by any measure. Ask them why and the answer is almost always education and the freedom to become the winners they are.

Taxpayers used to be happy to support free education. They recognized it as a way to make all of us better off. One startling example is Justice Stephen Breyer, who went to tax-funded free public schools in San Francisco, and look where he ended up!

Yet today even public local community colleges have costs well beyond “affordable.” It is a struggle just to get a basic grounding in reasoning and truth. And lessons in civics? Forget it, particularly when some school districts are now pulling books from shelves and prohibiting school discussions on unpleasant parts of our history.

Come on, Congress, and our state legislatures: Do the right thing for a change. My generation does not want to be the last “great” one. Restore the ability of all our people to get an education. Now, before it’s too late.

Parker Maddux