Education — the key to almost every success!

Published 12:39 am Saturday, June 1, 2019


Most governmental agencies in Virginia, if not all, are on a July — June fiscal year and have recently completed a grueling budgeting process. It seems this important task is becoming more challenging and contentious each year. Choices must be made among funding schools, providing for the safety and security of its citizens, maintenance of its roads and facilities, employee pay and benefits, and other worthy projects.

It is paramount that education becomes a high priority for any community, region, state, or nation. This must include not only the basic funding for pre-school, kindergarten through high school, and college support but also continuing educational programs for adults as the skills and needs of a productive society change. Educational attainment provides benefits and pays huge dividends that are essential for the success of individuals, their local communities, and our nation as a whole.

Numerous studies indicate that an educated citizenry, through formal or self-study means, possesses skills that greatly reduce the support and resulting costs provided by various governmental agencies. These citizens are much more financially secure, healthier, more stable, better equipped to respond to life’s challenges, possess better social skills, and are more skilled in communicating their thoughts and ideas. Their names are much less prominent on crime and drug abuse reports on television or in the newspapers. This group has a much better understanding of environmental concerns and ways to resolve them.

From a community standpoint, an educated populace “gives” rather than “takes.” It supports charities and civic clubs, volunteers in schools, has better parenting skills, and allows local government agencies to concentrate on fewer citizens who truly need assistance.

At the national level, our country has a much better qualified workforce, can compete much more directly on the world stage, and provides a more diverse understanding of a variety of cultures all at much lower costs. There is less need for paying for unemployment compensation, Medicaid and remedial programs.

We must think of educational attainment, no matter how it occurs, as an investment since spending more now on education will greatly reduce spending on public health, welfare support, and criminal activities later. The problem is that we have become a “I want it now” impatient society that cannot see benefits beyond today.

Robert N. Holt