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Editorial: Mandate or not, a change is needed

September 21, 2012
The Alpena News

This week Michigan legislators approved legislation authorizing every public classroom to have a U.S. flag and students be provided an opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each morning.

Believe it or not that action bothers some, including educators.

We sympathize with school officials who have been hard hit with budget reductions and less state reimbursements over recent years. Yes, this is another mandate and yes, some districts may not have the funds to purchase all the flags. If that is the case, we would think if the financial need were shared with the community, local businesses would rally together and provide the funds.

In an Associated Press story in Monday's edition of The News on the subject, Bay City Superintendent Doug Newcombe was quoted as saying "...I'm all for patriotism, but I guess my question is 'Why are we spending time on this kind of stuff.'"

Fair enough.

The answer can be found in part in the column above this editorial dealing with educational competition.

Legislators are dealing with this mandate partially because of similar items that once were part of the public school system, but which no longer exist -things like prayer and small class sizes. There are many reasons why alternative educational schools are popular today, but one of the main reasons is because parents are frustrated with what legislators and the courts have stripped away from the schools over the years.

Many parents are tired of compromising family values, and thus have turned to alternative educational choices.

Trust us, we're not crazy about state mandates either.

However, we understand the intent behind it.

So should those who have a problem with it.



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