Unitarian Universalists have the most academic education, second only to the cousins in the Hindu religious tradition. We love questions, learning, searching. If we love our education so much, wouldn’t we want access to education for everyone as an expression of our Unitarian Universalism?
Trump’s appointment to the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos troubles me deeply. Public school, our country’s most important civic institution, will potentially be gutted, and not in favor of fairness and equality. Trump’s appointment is a call to action and service. What will you and your congregation or Covenanting Community do to protect public education?
Can you imagine if every UU congregation ran a member for the local school board as part of their mission?
Can you imagine congregations annually commissioning public school teachers and staff in a ceremony of celebration and gratitude?
Can you imagine scholarship program run by congregations to fund field trips and extracurricular opportunities as a way to support their local schools?
Can you imagine partnering with other groups to offer after-school enrichment programs?
I can imagine this and more. I can imagine it because it’s part of our heritage. Horace Mann (Unitarian) started the Common School Movement to ensure that basic education funded by local taxes was available to every child. The idea and movement of universal schooling spread across the new country. Mann knew that political stability, basic civility, and social harmony are the basis for civilization and universal public schooling is the means to that advancement.
Horace Mann started the public schools, and it’s time we rose up to ensure their protection.