Discourse / Editorials / October 8, 2009

Thoughts from the Embers: MAP

It is refreshing to see students and faculty come out in support of reinstating the MAP grants. They are necessary for many students around the state and we here at Knox know how important a good education is. In this day, in this economy, having a college education is crucial to being competitive in the job market and providing a decent living for families.

This loss, for many students, especially those just starting out, is absolutely devastating. It will redirect their entire future, making the education and job they are capable of attaining much more difficult to achieve. Really, if the state of Illinois wants to produce educated and successful citizens, they need to invest in their college students to make sure that this is a possibility.

But Illinois legislature, we here at TKS are on to you. We understand that the budget is tight. However, you could fund these grants if you really wanted to. As Roger Taylor said, it’s all a political game. One big, disgusting political game.

You’ve decided not to fund the MAP grants while funding countless other less necessary ventures because you know people will rally around the grants. They’ll realize that they can’t let the state’s talented youth be robbed of their chance to be educated and therefore will shell out the money necessary to keep the program going. In the meantime, those expensive luxuries that the state is unwilling to part with will remain in the budget, secure because legislatures don’t want to let them go.

The legislatures know that if they secured the things that were necessary, such as MAP grants, they’d never be able to raise the funds for less important ventures. Because people will tolerate tax increases for education, that’s what gets cut.

So how can we change this? If we continue to rally around those important issues, they will continue to be cut first so the legislature can fund what is necessary and have their cake, too. But if we don’t fund those necessities, they’ll continue to disappear in the midst of our apathy. So really, there is nothing we can do but accept the system and keep our education.

It makes sense, but the state shouldn’t be run this way.

Students who are willing and capable of completing an education should be able to, regardless of their economic status. As Brigette said in TKS’s article, education is invaluable and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

What we really need is a system that provides all people with an education. As long as they are able to take advantage of that opportunity, they should be able to flourish and become productive members of society. They shouldn’t be prevented for not having enough money; rather, they should be welcomed and evaluated based on their ability. A college education should cost nothing.

But that would be socialism and it’s becoming increasingly obvious through the health care debates that most people in this country would rather die a slow and horrible death than participate in a system that would help us all.

TKS Staff

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