Thank You, Ellen

Seriously. Thank you.

Thank you for noticing the struggles of Detroit Public Schools. Thank you for stepping up and using your considerable wealth and powerful connections to help these dedicated educators and their deserving students. Thank you for doing what the “privatize everything” crowd in our Republican-dominated state legislature couldn’t do, and actually giving a damn about these students. Thank you for putting the poor conditions at DPS into the national spotlight.

And here’s where my cynical side takes over.

This is only a drop in the bucket. Spain is far from the only public school in Detroit with serious problems. As wealthy and generous as Ellen is, she doesn’t have enough coin to fix everything that needs fixing. More importantly, our schools should not have to rely on the philanthropy of celebrities to safely serve our children. That’s a dangerous path to start treading.

I hope Ellen’s gift is just the start of helping Detroit’s schools. I hope the state follows her example, and pledges enough resources to give these educators and students the facilities they deserve. I hope we can look back on this in a few years, and say thank you to Ellen for getting the ball rolling.

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The Trombonist’s Mouthpiece by Joe Guarr is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License