The Value of Education

2015.09.21I gave a little talk at a fund raiser for Jackson's Elementary School last night. It is a public school which like most public schools get short changed when parents who can afford to contribute forget how far their contributions can go towards making what happens at school so much richer. Below are some excerpts from my first lesson in math: Each school day is 6 hours and 45 minutes. There are 18 classrooms. 172 days per school year. On an average day, 2-3 teeth fall out or are gently coaxed. Our school provides the little boxes to take the teeth home for the tooth fairy.

Before school there are 408 knapsacks lined up everyday. In those knapsacks are 324 sandwiches, 1032 carrot sticks, 84 gluten free healthy snacks,183 bananas slightly bruised, 74 chicken nuggets at room temperature, 68 apples (23 repurposed from yesterday’s lunch) and yesterday’s homework due today.

1161 hours of school a year.

If we could raise $1 per hour per student - there would be be 696,600 dollars raised for the school.

Let’s say we spend an average of $250 per week on food (which is higher than the national average and probably lower than we actually spend), that is $1.50 per hour.

The cost of running minivan a year - $9372 Cost per day - $ 25. Your van costs about $1 per hour everyday of the year.

If you take a family of 4 to a Bronco football game it costs about $1000. -- don’t even mention Taylor Swift….or a ski pass for a family or anyone’s holiday vacation.

405 minutes each day of school. 69,660 minutes in the school year. $1 dollar an hour. $1161 per year.

On the last day of school in May,there were 1768 tears shed by graduates, teachers, parents, and students. There was 84 gallons of melancholy and 500 lbs of joy.

In the end there was a hand inside your hand walking home. That hand had been held, taught, appreciated, protected, and allowed to learn safely in a school with the most soul I have ever seen. That is what we are talking about here tonight.