Gov. Jan Brewer brings little personal education to AZ leadership
Jan Brewer took office as Arizona state governor Jan. 20, when former governor Janet Napolitano departed for Washington to assume her post as the Secretary of Homeland Security. Since then, Brewer has sent a pretty clear message to students and educators across Arizona. Brewer had no problem signing off on the now-infamous budget plan that will take $350 million away from our state’s public education system.
This may be old news, but outrage over Brewer’s decision shouldn’t cease. By giving those budget cuts her approval, Brewer has told Arizonans she doesn’t value education or care about the future of Arizona. There’s a pretty simple reason for this: Brewer may have nearly 30 years of political experience, but there’s one thing she doesn’t have – a college degree.
I’m sure most of the students here at NAU, as well as at universities and colleges across the state, are not pursuing higher education because they desire to go into politics. It is almost certainly guaranteed that when we graduate we won’t be capable of running a state with a population of approximately six million people, but you’d think that with the commitment and work college life requires we’d be better armed than Jan Brewer.
We’re in college because we want to secure a future and to better ourselves. We stick it out, year after year, buying outrageously priced books, pushing ourselves (and our immune systems) through difficult classes and exams in addition to paying tuition every semester. We do it because we value it. We know how good it feels at the end of the semester and, hopefully, how good it will feel when we graduate and get a job.
I suppose it must be easy for someone like Jan Brewer to approve such dangerous and thoughtless budget cuts when she knows next to nothing about the processes, and experience and sacrifices one makes when one attends a university. Nor does it appear she cares. Anyone who understands the value of getting an education would never suggest limiting such an important institution.
Education exists, not as a luxury, but as a tool of personal and societal betterment. Students exit universities more aware and discerning of the world around them, hopefully with the intention of bettering that world. If the oppurtunity to pursue an education is compromised the blue collar workforce — which is already stretched economically thin — will be overwhelmed by an excess of job seekers who might have otherwise gone to college. Also, a society with an uneducated populus won’t be able to critique its leaders or create true progress.
Cutting educational funding isn’t just a financial blunder; it’s a gesture of disrespect toward the students and educators who worked hard to get where they are and who are still working. Furthermore, this has the potential to damage future generations, perhaps damning an entire generation to an uneducated existence.
So what education does Brewer have? Well, she’s a certified radiological technologist, meaning she is certified to create images, like x-rays, which help diagnosis health problems. I’m sure, should I slip on some ice, Brewer would be capable of identifying a fractured tibia. But just because she can see inside a human body doesn’t mean she can see what’s best for Arizona.
If Brewer’s catastrophic decision to take money away from education is any indication, her leadership probably won’t improve. Brewer inherited her lofty position by happenstance. So when election season rolls around let’s make sure she doesn’t get to keep it and vote her out.
Keep telling NAU what you expect from it, and keep telling the state you won’t settle for shoddy politicians who who refuse to represent one of the most important aspects of society: education.
If we expect as much as we do from ourselves as students, we most certainly can expect a lot more from our governor.