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What does an education cost?

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By The Staff

Recently my mother got an invitation from Lincoln Institute to attend her high school reunion. It was the secondary school in Shelbyville area where black people sent their children “back in the day” because there was no high school available to them in the county.

I mention this for a couple of reasons.

First, because it speaks to an ideal that many have lost in our current society – the immeasurable value of an education. The fact that tenant farmers and doctors alike sent their young teens away from home to get an education speaks to their belief that education was a ticket out and a hand up for their children.

They paid a great price to ensure the futures of their children. The young students also paid a price. They had to be a long distance from their families at a critical time in their development toward adulthood, and they were thrown into a situation where they had to become somewhat self-sufficient and independent at 12 or 13 years of age.

We are blessed today with the ability to get a first-rate education in our own back door. Whether you attend public school, take advantage of adult education classes, or use the public library, you have free access to a wealth of knowledge and educational opportunities. Many of the programs we take for granted are a result of state and federal grant money.

 Owen County receives funding according to the need shown through the numbers gathered by the U.S. Census.

I did not know that for many years, and I would guess there are a number of people like me, who had no idea about that either. 

If we value the education of our children, as many before us did, we will take the few minutes required to complete the census forms when they arrive in the mail.

It is a small price to pay to ensure the educational futures of your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors’ kids or adults who did not finish school or need to update their skills to pursue further education or get a job.

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Veronica Gayle is the director of Owen County Adult Education.