I spent the day today at my new school with more than 320 volunteers from GE Health Care and other places around the GE family of companies (plus a whole bunch of students and staff) cleaning, painting, and landscaping. Well, okay, I didn't do any landscaping--but I did a lot of painting, and I have the powder-blue hands to prove it.
I would especially like to thank Andrew, Jeremy, Nick, and Pat who were responsible for my room. They did a fantastic job.
However, I would like to repeat a question I asked at about this time last year on a (now-dead) different blog: Why is it that such basic maintenance for public schools must come from volunteers? Why does society place such a low value on education and school funding that peeling paint, grime, and dead landscaping are the norm unless some very good and well-intentioned people make an effort on the scale of what we did today?
Or, to paraphrase a bumper sticker: It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need and the military needs GE volunteers to build a bomber.
And no disrespect at all to GE and the volunteers I met and worked with today--they were all to a person good, generous souls, and GE itself deserves a tremendous amount of credit for organizing about 3000 volunteers city-wide today to do what needed doing. However, it will continue to bother me that MPS and other districts around Milwaukee have to rely on the generosity of GE for basic services.