The Issues with Public Schools Today


Chandler Grier, Staff Writer

America’s Public schools are in a state of crisis. Classroom size, bullying, student health, funding and attitude issues are dominating our classrooms. However, action is easier said than done. The first step towards change is identifying the problems and unifying people to take charge themselves. 

There is unfortunately a long list of problems facing schools of all types across America and worldwide. Many of these grievances are documented in “The Top Tens,” a collection of over 150,000 interactive top ten lists of a given subject that people can either vote or provide input on. These opinions (often anonymous) are then open to the public eye. Much of this article centers around these statistics.

Students in the DMV alone rate bullying as their number two highest annoyance in academic environments. Fifty percent of students speak in depth about teachers doing next to nothing or very little about many of their public bullying encounters, some of which escalate to physical violence very quickly. Only then would an administrator get involved. Many expressed how these experiences brought them so far as to loathe school, or even pushed them towards suicidal thoughts or actions.

According to student input on the Public School Review article, “10 Major Challenges Facing Public Schools,” written by Grace Chen and uploaded in February, 2019, one of the next major concerns is the quality of cafeteria food and its connection to student health. Concerns include nutritional value and portion sizes. The national school lunch movement “Let’s Move!” has been pushing healthier lunch options into schools across the country for over four years. According to their website, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) released new school lunch guidelines in 2012 to boost the nutrition quality of often unhealthy and sugar- and fat-heavy lunch options.This is definitely not the first time a group has tried to tackle a healthy lunch initiative in American public schools. In 2010 former president Barack Obama signed the Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act, due to what was described as a “child obesity crisis.” Acording to the Centers for Disease Control,  it is estimated that one in five children or 20% of children in the United States are obese. This sparked lengthy medical studies that attempt to examine the link between healthy eating and cognitive development as well as diet and cognitive function.

 Students on the “Top Tens” are voicing that the cafeteria staff is working to create these healthier lunches, yet without serious regard to preparation. Although more calories or sugar might not go into the recipe, neither did care or concern for flavor, resulting in “bad” food often described as “horrible, awful, horrendous, disgusting” etc… This, unfortunately, does not have much statistical backing because it is a group of students’ opinions. However students’ opinions do matter. A more nutritionally based lunch solves only one of two issues, quality of food should always be a factor. “Let’s Move” has also been planning and overseeing exercise programs across the country to promote more physical activity in students of all ages. As a country, we have a long way to go when it comes to health. However, hopefully the children of tomorrow will plunge the U.S into health consciousness due to the programs they participated in while young. 

A final, big issue to teachers and parents, in particular, was funding, teacher pay, as well as teachers generally needing to be better compensated by schools all over the country, and world, for that matter. Budget cuts have created huge problems for public schools in recent years: less funding means less staff and fewer services and programs offered. Some argue that throwing money at educational problems won’t make them disappear. However, if there were not a lack of funding in the first place, we wouldn’t be facing a lot of the problems we are today. 

These issues have been a source of struggle all across the board for years. All are important and need to be heard. However, talk is cheap; proper action needs to be taken to address these issues immediately in order to create a safer and more enjoyable school environment for the children of today and tomorrow.