Everyone remembers Barack Obama's first address to congress where he introduced a lovely young lady named Ty'Sheoma Bethea after she wrote a letter about her broken down school in South Carolina.
"We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself, and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina, but also the world," the president read from Bethea's letter as she looked on, standing next to Michelle Obama. "We are not quitters."
And we also remember how Gov. Mark Sanford tried to initially reject those stimulus funds (guess he was busy hiking) that would have helped those middle school children at JV Martin.
That is the question reverberating through South Carolina, where Republican Mark Sanford -- a popular second-term governor and noted fiscal conservative -- says he may reject some of the $2.8 billion in federal funds headed to his state.
Well, good news. Those middle schoolers at JV Martin will finally get a new school.
J.V. Martin Junior High School, which President Obama used in campaign speeches as an example of gross educational neglect, will get federal stimulus money to build a new school. The federal Department of Agriculture confirmed Tuesday J.V. Martin, which is in disrepair and has parts of his campus that date back to the 1800s, would qualify for a federal loan program targeting rural areas. The county is eligible for nearly $40 million in loans and grants...
Obama campaigned at the school - profiled in the award-winning documentary "Corridor of Shame" - and several other poor South Carolina schools on his way to winning the state’s decisive presidential primary in January 2008. According to the Agriculture Department the "Dillon County School Facilities Corporation in eastern South Carolina has been selected to receive a $35.8 million loan and a $4 million grant to improve education services in three school districts in Dillon County." The stimulus money will be used to construct two new schools and renovate two existing schools.
Bethea became a minor celebrity afterward, and the now-Georgia high schooler is still an advocate for rebuilding J.V. Martin.
Sometimes out of the smallest of things, big things can grow. A letter by a child moved a president. A president tried to get congress to move. Congress moved and made the stimulus. The stimulus reached the state that was affected. And then the state gave the money to the students who needed it. That is the way government is supposed to work. That is the way we need it to work. And you have to believe that if we advocate and fight as much as Ty'Sheoma did for her school, her neighborhood, and the other children around her, America would be a much better place.
So thank you Ty'Sheoma for being an advocate for yourself and other children just like you. You are an inspiration to us all.
ETA: The Washington Post just posted and article about how the Obama Administration plans on spending up to 4 billion dollars on Education.
That is on top of the 100 billion they have already spent in education, raising the spending on education by 6.2 percent.