Paulette Chaffee Explains Why Public Education is Essential in the United States

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America’s universal public education system is foundational to our society, contributing
significantly to the growth of the United States and its citizens. The public education system
grants children in the United States the right to access free and quality grade school education.


In this article, former teacher, public school advocate, and Orange County 4th District
Ambassador Paulette Chaffee discusses why a strong public education system is vital for the
success and well-being of the American nation.


Overall Value of Public Education in America


The positive influence that public education has on American youth and the surrounding
communities is significant, both socially and economically. Free access to education provides
citizens with a more extensive knowledge base, which leads to improved social and economic
conditions. In addition, populations with more educated individuals show drastic improvements
in crime and unemployment rates, public health, and substantial tax revenue.


Instilling a Diverse Community


Public schools give students exposure to diverse learning and social environments that contribute
to more proactive communities. Students who attend public schools come from various
socioeconomic backgrounds. Such exposure to diversity provides the opportunity to acquire
skills in effective communication and solving interpersonal issues.


Cost-Effectiveness


It is difficult to beat the price of public schools, which are free. Public schools receive most of
their funding from local, state, and federal government sources and often the occasional
fundraiser. Participation in sports and purchasing school supplies is still a cost to be accounted
for in public schools. Still, free enrollment is much more cost-effective than the average private
school cost
of around nineteen thousand dollars a year.


Access to Opportunities


Without public education, so many young Americans would lack the access to participate in
educational opportunities and extracurricular activities. The choices for opportunities that align
with an individual’s interests are vast, from academic subjects to afterschool programs and
sports. Good grades or high sports performance can also lead to scholarships allowing for ways
to fund continued education at higher institutions like universities and colleges. With the
achievement of one or more degrees and completion of higher education comes more social and
economic opportunities.

Service Avenues

By law, public schools must provide certain services for the students who attend them. Public
school services include supplying a means of transportation to and from the school’s facility,
academic assistance, and even reduced school lunches depending on economic background.
Special education services are also provided to meet the needs of all students, regardless of their
learning capabilities. Students can use these services to their advantage, especially access to
academic planning if seeking ways to achieve higher education.


About Paulette Chaffee


Paulette Chaffee is best known in her community as an educator, grants facilitator, and public
education and children’s advocate. She serves as Ambassador for Orange County 4th District and
contributes to the OC Children’s Partnership and Annual OC Conditions of Children Report.


As an Ambassador, Chaffee provides internship opportunities for students and strives to
implement equity in education, healthcare, and social services. In addition, she supports criminal
justice reform, public schools, mental health services, and the expansion of community-based
childcare programs, mental health services, and social services.


After receiving her Juris Doctor from Western State University in California, Chaffee began her
private practice as an attorney, adding to her previous professional experience as a classroom
teacher and speech therapist. She participates in community activities through organizations such
as First 5 Orange County Children and Families Commission, Fullerton Collaborative, and OC
Council of PTAs, among many others.

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