Do you have something in a 2-BR, 2-Bath Cave?
I made the mistake of falling back into an old habit this past week. I started watching the evening news on one of the networks. Man, talk about negativity.
Honestly, if that was where I got my world view from, I would probably pack it in, move to a small cave in the mountains, and stockpile canned vegetables and bottled water. In fact, after 5 days of the Nightly News, I came very close. The only thing that held me back was the fact that I could not get Internet access in the cave.
I never realized how negative the news was. And if the news is to be believed, we are headed for tough times. But mostly, it is because we will wish ourselves there. I think I might have heard the “R” word (Recession) about two dozen times, usually preceded with “we might have,” or “it now looks like a possibility that.” If we are to find ourselves in (or near) a recession, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have already heard more than one colleague say, ‘I am going to hold on to my cash in case we are headed into a recession.’ Self-fulfilling, and in fact the opposite of the superheated economy we find ourselves in. The reason we have all this inflation is because we had a few Trillion smackers thrust into the economy, and demand has outstripped supply. Perhaps not optimal, but not nearly as bad as when fear grips the populace and people quit spending money.
And besides, like me, you are in the education biz. We are very fortunate to be in an industry that has always been artificially bolstered by government revenue. And now, states/districts/schools find themselves with an extra $150 Billion that they must spend in the next two years. So, you can take all that nay-saying and negative news narrative and chuck it right out the nearest window. Because, really, have you ever heard a school district that didn’t say they were broke? In addition to the fact that most districts have the highest reserves in the history of reserves, they collectively have a sh*t-ton of government greenery to spend, and a very short time to spend it.
Just how much money is $150 Billion? Last year, education spent the most money ever on curriculum. It was $15 Billion. Also last year, education collectively spent 30 percent more than had ever been spent before on hardware. The total of this monumental spend? $16 Billion. So, when schools have an extra $150 Billion they must spend, it is truly a once in a lifetime event.
So, what to do?
First, quit watching the news. Next, give thanks to your higher power that you are lucky enough to be in the education biz in the first place. And then, put together every Scheckel you can muster and aim it towards every school district you can identify.
Podcasts. Webinars. Events. Conferences. Articles. Sit down with your bean counters, put together the most outrageous marketing plan ever, and then double it.
Now is the time to start. A good example of a worthwhile endeavor is the Learning Counsel’s Learning Leadership Symposiums. Imagine spending the day with 40 – 50 superintendents, curriculum directors, technology directors and assistant supes, all of whom are desperately trying to figure out how to spend their money. Don’t get me wrong, they are in no way reckless, but they are looking for the best way to advance their district’s learning goals. If you can help them with that, they will listen. You should also drink copious amounts of tea with lemon to tighten up those pipes as you make appearances on every podcast you can find. I suggest the Learning Leadership Society Report. It is hosted by LeiLani Cauthen, who is perhaps the most connected thought leader in K12 education today. She is the CEO and Publisher of the Learning Counsel, a research and news media hub for K-12 education with 315,000 primarily executive education readers. That’s a lot, and if you haven’t done many podcasts, LeiLani will walk you through it and you will sound brilliant to those 315,000 education executives, many of whom may need to send some money your way.
Although it was very tempting to give in to the depression caused by watching the Nightly News, ultimately it is much more fun to help America’s boys and girls to get the best education in the history of the world. What an opportunity! And no matter what happens in the rest of the world, you and I can rejoice in the fact that we are a part of it all. Because while living in a cave and wearing buckskin clothing has its appeal, ultimately the buck complains and eating pine bark is never as tasty as it looks on TV.
About the author
Charles Sosnik is an education journalist and editor and serves as Editor in Chief at the Learning Counsel. An EP3 Education Fellow, he uses his deep roots in the education community to add context to the education narrative. Charles is a frequent writer and columnist for some of the most influential media in education, including the Learning Counsel, EdNews Daily, EdTech Digest and edCircuit. Unabashedly Southern, Charles likes to say he is an editor by trade and Southern by the Grace of God.