Education Letter to the Editor

Rich Superheroes Can’t Save All Schools

August 28, 2018 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

After reading Johnathan Collins’ piece on Lebron James’ new school, I Promise, (“LeBron James Opens a School and Speaks Democracy to Power,” August 2, 2018) I couldn’t help but feel a mixture of both pride and discouragement. I agree with Collins that James has taken a particularly noble action, and we can all be inspired by his decision to open a public school—unlike many of his contemporaries who have decided that charter and private schools are a better solution to problems facing education. James’ commitment to public education, in an area where there is a high population of at-risk kids, should remind everyone to view public education as a necessary public service, not just a chance at a profit.

Nonetheless, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the less glamorous part of the situation: James is doing this because it needs to be done. In many parts of the country, public education is either underfunded or under attack, and most of those places will never have a celebrity swoop in and do what James is doing. We cannot be guilty of sitting back and waiting to be saved by philanthropic athletes and dot-com millionaires. We have to keep focused on the fact that a nationwide school system that takes on every child and provides them with a quality education is one of the strongest pillars upon which our country stands.

Contrary to the clever one-liners on talking-head shows, no entity has come close to what public schools do. Public schools are both a treasure and a service. They are the foundation of a system that created hundreds of millions of productive citizens. Counting on the wealthy superheroes to come in and write a check will only further de-prioritize our nation’s schools and the importance they hold in all our lives.

Brad Stooksberry


Waynesboro Elementary School

Waynesboro, Tenn.

A version of this article appeared in the August 29, 2018 edition of Education Week as Rich Superheroes Can’t Save All Schools


English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Education Civil Rights Groups Sue Tennessee Over Law Against Transgender Student Athletes
The state law bars transgender athletes from playing public high school or middle school sports aligned with their gender identity.
3 min read
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Mark Humphrey/AP