To the Editor:
Necessity really is the mother of invention, and I am impressed to learn in an article in Education Week that a school district in House Springs, Mo., is solving its staffing shortages by hiring students as custodians and food-service workers (“Hiring Students to Ease Staffing Shortages: One School District’s Unorthodox Solution,”Dec. 16, 2021).
I am surprised that some consider giving these opportunities to students controversial. Preparing our children to become productive members of society does not happen overnight, and our society used to recognize that. The practice of hiring student workers used to be quite common. In fact, I worked as a janitor at my high school while a student. Participating in the workforce from a young age developed my work ethic and gave me valuable skills that helped lead me to where I am today. If we want to impart these values to the next generation, we must give students opportunities and not underestimate them.
Our country has always been known for its strong work ethic. It was this strong work ethic that founded the first Constitutional Republic, won two World Wars, and created the most innovative and productive country in the world. While the left attempts to degrade work as something to be overcome, I believe that work is good in and of itself. Democrat policies like increased unemployment payments, stimulus checks, welfare programs without work requirements, and egregiously high-income taxes all create a disincentive to work—leading to the major labor crisis we’re in today.
Our Founding Fathers knew the only way our Republic would last is if the people maintain the ability to govern themselves. That is why I applaud the efforts of these schools and the students participating in this program. The House Springs school district is setting students up for a successful future—it’s time more school districts do the same.
Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.
A version of this article appeared in the January 12, 2022 edition of Education Week as The More Opportunities Students Get, The Better