Congressman Emanuel Cleaver shared an experience as a young man that resulted in a powerful lesson for him. The tradition in Rev. Cleaver’s family was that washing dishes following dinner was rotated among his siblings. His number came up on Thanksgiving day. The table was set with his grandmother’s prized china. In an effort to be as efficient as possible, young Emanuel decided to utilize the tablecloth to carry the all dishes into the kitchen. The quicker the dishes arrived in the kitchen, the sooner he would complete his assigned task.
Young Emanuel folded the tablecloth carefully around the china and proceeded on his way. After only a few steps his strategy began to fail as the load became too heavy. You can imagine what occurred next! Emanuel found himself at the bottom of a pile, with grandmother’s prized china crashing to the floor. Grandma ran into the room, thinking first of Emanuel’s safety, then of her prized china. Emanuel expected a thrashing and yelled out “I am so sorry! The dishes were too heavy!” Grandmother, realizing Emanuel was ok, but her china was destroyed replied, “Emanuel, just because the load is heavy, doesn’t mean you can drop it!”
“Just because the load is heavy doesn’t mean you can drop it!” The load of raising our children and ensuring each child receives a quality education can sometimes feel very heavy. Grandmother’s wisdom reminds us that we must find a way to continue on, no matter the weight of our burdens. It is in this spirit that I want to thank the employees of KCKPS, who are sacrificing personal income as a part of the district response to the most recent reductions in funding for our schools.
KCKPS lost $2 million in the move to the Block Grant system of funding public schools in Kansas. This is before factoring in any increased costs for health insurance, utilities, etc. After seven years of reductions (totaling $56 million in KCKPS), we are forced to furlough (days off without pay) employees as many as four days this year, in order to prevent further cuts to our educational programs. In other words, our employees are carrying the burden caused by the state’s failure to adequately fund public schools.
I want to express my appreciation to the employees of KCKPS, who carry a very heavy load, all the while remembering that “just because the load is heavy, doesn’t mean you can drop it!” It’s Up to Us!