I grew up in an age when education was valued above everything else.
With good reason. As the US skipped merrily through the postwar era, our rivals and adversaries were busy rebuilding their nations, their infrastructure, their weaponry when they could. We pranced along as if in perpetual adolescent summer. Our fellow world was already looking at fall and even (nuclear) winter.
And then President Eisenhower sounded the alarm: we had missile gaps and infrastructure gaps and most important, as we watched the Soviet Union literally rocket skyward, we had a severe education gap, so much so that we imported former Nazi scientists left and right to try to catch up with Sputnik.
Money was funneled into education, into the interstate highways, into defense.
You can guess which one was defunded the quickest.
That shouldn't have happened. It should never have happened.
Teachers should be as highly paid as doctors, if for no other reason than a good teacher will help shape a good doctor.