Jr. ROTC Contributes to the School Funding Crisis
Rick Jahankow -
As sources of public money for public education shrink, K-12 school districts are being forced to consider budget cuts that will seriously affect classes and student services. In some places they are reducing or eliminating counselors, school nurses, teacher aides, librarians, and programs like art, music and athletics.
One program that is rarely subjected to cuts is the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), a military training/recruiting program that is currently offered in approximately 4,000 of the nation’s high schools. Even though this course is a non-academic elective that does not count toward meeting admission requirements at state colleges and universities — and schools are scrambling to provide electives that do help students meet those requirements — JROTC is usually given privileged treatment by school trustees who are politically intimidated by the pro-JROTC lobby and often deceived about the money that could be saved by cutting the program.