GRE Argument Essay 176
The following appeared in a memo from a budget planner in Sophia County.
“Census data indicate that the number of retired couples without children who are moving into Sophia County is steadily rising; private schools in our county report substantial increases in enrollment; and a statewide survey of parents shows that over 10 percent now support the idea of home schooling instead of public schooling funded by the county government. Such demographic trends suggest that our county will not have to construct new school buildings and that we can therefore decrease the budget for county-funded public schools.”
The writer of the memo is of the view that the country will not require to build school buildings and there will be a decrease in the budget for country-funded public schools. This view is supported by the trends mentioned in the argument that suggest that there is increased enrollment in private schools and home schooling instead of public schools. However, this argument given by the writer is not enough to prove his point of view. With a detailed analysis of the argument, as given below, its incapability of supporting its stand gets highlighted which makes it a weak and inappropriate argument.
The first evidence that the writer gives is that the number of retired couples without children moving to Sophia Country is increasing steadily. The writer could be indicating that there would be fewer school-going children in Sophia Country in future. However, this assumption is questionable. It is likely that in future the number of children in Sophia Country increases. Although the writer has given the census of retired people moving to Sophia Country, he has not given an account of the number of people with children moving into the place. There could be many people having children already present in the country. Therefore, if the number of retired people is rising, it does not indicate in any way that the number of children in future will decrease.
Further, the writer claims that there is an increase in the enrollment in private schools in the country. However, nowhere in the argument does he mention that there is a decrease in the enrollment in private schools. Therefore, if there is an increase in the number of children getting enrolled into private schools, it does not necessarily mean that children are shifting from public school education to private education. It is possible that there is an increase in the total number of children in Sophia Country. Consequently, there could also be an increase in the enrollment of children in public schools as well.
Once again, if more people are supporting the idea of home schooling instead of public schooling, one cannot be sure if they are actually moving their children from public schools to home schooling. Further, if 10 percent of parents are in favor of home schooling, it is likely that more than 10 percent of parents still prefer to send their children to public schools. Therefore, there could still be a need of public schools in future and school buildings would need to be constructed.
It is the country’s administration that has to think about the education of the society including the poor. It is only if public schooling is encouraged that the poor will be able to educate their children. Therefore, there would be a requirement of school buildings as well for instructions to be carried out. Moreover, the budget in country-funded schools does not only include the money spent on the construction of school buildings. The budget also includes the salaries of all employees, maintenance of the school property and subsidies given to children. Keeping this in mind, it should not be thought that with a decrease in the number of buildings being constructed, the budget for state-funded schools would also go down.
If there has been a decrease of the enrollment of students to public schools, instead of reducing the budget for these schools, the reasons for the decrease in enrolment should be found out. More funds must be generated to give complete and high quality education so that more and more children get enrolled to these schools. The writer of the argument ignores this aspect completely. It can be seen in the discussion given above that he is not able to convince the reader about the decrease in the budget of public schools. Due to this factor, his argument stands weak and inconsistent.