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under funding in schools

Rhadamanthus

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The American public school system is so drasticaly underfunded that some schools cannot afford text books. Class sizes in grade school can reach forty to fifty kids for one teacher. Under the no child left behind act schools that do not meet criteria are punished by having their funding slashed instead of being supplied with more money.

What is the answer to this dilema? What can we do to get back our nations youth? An ignorent population is an easily controled population. Do you want your children sheep for the corporate wolf?
 
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craigfarmer

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There are no underfunded public schools in America. That is a fact.
What there is, is a crisis in priorities.

Each public school refuses to evaluate teachers based on
their performance, so they in turn over-pay many teachers, and under-pay a few quality teachers.


Every public school works within an inefficient bureacracy of boards of education, state dept. of educations, and the fed. dept. of education. This wastes a tremendous amount of money.


If EVERY parent was given the current average amount spent per child and allowed to choose any school, the "underfunded" schools would improve almost over-night.
 

heyjoeo

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craigfarmer said:
There are no underfunded public schools in America. That is a fact.
Oh ya? I go to school in an underfunded intercity school. You should see our bathrooms. You should see how our school is too cheap to buy staples for teachers and how they have to bring their own materials from home in order to run class. Don't think you know everything without having any proof. There is no fact to that statement.

I think this is what you meant to say...
craigfarmer said:
I am totally wrong about this because I am ignorant. I probably went to some rich school and have never seen any of the horrors of this world.
That's about right.
 
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Contrarian

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Well Heyjoeyo, I hate to break it to you but you are the one who is wrong. I will focus on two school systems in particular which are not for the "rich" guys.

The first is the New York City Public School system, where despite the conditions in some of the school buildings it is the standard pay scale for teachers with NO experience to make $40,000 per year with world class benefits (health ins, retirement plans etc) for working a mere 180 days a year. Most people work 250 days per year. At that daily rate ($222 per day) if they were working a full year like other folks their base salary would be almost $55,000 per year. Not bad! Once they receive their Masters Degree (not a big deal) they get an immediate $8,000 to $10,000 raise. Within a very short period of their pay scale is around $70,000 for what amounts to 9 months of work. Administrators get over $80,000 and Principals can get over $100,000. After seven years or so, these people are granted "tenure" which GUARANTEES them a job for life, no matter how poorly they perform. Who else do you know has that privilege? All this and I hear complaints about their pay... and the kids they teach can't even pass reading!! The problem is, as was pointed out to you, a misplacement of priorities. Money is spent and wasted on dilitant teachers and adminstrative BS and not put into the facilities and supplies.

As far as "Rich vs Poor" school districts, if you look at historical data, you will see that in poorer districts like Yonkers or Mt Vernon in NY versus Scarsdale or Bronxville NY, two of the best districts in the state. The government spends FAR MORE in the poor districts (approx $14,000 per student per year) as opposed to the richer districts (approx $10,000 per student per year). Why is that? The money is poured in and nothing comes out? In some districts teachers will be paid a premium to work in the poorer district. So the answer is not money, it is human nature and values placed on serious education.
 
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Rhadamanthus

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So your saying that teacher salaries are not the issue it is just that not enough money is targeted towards extracuricular activies, upkeep of the facility, ect.?

I think this websight might clear up some of the statistics.
http://www.aft.org/salary/
make sure to download and view the two tables. BOTH OF THEM.

If teacher salaries are not the issue than why have class sizes rocketed in the past few years because of the schools inability to hire more teachers for lack of funding? 40 thousand a year is an ok salary but would teachers still work if the schools diverted money from their salary to pay for the cost of new teachers or the facility?
Is all the money that school systems posses being put strait into the teachers?
 

Contrarian

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Thanks for the reference, I will look it up....The issue to me as a taxpayer, is over bloated bureaucracies and school district budgets, in addition to an antiquated Tenure system. And no, teachers salaries (for 9, not 12 months a year of work) are not low. Administrators who in very many cases are providing very little value to the system, are paid ENORMOUS amounts of money.

If the education system were more like private industry, good teachers might see a bonus for high performance from their students and poor teachers would get a reprimand and a warning. Poor performance in the private sector gets you FIRED, but not if you are a tenured teacher, or a teacher in a district hard up for bodies to put in front of classrooms.

Efficiency and effective management of money is not just a function of how much money comes in, it is how it is spent.
 

heyjoeo

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Well I'm not wrong, and even our IB (International Baccalaurate) teachers who get paid more for being in the program, get paid crap. I HIGHLY doubt ANY administrators past the freaking head of the school district gets paid 6 figures. I'd really like to see numbers for that...
 

jcueckert13

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in alot of cases the problem is that the school districts spend the money that should go to education on bs projects. the high school i went to is in a rural ag based comunity and back 20 years ago the school district was the top in the state in quality of education. today it is towards the bottom of the ladder. in the 4 years i was at the high school the roof was redone 6 times. when i left the school had 3 gyms and they were in the process of building a 4th. the voters passed a 4 million dollar bond to repair the buildings and bring them up to code (one of the main buildings was suppost to have the asbestos removed with part of the 4 million) instead of repairing the school they spent the money on building the 3rd and 4th gym. i understand that most people think that sports are an important part of school but it is insane to put taxpayer money in to a gym(or 2) and let the rest of the school detiorate.
 

Contrarian

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I just wanted you to know that I verified the salary ranges for the northeast areas around NY City. It is not uncommon for principals to make over $100k per year. In fact the NY City Dept of Education website shows principal salaries can exceed $111k, and they are not the top paid educators in the region. In Westchester County NY (just north of NYC) salaries are 10 - 15% higher. In Fairfield County, CT, just over the border from Westchester, they are higher yet with Middle School Administrators earning over $90k, and the Principals at $100 - $110. HS Principals are earning $110 to $125. The Superintendant of Schools in a couple of towns (not big ones) are earning $135 - $150k.

I also agree with the comments about wasted money on certain building projects. In my town, they needed to add a single classroom, which was a 20'x30' box. Nothing fancy, infact it had no air conditioning, no plumbing and the damn windows wouldn't work. It cost over $320,000 to build. :eek: The only questions I could ask as a taxpayer was (1) Would the administrator who allowed this have paid the same for a room to be added to his house? (2) Wasn't anyone getting competitive bids? (3) Are they friggen crazy?
 

craigfarmer

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heyjoeo said:
Oh ya? I go to school in an underfunded intercity school. You should see our bathrooms. You should see how our school is too cheap to buy staples for teachers and how they have to bring their own materials from home in order to run class. Don't think you know everything without having any proof. There is no fact to that statement.





If you are truly inteterested in improving education, you need to open your mind, and be open to new information.

I'm a Newliberal, trying to improve the Democratic party from the inside.

If you name the specific school district, I will get documented government data from that district, or state to show you the problem is not lack of money, but rather where/how it is spent. There is not any public school in America where the money spent per pupil is not over $6,000. This is plenty to get a great education. The problems:

teacher salary and benefits--- yes many teachers are over-paid. Some are very underpaid. The end result is that the unions establish a minimum that keeps bad teachers in the profession. Think about it, if your teachers are so intelligent and skillful, why are they still teachers and not in another profession. The idea that there are great minds sacrificing more money because they love teaching is very rare. It is a fact that graduating students from Education programs are near the bottom of student acheivement test scores, yet they garner guaranteed money in a near communist system. Schools should be able to pay better teachers more, and poor teachers less. They could then take the difference and fix other problems like ... bathrooms.

Boards of education--- I'm sure your school has to answer to a district boss and B.O.E. Also, any major changes or improvements must be submitted for approval. The B.O.E., I'm sure works on the "fair" principle that "everything must be fair for everyone" which often winds up with everyone being equally miserable.

The problem is that Americans are the most brilliant people on earth,yet the school system shackles our creativity, and problem-solving abilities. The beauty of our nation is that millions of people seeking to improve their own lives ultimately will help others within a certain set of guidelines. This has happened in medicine, retail, athletics, etc.

The public school systems still work on a command and control structure of a few individuals planning for thousands of students. This was tried in the U.S.S.R. througout their whole society and they failed. It can't out-perform freedom. It has failed here also. Even "performing schools" are not helping their students reach their potential.

We need hope, optimism and freedom. A true market-place in education. So every parent regardless of income or any other trait, can choose their child's school next year. So if the bathrooms are horrible, parents could demand they be fixed or use their check/voucher at another public school, private school, home school, etc. There wouldn't be any need to complain to a "system". Imagine if the grocery store you go to is horrible. You would simply choose another. Eating is more important than education. We need to transform our education system more toward our food system. Millions of people working for their own reasons under a system that doesn't check in with a Board of Food.

Same money, better results.


Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again
newliberals.org
 

heyjoeo

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Hillsborough High School, District = Hillsborough in Tampa, FL

Good luck. If it wasn't for the IB program this school would be a F school.
 

Kenneth T. Cornelius

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Teachers' unions and other unions provide a very necessary balance to the power of the employer. They enable enlightenment of the unenlightened, you might say. However, in common with governments, they are all too often irresponsible and serve as the personal piggy bank and fiefdom of their leaders.

To the extent that such things can be improved, the initiative is unlikely to come from within. The union members may not like being used for the personal purposes of their leadership, but that leadership does negociate advantageous wages, benefit and working conditions. If it didn't, it would soon enough be replaced. The leadership might prefer to enforce some standard of competence, but every warm body adds to its power and influence. There is little incentive to improve things very much.

The people who suffer from all this are also the ones who are being left completely out of the equation. The pupils most of all, the parents, and the taxpayers. The initiative for change will have to come from there.

Frankly, considering the nutty behavior I've observed at various citizens' group, this is not likely to help much. Anyone else got a better idea?
 

craigfarmer

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heyjoeo said:
Hillsborough High School, District = Hillsborough in Tampa, FL



http://www.firn.edu/doe/eias/flmove/hillsbor.htm

According to Florida's website:
$6418 per student in that county.

This is more than enough to provide quality facilities, quality instruction, and meet parents demand. The problem is that every year the people in the "community" have a new idea of how a B.O.E. can adequately command thousands of students and teachers. The best system is the American way, freedom with rules.
 

Rhadamanthus

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I love your definition of the American way. However the true core of the American way is democratic while the core of the public school system is more like the military.
 

heyjoeo

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Craig, listen to how cheap the B.O.E. is in our county. Teachers recieve money for having AP students that pass the AP. Of course there is a limit on how much they can recieve. However this year they decided to make the teachers spend it in a week. They took the money from you if you didn't. Also I'd like to see your rationale how "6k can support a student."
 
J

Jufarius87

i have a somewhat unorthadox solution so bear with me

as prieviously mentioned the administartors salaries are huge as far as the board of ed. is concerned are say that the entire administartive section of education (the board of ed.) is abolished there by freeing up alot of funds

abolish the public schools endorse the creation of private schools (both religous and non religous) then use all the freed up funds as school vouchers

if this plan was put into place(it would basically be the medicaid of education you would see the standards of private school rise dramatically as the competed amongst themselves for students using the govt funds to go to school i dare say it would be i a much higher quality than any public school the board of ed. could create
 

Rhadamanthus

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It would be of very high quality. But in places such as Alaska when they oil boom was under way the public schools were of finer quality then the private schools in other states just because of all the money they were getting. Would enough people atend these new private school or would more people be inclined to drop out of school because of the extra work?
 

Gabo

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Schools are just one of the many goverment regulations that should become privatized businesses.

The origination of public schools was for the extremely poor who couldn't find any schooling. Now it has grown into a national jail for children that provides a sub-par education.
 

craigfarmer

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The major problem with our conception of "public" especially schools is that many equate funding with the operation. We should have government funding of schools to ensure equal access for all Americans. I support a consitutional amendment that would guarantee that.

The problem is that government is in the "delivery" of the service: education. This is very inefficient, and should only be done when necessary. The design can't possibly work very well due to the myriad of demands, and expectations of various constituencies. 50 or more years ago our current Public school systems were necessary due to the actual conditions of the marketplace, typical American life, and the value of education at the time. We had such low expectations of most students and of the process in general, that the system was actually desirable. Yet today, we are in a completely new world, and our system would not be designed this way if we started all over.

Imagine if we had the same telephone service or system that was in place 50 or more years ago. Look at the improvements in telecommunications since the government took a big step back, created rules of competition, and let thousands of individuals working to make money for they and their families, compete in the telephone business. Look at all of the advances: different telephone designs, caller id, all the answering machine technology, etc.

If everything still had to go through one place, the government or the Bells which was a government monopoly, we would be very much worse off.

Look at our food system. The government sets up an inspection system, or some other rules (I disagree with some anti-gauging), but then gets out of the way. There isn't any overt government control over food. It is an invisible hand that gets food from the farms and factories to the grocery stores, that works because people want to take home a paycheck at the end of the week.

Education and healthcare need more people making the decisions, and forcing the professionals in these professions to compete for dollars.

The problem is the system, and the people in the system, not the funding.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again
http://www.newliberals.org
 

Gabo

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We no longer need government to involve itself in any parts of schooling. Our society is sufficient enough on its own to provide adequate education for children and adults. Plus, privatization of schools allows for a competitive market where schools will strive to be their best rather than the jail-like system we have now.

And as for food, the FDA overregulates plenty on what we can put in our systems. It could just as easily be privatized which would once again allow for a fair competition market. We deserve the right to choose for ourselves, that's the essense of our right to liberty.

When businesses compete, the consumer always wins.
 

Fantasea

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Kenneth T. Cornelius said:
The people who suffer from all this are also the ones who are being left completely out of the equation. The pupils most of all, the parents, and the taxpayers. The initiative for change will have to come from there.

Frankly, considering the nutty behavior I've observed at various citizens' group, this is not likely to help much. Anyone else got a better idea?
Most people are lazy and react only to what they can see and feel at the moment. Most people also like get what they consider to be their money's worth when they buy things. If you don't think so, then please explain the phenomenal growth of Walmarts, Home Depot, Costco, etc. Of course, the US consumer has often been accused of knowing the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

How does this apply to schools? Think about this for a moment. We are told that the Hillsboro School district in Tampa, FL spends $6,418 per student for a school year of 180 days.

Supposing, instead of going directly to the school district, this money was given to parents as a restricted educational grant. Every Monday they had to write a check to the school district in the amount of $178.27 for each of their children to give to the teacher.

Pretty soon most parents would realize whether they were getting value, and if not, whether the fault lay with themselves, their child(ren) or the school system. I think they would quickly take more interest in the situation and look to find a remedy.

Sadly, this will never happen, most parents will continue to abdicate their educational responsibilities to the NEA, UFT, and the ACLU, who, collectively will continue to determine what happens in the classroom. So, that means that year after year the public education system will continue to turn out a high percentage of sub-standard 'product' and year after year it will continue to be rewarded with more money than the year before.

I think the time has come for alternatives such as charter schools, vouchers, and other schemes that will 'break' the monopoly stranglehold and introduce competition into the equation.

Nothing else will 'fix' the public education system. The status quo stinks.
 

Gabo

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I agree with you somewhat, though I believe education should be completely privatized. Government does a terrible job at it, and with the privatization of something comes competition to serve the consumer. Private businesses are nicer, more efficient, and cheaper than government-run facilities. They also allow for optimization, where a choice can be made on which type of education you may want to get.
 
J

Jufarius87

first off all since what is now public school funding would in my plan be transferred to private schools it would essentially be as simple as survivng in a public school as parents and students would have to pay little or eventually no money 2nd if they are that unmotivated do we really want them in contact with those who reallly want to learn lets not forget one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch and for those who want to make something of themselves but just not be able to cut it academicly support a substitute blue-collar job training program
 

Kenneth T. Cornelius

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first off all since what is now public school funding would in my plan be transferred to private schools it would essentially be as simple as survivng in a public school as parents and students would have to pay little or eventually no money 2nd if they are that unmotivated do we really want them in contact with those who reallly want to learn lets not forget one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch and for those who want to make something of themselves but just not be able to cut it academicly support a substitute blue-collar job training program.
Lessee, first we take public money and give it to the owners of the private school. They then take a substantial part of it as profit and put it in their pocket. What is left is then used to do the same thing better than the greater amount of public money was already doing. Less is more? Sounds a tad Orwellian to me.
 

Gabo

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The way you look at it is skewed. When the government monopolizes the education system, it has no competitors. Without any competition, the government has no incentive to spend valuable time and energy to improve the quality of the product.

However, if schools are privatized, suddenly all those schools must compete to earn students. Some schools will provide more efficient, fun learning and will in turn get more students. In this way, the schooling system would constantly be trying to better itself. Education would be come less expensive, more effective, and enjoyable.

This is the principle of Capitalism vs. Communism.

Capitalism works better, as we all know.
 
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