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fbfamily111
08-20-2010, 08:36 PM
Here's a link to an article about how budget cuts are effecting PS countrywide ...

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Children-return-to-crowded-cnnm-1395030017.html?x=0

Makes me very glad to be homeschooling my children. I have a class size of 2!

Shoe
08-20-2010, 09:41 PM
Makes me very glad to be homeschooling my children. I have a class size of 2!I'll second that sentiment.

artmomz
08-20-2010, 10:02 PM
I agree! :o

StartingOver
08-20-2010, 10:06 PM
Third it ??

schwartzkari
08-20-2010, 10:08 PM
LOL...make that fourth it!

SunshineKris
08-22-2010, 03:19 AM
Interesting article. I've been following the situation in FL with the class size amendment vote (whether or not to have it a district averages or literal classroom, it's a huge money issue). But that is just one of the reasons my son begged us to be homeschooled. You know there are some serious issues when an 8 year old is doing the asking himself.

elkhollow
08-22-2010, 08:07 PM
Baldwin County, Alabama, where my dd attended school last year, is in severe financial crisis. My sister in law is a reading coach at one of the elementary schools. In the spring the voters passed a penny sales tax to keep more job cuts from happening (after two years of severe cuts which have already created huge problems). They thought things would stabilize thanks to the tax but Alabama is one of the few states that funds public schooling through sales tax and because of the oil spill tourism was down by about half this summer. That means that the school district is 40% short of meeting their budget for the year as a direct result of the oil spill. BP has paid nothing to keep schools from closing or to prevent lay offs. So, next on the cutting block are elementary school reading coaches. Of all the things to cut--reading coaches? Reading: the single most important subject there is in elementary school. I guess they've already cut everything they can without getting into these types of essential positions. They had to lay off one of the sixth grade teachers at the school and there are 38 kids in one classroom now.

She teaches in a "portable" which is a fancy word for trailer. The floor is falling in, there is mold creeping all over the windows, and the roof is leaking. She has health problems related to these conditions but the county says they can't afford to fix it. I am really worried about those poor children who have to go there every day for reading!!!!

Yes, I am very, very happy that my children are not suffering as a result of this financial mess.

artmomz
08-22-2010, 08:17 PM
I feel so bad for them. I'm highly allergic to mold, so I'd never last a day.

I never even considered this possible effect from the BP spill. I knew that the oil spill would be far reaching, but as more news come out...it really amazes me in a not-so-good way.

SunshineKris
08-23-2010, 06:15 AM
Reading all this is just making me angry! How has it become acceptable in the US to not fully fund education (both grade schools and public universities -- universities are suffering as well)??? We instead spend crazy money on stupid pet projects for states and counties and cities and towns? Projects, that while mean a lot to said microcosm, do not help our country as a whole. I am all for funding the arts, roads, new buildings and infrastructure, some social programs, but without properly and fully funding education we will not have the competent and capable citizens to keep our businesses and our country running! I get so worked up about this. I am angry I even felt I needed to homeschool my kids. I am angry that for those who do not wish to or cannot homeschool have a choice of paying private school for a good education or taking their chances with the public system. Why is it that some kids just won't have a chance at all? Why are vouchers offered only to kids in poor districts?

I know the reality is better parental involvement is the true answer to a better education. But proper funding can go a long way in the fight for an education other countries would be envious of.

Shoe
08-23-2010, 06:47 AM
I just saw this article on Yahoo: "LA Unveils $578M school: costliest in the nation" (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100823/ap_on_bi_ge/us_taj_mahal_schools_8), which I thought was interesting. It seems a bit wasteful to me to spend huge amounts on fancy new buildings while at the same time laying off nearly 3000 teachers...

laundrycrisis
08-23-2010, 07:25 AM
In IL, schools are in serious trouble due to the state budget crisis. The state is out of money and has not been giving the schools the money that was in the budget for them. Our school district was owed 6.5 million for last year that it did not receive. The district's high school class size is now over 40. Grade K is 33, grades 1 and 2 are 35, and grades 3-5 are 37. 180 teachers have been let go.

I am very glad I am not sending our highly distractable 7 yo into a 2nd grade classroom with 35 students.

I used to work for a company that published and scored standardized tests. I know that schools spend a lot of money on these. Some are required to get federal funding, and some are state mandated. I know that the schools could save a lot of money by reducing the amount of standardized testing they do. I think all the testing and all the prep time for them are part of what drives the "cost per student" to be so high. IMO they could "teach more with less" more easily if this money wasn't being spent on tests and test prep.

hockeymom
08-23-2010, 12:36 PM
My jaw literally dropped when I read those numbers, Laundrycrisis. That's appalling!

Busygoddess
08-23-2010, 03:43 PM
I'm also in IL. The way our schools are run is appaling. Our district spent over $9000 per student last year & still offers an education that could be considered no better than mediocre. The state owes our district a huge chunk of money (over $14.5 mil as of Feb 2010), which means that they quality of education they're providing will just continue to deteriorate as they continue to make budget cuts.
As it is now, the school buys one set of books for each classroom. That means that students can't take home the textbooks or required reading reading books. They have to leave their notebooks & folders in their classrooms, too. So, if they want to bring home any info on what they're theoretically learning in any subject, they have to take a seperate notebook into that class & make an extra copy of their notes that they can actually take home. My oldest niece, who is in high school, was not given time to visit the school library once last year, not one single time. The gifted program has gone from lots of hands-on projects, teaching to all learning styles, and doing work the regular program would never do (like dissections in grade school) to regular textbook & workbook work, just on a slightly accelerated schedule. It's ridiculous. The schools here are so much worse than they were when I was in school, and they weren't exactly great when I was in school.

Ed Ditto
08-23-2010, 06:31 PM
I have friends and family members who are emigrating to other countries, and they point to stuff like this.

farrarwilliams
08-23-2010, 07:41 PM
The public schools here are actually getting better... but only because it would be hard to get worse without moving them to a war zone or something.

To me what's really sad is that I'll bet a lot of these cuts are even harder this go around because the schools have less autonomy to figure out how to make cuts they could actually deal with. Like laundrycrisis said, they're mandated to do all this testing - well, they're mandated to buy a certain curriculum, to have certain school lunches, to have certain types of staff for kids with IEPS... well, some of those mandates are good and some aren't so much, but all of them add up together to an inability to make an decisions on any kind of individual, local level looking at the actual kids involved.

Ugh.

ercswf
08-23-2010, 07:42 PM
I'm from IL as well and yeah, it's getting pretty scary. So many cuts.

InstinctiveMom
08-25-2010, 02:58 PM
I feel so bad for them. I'm highly allergic to mold, so I'd never last a day.

I never even considered this possible effect from the BP spill. I knew that the oil spill would be far reaching, but as more news come out...it really amazes me in a not-so-good way.

Oh, wow - me either... That's horrible.

The school my boys would be at has 28 in one class and 29 in the other. They told us when we signed the kids up that the classes would be 15ish per class.
~h

laundrycrisis
08-25-2010, 09:22 PM
In IL, I can't help but wonder how long the schools will be able to continue meeting all of the mandated requirements if they don't get any money from the state. I think at some point the system is going to come apart. It can't go on like this. They are already cutting everything they can without getting into the mandated stuff.

To save money, kindergarten in our district this year has been cut to only 2.5 hours. And two elementary schools in our district are offering a "full day kindergarten" option that parents can pay $200 a month for. The child has 2.5 hrs of accredited morning kindergarten, then "enrichment" activities in the afternoon - and then can ride the bus home or to one of the private after-school programs in the area. Comparing daycare costs around here, $10 a day for child care for most of the afternoon plus bus service is a good deal for the parents, and it's a way for the school district to use the extra space at those schools to make some money for the district. The whole plan is pretty smart.

I know last year some school districts in IL went to a 4-day week to save money by having the schools closed on Fridays. It saved the districts money, but left some families in a bind for child care on Fridays and probably some kids home alone. I don't know how many are doing the 4 day week again this year.