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Archive for the tag “public schools”

EDUCATION- IS THE TAXPAYER RESPONSIBLE FOR FRILLS?

 

I just read an article in today’s (5-25-11) Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that every tax payer in America should read; “Public Schools Charge Kids for Basics, Frills” by Stephanie Simon. I personally have some problems with every fact exposed, but I find some refreshing ways to even the burden on what I feel are pure frills. The facts I use are quoted from this article. 

Fact; “After adjusting for inflation, average spending per pupil has increased 44% over the past two decades, according to the U.S. Department of Education.” The WSJ article states; “The average salary for a public school teacher nationally has jumped 26% since 2001, though that growth didn’t quite keep pace with inflation.”

For the past few weeks I have posted many articles about education and it appears that Public Schools across America are facing significant reductions in state funding for education. Increasing personnel costs and lower tax revenues are shifting costs to students and their parents by new and increased fees in several parts of the country.

Some public schools have charged for extras such as driver’s education and field trips. Many school districts are now charging for supplies needed to take core classes. In some schools each class has a price tag. One interesting area that should get some specific attention is the costs of sports and other non-core education subjects like band, debate, drama, arts etc.

Some examples extracted from the WSJ article; Fees in Medina, Ohio of $200 for Band, $200 for Concert Choir, $50 to act in a school play and $660 to participate in a high school sport; A 52% increase this year in the Blue Valley ISD in Overland Park Kansas for enrollment and supplies that are typically $235; Next year the Wheaton (Illinois) North High School will charge $221 for baseline registration, $150 for each sport and class fees as much as $50 each. In addition Medina charges $75 for generic school fees, $118.50 for materials used in Biology, physics and other academic courses and $263 for Advanced Placement Exams. Other non-core cost examples included in the article were parking, struggling readers, advanced math, foreign languages and Chess Club.

All American children should receive a tax supported core public education that I had many years ago. The general public seems to agree that this is an American value. Each state has a constitutional requirement to educate our children, but it appears that the variables are significant from state to state. Each state should define “suitable” or “adequate” education that is to be funded with public money. If you feel that charging special fees like the examples included, then contact your State Representative or Senator.

I urge my state, Texas, to call a special legislative session, to define the tax payer’s education responsibilities. They should also force smaller school districts to consolidate. 1265 different school districts is an irresponsible legislative oversight to control spending. School boards refuse to consolidate because they are forced to give up sport nicknames such as “Bulldogs”, etc. This is as asinine as the ego trip for some to attain power of serving on a School Board. If a local school district desires extra benefits involving sports, academic enhancements, clubs etc., let them fund it with local tax increases.

It is time for the people to stand up and force the legislatures to do their job with fiscal responsibility. We have 254 counties and only two have County School Superintendents, Dallas and Harris counties, why? The State of Texas “IS” responsible for every child to receive the same educational opportunity. When will the Governor and Legislature stop blaming the local school boards and make sure all Texas children have equal and adequate opportunities?  

If you agree then pass this around, I would appreciate your comments.

CB

Education, Union Destruction

 

This is a copy of an article on Big Government.com that is more of the creative and informative work of Kyle Olson. Everyone should read all of his work.  CB

– Big Government – http://biggovernment.com

Teachers Union Honesty Died with Albert Shanker

Posted By Kyle Olson On February 6, 2011 @ 9:57 am In Big Labor, Education | 27 Comments

Former American Federation of Teachers President Albert Shanker made teachers’ unions what they are today.  He was hard-nosed defender of teachers’ rights, but he also came clean about public school performance.

In the making of “Kids Aren’t Cars [1],” I unearthed a 25-year old PBS interview with Shanker. His indictment of the public education system was stunning.

“You could do things that are absolutely wrong, you can have huge dropout rates, you can have kids who are leaving without knowing how to read, write, count or anything else and what do you do next year?  Do the same as you did this year and the following year and the following year…”

And when Shanker – again, 25 years ago – rattled off achievement statistics, the host challenged him:

Shanker: When it comes to the highest levels of reading, writing, mathematics or science – that just means being able to read editorials in the New York Times…or write an essay of a few pages…or do a mathematical equation, not calculus…the number of kids who are about to graduate who are able to function at that level, depending on whether you’re talking about reading, writing, math science – 3 percent, 4 percent…

Host: Oh, come on!

Shanker: No! 5 percent. That’s it.

Does anyone honestly believe our education system – which has had billions of dollars more each year dumped into – is better now than it was in 1986?

Anyone??

Read more…

Education Update

Last month I wrote a series on “Education” in the USA. In my first article I mentioned a program “Kids Aren’t Cars” that was being produced to hopefully wake up enough people to stop the madness. The following is an article by Kyle Olson about this program that will hopefully get you involved? This will be available today and I urge you to get involved.  CB 

Americans are beginning to understand that the government-run assembly-line education system is not working.  As I point out in the upcoming “Kids Aren’t Cars” [1] film series, thousands, of not millions of kids are being failed by a system that is geared more towards satisfying adults than educating children.

How else can a recent Detroit Public Schools graduate be unable to read her own diploma? How else can tenure – the job security law for unfit teachers – be explained?  How else can budget busting pension systems be explained?

When collective bargaining was brought into American schools in the 1960s, it was a revenue stream and power base for Big Labor.  Suddenly, union bosses became more interested in building political muscle than educating children.

At that point the battle between unions and school boards became more focusing on salary, benefits,  pensions and working conditions for adults, and less about students.

Kids are only pawns in the self-serving union game.

As we point out in “Kids Aren’t Cars,” [1] this has poisoned the education environment.  We witness ugly fights in communities during union contract negotiations.  Unions lead recall campaigns against school board members who don’t vote the union way. Teachers throw up their hands because the union will take their money by hook or by crook, while showing no interest in their input.

Read more…

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