$$$ for education?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by DC_DEEP, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. DC_DEEP

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    We hear all too often about how there just is not enough dollars to devote to public schools and education.

    But we have dedicated taxes (usually in the form of surprisingly high property taxes), general fund taxes, and funding from the federal government. But some states (plus the District of Columbia) use the old con game "If we allow a state lottery, it will benefit the schools." We get the lotteries, and the jackpots build up to the hundreds of millions of dollars. So, where are all these dollars? Almost every state (and the district) are claiming that there's barely enough money to pay the already-way-too-low teacher salaries, and no money at all to maintain facilities, even those with lotteries.

    I'm at a loss. After I post this, I'll start drafting my letters to the state boards of education to ask them very specific question concerning funding. Any of our distinguished members here have any comments?
     
  2. Lex

    Lex
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    Schools are funded by property taxes. So schools in impoverished (urban or rural) areas are at a disadvantage--shitty or no property that is worth little to nothing. The Lottery lie is older than I am.

    Politicians like to talk about per pupil expenditure (how much a school system spends, on average, per student). This figure takes into account all school system costs (overhead, admin, physical plant maintenance).

    A clearer figure is per pupil WEALTH. This is the amount of tax dollars a district has to possibly devote to education.

    I have attached a graphic that compares school systems in MD by expenditure and wealth. I made this chart for a graduate class that I teach. Note the differences.
     

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  3. madame_zora

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    I've always wondered about the lotteries and why our schools are still in trouble. DC, I think you're on to something, there really should be no excuses here. Where there is great money, there is great opportunity for corruption. I would think that even if they set aside 10% of the profits for education, the schools would be just fine. Something tells me it's more like 2%. It would be interesting to find out.
     
  4. Hatched69

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    Here's a hard one to choke down: Last year the Governor of Indiana passed a bill that raised taxes in restaurants in Marion and the surrounding/bordering counties so that they can build a new facility for the Colts. The basis for this reasoning is that the restaurants will benefit from the increased traffic. (Like the hotels, gas stations, bars, won't?)
    What's troubling is that some of the restaurants in those counties are being taxed, but will never see an extra foot in the door because of the Colts.
    Another point, more to the issue at hand, is that they will gladly tax a restaurant to help a bunch of millionaire football players build a new stadium, but argue and deliberate about what to do about the educational budget for our youth. :mad: It's absolutely disgusting!!!
     
  5. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    It is often times diverted to other causes. It's happened a lot in Texas.
     
  6. DC_DEEP

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    Schools are funded primarily by property taxes. There are other funds that go into it, although the main funding is the property tax.

    You and I both know that the lottery lie is a lie, but what I don't understand is why organizations like the AEA do not hold the politicians' feet to the fire on this one.

    There should be some way for the revenue base to be better distributed to diminish the penalty against less affluent areas, but also without making the more affluent areas pay an unproportionately high percentage...
     
  7. Hatched69

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    Hey DC, while you're drafting your letter, why not ask why most schools aren't reluctant cutting programs such as music, art, computer literacy, etc., but stall when the thought of cutting any spots comes to the table? Not every child cares for football, baseball, basketball, etc. Bill Gates didn't become the person he is by playing hopscotch....:rolleyes:
    Just a thought..
     
  8. DC_DEEP

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    I actually had that part figured out. The thing is, they do not have the authority to divert those earmarked funds. I just want to hear one of the politicians say "Well, I know we promised that if we legalized lotteries, the proceeds would go to fund the schools; but I've got to pay off some, uh, 'business associates', so I dipped into the school funds."
     
  9. DC_DEEP

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    No shit. And remember last year, (or was it early this year, I forget...) when the state of New Jersey shut down for a while, because they didn't have enough in the budget to keep it open? Guess which one group of state employees got a waiver to continue working? Those state employees working in the casinos. Now, tell me how New Jersey is broke, with all those dollars being black-holed into Atlantic City? I was actually in AC, at the casinos, when the state shut down; they kept the casinos open (casinos are required to have state employees overseeing the operations) for an extra several days until the legislature could come to a budget agreement. They didn't want those cash cows to shut down for an hour.
     
  10. SpeedoGuy

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    According to conservative talk radio foghorns, money for public education is being held hostage by greedy teacher unions who want it only for exorbitant salaries and extravagant benefit packages.
     
  11. Hatched69

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    Yeah, God forbid we actually pay the people who educate our children. It's just awful that they ask for health insurance and a safe working enviroment too....:cool:
    There's something wrong when a teacher/professor has to be mindful of personal attacks such as being held at gunpoint/knifepoint while inside the confines of a school, and it's passed off as "hazards of the job." :mad:
     
  12. SpeedoGuy

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    Not to thread highjack, but, yah, I agree. I hear that teachers in other countries receive advanced training on how to better educate students in academic subjects such as literature, math, history, etc. Too often I learn that American school teachers are undergoing training on how to fend off attackers or calm potentially violent psychopaths.
     
  13. CUBE

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    Lotto money is not given to a school as bonus money. It is part of the base level given to a district. If the school was to get 10 bucks..it only gets 10 bucks. The state came up with 8 bucks and added 2 bucks from the lotto. What would be better is the state gives 10 bucks plus the school gets 2 from the lotto making it a total of 12. Hope that makes sense. It sucks...but that is the way it was set up. I have never seen one penny directly of this money in the classroom. The public has little idea how schools spend general funds vs. categorical funds. Almost 1/2 of it is spent on Special Ed. The districts need forensic accounting to expose all the funding errors but alas I can't make it happen.
     
  14. DC_DEEP

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    Right, right. I'm sure the conservative talk radio foghorns would be willing to work for some of those exorbitant teacher salaries, right? Median teachers' salaries are much to close to poverty level as far as I'm concerned. Plus, it would be fun to have one of those foghorns and a couple of legislators and the superintendant take a walking tour of some school facilities. Some of these public schools in Washington DC (!) have exposed pipes and wiring, chunks of ceiling falling down on students' heads, broken windows, all kinds of absolutely unacceptable physical plant. When I was teaching (those two long years) in another state, I had to do so without any textbooks. At all. The district had none before I got there, and "could not afford" to get me any. My exorbitant salary for school year 1989-90 was $18,000 and for year 1990-91 it was $20,000. Wow!

    Thanks for clearing that up, CUBE. I really didn't know how the formulae worked. What actually would work better, it seems, would be a set amount from the state, plus a set percentage of the lottery take.
     
  15. Lex

    Lex
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    On average, about 65% of a school system's costs go to covering salaries. This does not mean that teachers are well paid; it only means that districts do not have enough money to pay teachers appropirately.

    My last year in the classroom, with 5-6 years experience and a Master's degree, I made $33,000. How fucking insane is that?


    DC DEEP
    -- Just as we have done before, if you post the draft of your letter here, I will send it to all my Congressional representatives.

    Here are links to find your COngressional representatives:

    Find your Senator

    Find your Representative
     
  16. madame_zora

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    I'm in. Post your letter here, and we'll see how many people want to help. Hey, we can even have a contest to see if any of us get a response.
     
  17. Lex

    Lex
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    I agree. I think we post to say who we sent the letter to and then post any response(s) we receive.

    At the least it will be a very interesting exercise.
     
  18. scanjock8

    scanjock8 Active Member

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    It's shameful how little teachers are paid. And most people recognize the inequities created by property tax funding. Yet nothing ever changes, leaving urban school districts at the greatest risk of failure.

    In Seattle parents have quietly bailed out on the public schools (we're far too polite to discuss why). Private school enrollment has grown so high the district is in constant financial crisis. Interesting article on the impact of student 'market share.'

    At 102m, the Washington Lottery contributes less than 2% of yearly education expenditures--not much for any sweeping impact. After prizes, education takes the highest percentage of lottery proceeds.

    And we'll spend one trillion on an unfounded war.
     
  19. DC_DEEP

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    *in my very best dub voice*

    "I didn't know the war was losted."
     
  20. scanjock8

    scanjock8 Active Member

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    You can read all about it on the internets.
     
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