Soapbox Saturday: Spending Money When There Isn’t Any, and Losing Your Writing Skills

“What’s more important: School buildings or the teachers who fill them? “(headline from eschoolnews.com)

Something you may want to think about when we go to polls this fall. When we vote “yes” to school projects, where can the money go? I have very few things that get me fired up about politics, but how we spend our taxpayer’s money is one of them.
My mom says it was not unusual for her to have over 30 kids in her classes. In recent years, it is a big deal to parents and teachers to have smaller classes. It makes sense really. Teachers can pay more attention to less people and can monitor their learning. In bigger cities in California, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Because of the state of California’s economy, it’s not unusual to have 45 students in a class. The push they have seen is to lay off teachers to cut costs with just as many students. So why is L.A. spending over $500 million on a building?
According to this article written by E School News , apparently Los Angeles has spent $578,000,000 (yes, that’s million) to build a state of the art building. The reasoning is, the old schools look like prisons and the money was voted on before the economy in CA was a mess. Still L.A. schools tout an over 50% dropout rate. Parents cannot seem to understand why they would build this and staff it with the same old same old. As an educator I would wonder, Why they would lay off over 3000 teachers and then build a huge building with half the staff.
It has happened, to some degree,  here in Texas. Crowley ISD had buildings that sat mostly empty for two years because of budgets being based on the number of students in 2005. When some cities grew, it made it near impossible to hire employees to fill them. In our case, it was a legislative decision that led to these beautiful empty buildings.
The truth is when we vote on bonds to support particular projects, those monies have to be spent on those projects. So, even though the Los Angeles district has a $600,000,000 (yes more millions) budget shortfall, that money cannot be spent on filling that deficit or hiring employees. It makes me wonder, as a taxpayer, a teacher, and a parent, what we can do to get rid of this waste? Is it a matter of going to the school board? I would want to vote on a school project every time. However, how can we prevent paying for something that has no place in the state of the economy?

We Are Not the Only Ones

Chinese and Japanese students are forgetting how to write

A few days ago I talked about the Beloit Mindset, where according to a survey many students entering college this year do not know how to read and write in cursive. This has always been near and dear to my heart and a little scary that students cannot read OUR language.

Well the next day eSchool News had an article about how students in China and Japan are experiencing character amnesia. With the number of characters and the increase use of technological devices a century old language is being forgotten. So, along with our increased 21st Century knowledge we also can add a loss of language.

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About schmeggo

Hi there and welcome to my little piece of web. I am a wife, a step mom,mom, and a teacher among other things. I am addicted to school supplies and getting things for as little as possible. During July and August I spend Sundays coming the papers and stalking my local Staples trying to find items at prices that I can get over 120 of them. During the school year, this is a personal blog of educational interest. I am by no means an expert on education and child rearing, but through trial and error, I hope we can help each other out. Whether you are buying for one or one-hundred, kindergarten to college, I hope that my little web space can help you find something trendy or cheap to make back to school on any day easier.
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