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How much does your school system receive per child? My school rant....

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Climbing on my soapbox

Do you know how much your school system receives per child? (I didn't)

I think it's interesting how so many people say we should be better funding education, etc, yet money doesn't really seem to be the only answer. And I don't think even the best.

There has been some stuff on the news here lately because they're changing the amounts some school districts get. Not the per student amount, but special funding. For one, my children's school district (the financially stable suburb everyone loves to hate) will get more money and the inner city public school system will get less. So there was much complaining about taking money away from the poor inner city kids and giving it to the "rich" kids (they didn't use those words, but that was the gist of it).

Of course at the END of the story they always mention in passing that our school system is SKYROCKETING in enrollment, and the inner city schools are drastically shrinking. So wouldn't it make more sense that the one growing would get more money and the one shrinking would get less next year?

But THEN....the part that made my mouth hang open was how much each was given by the state per student. We get $5000 per student and they get $8500 per student!!!!!! This amount won't be changed....each school system will still get this amount per student.

This was when the light bulb went off that money is certainly not the issue with schools. Our school with it's measly $5000 per student graduates over 95% of it's students. Their schools with $8500 per student are graduating around the 50% mark depending on the year.

So money is not the answer. Is it parental involvement and parents making the kids study and make good grades and go to school? Is there a difference in how much the students/parents value an education? Is it a difference in the ability of the teachers? What is the problem here?

Anyway....off my soapbox and rant for the day, but I was just curious if you knew how much your school district receives per child and if you think throwing more money at failing school systems is the answer, and if not, then what is?
post #2 of 23
More parental involvement.
Enrichment programs for elementary students.
Ability to transfer to better schools within your district.
Teacher accountability.
Willingness of the teachers to work with parents and vice versa.

I couldn't find a per student figure. The website lists how much they receive from the county, state and fed government.
post #3 of 23
Not sure for our school system but I do know of several public school systems which receive some of the highest amts of $$$ per child and have dismal academic achievement/performance.

But yes, I totally agree with you...
post #4 of 23
I couldn't find our per student amount either but I know that the lack of parental involvement, teacher accountability (as an educator this kills me that its an issue) usually a lack of educational support ie tutoring services, educational clubs. There is also a cultural difference between the suburb schools and inner city. How much would people talk about the kids at the school that would drop out while in the inner city its been a standard for so long many kids (and parents) are disenfranchised with education as a whole.
post #5 of 23
Not sure since ds goes to a private school, but I don't think $$ is alone the answer either. I know one of the reasons our school justifies the tuition is that their teachers "Teach" and nothing else. The art teacher doesn't have to monitor lunchrooms or be on the playground at recess or anything like that. The art teacher - teaches art. The gym teacher teaches phys. ed. The science teacher teaches science, etc. etc. They hire people to do all the other things no one wants to do and the teachers actually get to teach. I think that makes a huge difference in their attitude, and then in the student's attitudes.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormy View Post

They hire people to do all the other things no one wants to do and the teachers actually get to teach. I think that makes a huge difference in their attitude, and then in the student's attitudes.

I never thought about that but you are very right. The teachers would definitely have more time to do their job.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
I didn't know the amount either until they have had this on the news lately. I was just stunned at the difference. I have long thought that parental involvement/expectations are one of the biggest factors. I have a friend (haven't seen in years) that teaches kindergarten in the inner city school system I'm talking about. She said she had kids in kindergarten who arrived not even being able to recognize COMMON ANIMALS!!! Certainly not letters or numbers or shapes, etc. So the kids were starting SO FAR behind other kids. I mean don't the parents ever show them a book? Or have them watch PBS?

She also said that...are you ready for this...that they don't send textbooks home with the kids. yep....they can't send textbooks home with the kids because they won't bring them back and the school has no recourse. If they call the parents, they don't care or do anything about it. When my DS had a library book overdue I nagged him everyday until he turned it in.

I also think teachers unions are hurting the schools. They protect lousy teachers and keep them on the job. It should be much easier to get rid of teachers who have no interest in teaching or are abusive to students or who are absent all the time.

But anytime someone brings up education problems all I hear are people whining how we need to give the schools more, don't cut education funding, etc. I just think it goes to show that money is obviously not the answer. No matter how much they keep throwing at those kids, they're not succeeding. Yes you have to have enough money to provide services, but if our schools are doing an excellent job with $5000 then it's not just money that's needed. It's obviously something more. UGH.
post #8 of 23
I hear you on the texbooks. I remember having a grammar book in elementary school for spelling & grammar. dd doesn't have any textbooks. They send worksheets home. I can only imagine how many library books get lost.

I'm very disappointed with dd's teacher and she had her two years in a row. When I approached her on challenging dd the only thing she could do was recommend more things I could do at home. I was trying to get something done during the school day, she is there over six hours.

Lets just say I'm not happy with our school system. My girls will do fine because I will make sure they succeed. I do feel bad for some of the other kids, that in 2nd grade cannot read a book that my dd5 can read
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skimommy View Post

I hear you on the texbooks. I remember having a grammar book in elementary school for spelling & grammar. dd doesn't have any textbooks. They send worksheets home. I can only imagine how many library books get lost.

I'm very disappointed with dd's teacher and she had her two years in a row. When I approached her on challenging dd the only thing she could do was recommend more things I could do at home. I was trying to get something done during the school day, she is there over six hours.

Lets just say I'm not happy with our school system. My girls will do fine because I will make sure they succeed. I do feel bad for some of the other kids, that in 2nd grade cannot read a book that my dd5 can read

Well my kids are so old and I'm so senile that I can't remember exactly, but I don't think they really brought home textbooks much or at all in the lower elementary grades either. I think they mostly had worksheets too. But don't hold the senile woman to facts that long ago!! So I guess I was thinking more about older kids. I don't know how my DS would do his calculus/trig homework if he only had a worksheet and no textbook to look back and refresh his memory on without the book. He has enough trouble WITH the book.

As far as the reading, I probably disagree with most people on this...but I've never really seen any benefit to early reading. Neither of my kids were early readers but they had ENORMOUS vocabularies. So when they did start reading independently (later than many) they not only caught up but passed everyone including the early readers. By 3rd grade they were reading post high school on accelerated reading tests. Now if the kids not only can't read but also don't know the vocabulary or don't have parents that read to them.......then that's another story. Yes, they'll be far behind.

I know we've talked about this but can't remember (that senile thing again!)...does your school system have a gifted or accelerated program??? I don't think my DD learned much she didn't already know until she got into that. But in the long run it didn't hurt her. I'm sure you've never heard me mention it but she does really well in school.
post #10 of 23
It doesn't even just happen in public schools - we had to transfer ds school here and were originally going for the private Catholic school which has an excellent reputation, waiting list, the whole 9 yards. Well ds' former teacher was Also a former nun and had taught in the Catholic schools. She told me to make SURE ds got placed into the next grade or for him to for SURE be some kind of enrichment program.

When I called the school, I talked to the principal who told me they do NOT skip children to the next level, regardless of how they tested, and that if 'ds needed any additional help' they had programs for that. WTH?? I said, "you misunderstand me. Ds needs ENRICHMENT as in (and I hate to call them this - just a pet peeve of mine) Gifted programs." Silence on the other end. Then, "Well, we are challenging enough. We don't have any gifted programs".

We also looked into a school that looked like bootcamp for elementary students and was aghast there as well because they took it to the extreme that "We are here to learn and there is to be nothing fun about it"! Yikes!

So now we're eating Kraft dinner (I'm exaggerating) because ds' tuition is so high at his current school - but you know what?? It is worth every penny and I wouldn't do otherwise, just our priority.
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