Tuesday, August 15, 2006

65%

I don't know much about district budgets. But I do know that the idea behind the 65% Percent Solution seems rational. However, like all good theories, the real world plows in and levels it. And while I certainly understand that not all districts are created equally, shouldn't districts be putting most of their money towards people and resources that directly impact the students.

I'm not talking about taking away funds for counselors or transportation, but does a district, of any size, need 22 Central Office staff members, with Executive Direcetor, Directors, Specialists, and Secretaries, in the Curriculum Department? Maybe this is the part of education that I cannot understand because I am in the classroom. Yet, I can't help but recognize that too many districts fill up a their Central Office at the expense of the classroom. And the Central Office employee is quite unlikely to want to see money diverted away from their bank accounts.

In theory, the 65% Solution is right. It should work for the average district. It may not work for the rural town, like the one in the article. Once again, reformers want to believe that their theories can solve the problems of every school in America. We must, for the sake of the student, recognize that every district is different. And yet, we can't sit by and allow districts to mismanage funds and resources. Perhaps this is why privatized education could work. The private sector allows for greater flexibility and specified decisions. Unfortunately, failure on the part of a privatized school "company" means students get left behind, not unlike what happens now.
So the question becomes, what is more loathsome to us? Is it a school district that spends too much money on irrelvant positions in the Central Office, taking money away from teacher funding or supply funding? Is it the school district that spends too much money on irrelevant theoretical curriculum, taking away from Central Office oversight? Is it a school that runs independently and spends too much money on making the campus look nice, at the expense of teacher funding? Is it the shool that runs independently and fails to adhere to the standards of the nation?
Whatever it is that bothers you most, understand that you are by no means right. In a democratic nation, it is the majority that is right!

1 Comments:

At 3:13 PM , Blogger Benjamin Whelan said...

It's surprising to me.
I have spoken to many people who believe that teacher salaries are the primary source for the raising of their taxes.
Yet teacher salaries contribute to far below 65% of just the education budget in most districts?
Seems to me, especially if it's being blamed for the raising of taxes that teacher salaries should be at least 65% of the education budget alone.
But, you're right, the reality is something else all together. We do the best with what we can in the hopes that good and fair leadership will come to our aid. I'm lucky to have found that. I hope to become that.

 

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