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Your local public school budgets are being cut


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Poll: Your local public school budgets are being cut (65 member(s) have cast votes)

Which of these options would you be LEAST opposed to?

  1. Force district employees, including teachers, to take a pay cut (8 votes [12.31%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 12.31%

  2. Eliminate funding for field trips and special events (18 votes [27.69%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 27.69%

  3. Voted Eliminate funding for all district athletic programs (25 votes [38.46%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 38.46%

  4. Eliminate funding for new textbooks and materials (2 votes [3.08%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 3.08%

  5. Eliminate funding for all district arts and music programs (12 votes [18.46%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 18.46%

Which of these options would you be the MOST opposed to?

  1. Voted Force district employees, including teachers, to take a pay cut (30 votes [46.15%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 46.15%

  2. Eliminate funding for field trips and special events (3 votes [4.62%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.62%

  3. Eliminate funding for all district athletic programs (4 votes [6.15%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.15%

  4. Eliminate funding for new textbooks and materials (16 votes [24.62%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 24.62%

  5. Eliminate funding for all district arts and music programs (12 votes [18.46%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 18.46%

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#21
Kaphias
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I support paying them based on how well they teach. If they don't teach well we should be able to get rid of them.

How do we monitor how well a teacher teaches?

Cut athletics or field trips, support the arts. This depends largely on the school of course; some are very strong in one area and very weak in others.
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#22
Grim_
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In our school district, we do not need new books or materials (besides paper). The amount we used them we might as well never received them in the first place. I can't say that for all of California, which is the problem, as it is a STATE budget.

Another thing is they should do is to be flexible on budgets. My high school had to pink-slipped some employees and get a pay cut, but we had a couple thousands to spend on giving a new layer of paint to the school. The budget was set in stone so redectoration funds have to be used for one thing and one thing only. Terrible.


It's around the same level in the North as well (at least for certain subjects, english not withstanding). However, aside from language classes (who just got a new set of books after a good 6-7 years using the old ones) we don't have shiny new things either (and this is in Davis a town where we pass property taxes to let students take 7 periods). So far we have avoided drastic cuts in programs by having all teachers take a pay cut and taking furlough days (unpaid days off for the teachers). I think I can top your story though. My high school spent close to a thousand dollars on rocks. Honest to god boulders drug from who knows where to be placed decoratively around campus. [bleep]ing insane if you ask me.
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#23
rocc0
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I'd say I'm least opposed to cutting out field trips, most opposed to cutting out textbooks. Mostly due to personal experiences: I had a ton of field trips to see [cabbage]ty, boring plays put on by teenagers that didn't even go to our school. Complete waste of time and money. I also had a [cabbage]ty textbook for Latin once, and a few pages were torn out, the whole book was falling apart. It was a significant hindrance for the entire year.

To those saying to cut athletics and fund the arts: as someone who was both a musician and an athlete all through my public school days, cutting one and leaving the other would seriously hurt large groups of students either way. Imo it would be better to keep both and cut teachers pay.

TANSTAAFL


#24
das1330
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So yeah, the state of Texas has cut school budgets. As a result, I now have to take a survey on which of these options would be most liked/disliked.

I believe that athletic programs, mainly football, receives WAY too much funding as it is. Sure they should have to equipment to stay safe and stay fit, but when they're getting the majority of the budget, along with most of the sales from concessions, it's just unfair to everything else.

I most oppose cutting teachers' and employees' pay. The amount of crap they have to go through with these students and their parents is just ridiculous and most defiinitly doesn't deserve a pay cut of all things.


Football programs at most schools are revenue positive due to ticket sales. Spending more then that amount, I agreee, makes little sense, but cutting a self-supporting program is nonsensical.


Removing union rights and instituting merit based pay & promotion practices would be the most effective way to balance school (or any other government entity) budgets, as salaries generally make up ~80% of a district's budget.

#25
Kaphias
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Removing union rights and instituting merit based pay & promotion practices would be the most effective way to balance school (or any other government entity) budgets, as salaries generally make up ~80% of a district's budget.

Then I ask again: how do you keep track of how well a teacher teaches in comparison to their coworkers?
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#26
marcustullius
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Removing union rights and instituting merit based pay & promotion practices would be the most effective way to balance school (or any other government entity) budgets, as salaries generally make up ~80% of a district's budget.

Then I ask again: how do you keep track of how well a teacher teaches in comparison to their coworkers?


And keep in mind that there are lots of variables that can go into how well a teacher teaches, one of the most prominent is probably the student to teacher ratio. In my city/area, that ratio has definitely been going up

#27
Nenga
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Removing union rights and instituting merit based pay & promotion practices would be the most effective way to balance school (or any other government entity) budgets, as salaries generally make up ~80% of a district's budget.

Then I ask again: how do you keep track of how well a teacher teaches in comparison to their coworkers?


And keep in mind that there are lots of variables that can go into how well a teacher teaches, one of the most prominent is probably the student to teacher ratio. In my city/area, that ratio has definitely been going up

Also, not every student learns the same way.

#28
Hamtaro
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Removing union rights and instituting merit based pay & promotion practices would be the most effective way to balance school (or any other government entity) budgets, as salaries generally make up ~80% of a district's budget.

Then I ask again: how do you keep track of how well a teacher teaches in comparison to their coworkers?

Isn't this what standardized tests are for? I'm not saying to the degree of No Child Left Behind (which was horrible), but if one teacher legitimately teaches, his/her students should be doing much better than students whose teacher shows them movies all day on these standardized tests. The cheating that teachers go through can easily be mended by immediate collection of the test materials (maybe one government official/assistant appointed per school on testing days).

At my (private) school, each department (Mathematics, Science, English, Social Studies, Business, Foreign Language, Fine Arts, Computer Science, Physical Education, and probably some more I'm forgetting) has a Department Head (usually the most senior teacher from the department) who will sit in on classes of other teachers in their department sporadically throughout the school year (the principal sits in on the Department Heads' classes). They do teacher evaluations for every teacher twice a year. In addition to this, every teacher has a one year contract only, so if he/she just plain sucks at teaching, they won't be coming back the next year. In addition, for any given class, (e.g. English III or Algebra II), every class of that specific subject, regardless of the teacher, is administered the same final exam. Scores are submitted to the vice-principal before any final marks are given out. He evaluates it so if one teacher's classes did significantly worse than another, the matter is investigated. The system seems to work pretty well as many of the bad teachers have been fired as a result. I'm not saying this would work at every school, but we end up with more National Merit Scholars, higher average ACT/SAT/PSAT scores, and more students' going off to more prestigious universities than any other similar sized school in the state. Honestly, in all my years at this school, I have encountered only one bad teacher (and 9 outstanding teachers), which I think is pretty good for a faculty of 73.
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#29
stevepole
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They make the most money and sponsors from sports. It's just a simple fact.


It's surprising how many people don't realize this, especially at a university level. Just last week my school announced in partnership with Nike, a revamp of our school uniforms and logos for the upcoming school year when we turn into the Pac-12. I saw a lot of backlash both on twitter and facebook from fellow students that the money spent on the rebranding could have been spent more wisely on academics and student aid but what they are obvious to is the fact that with all the recent state budget cuts to higher education is that the school is trying to earn back the money it's losing to support student aid and further our current academic programs.
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#30
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If there is anything to NOT cut, it would have to be arts. Having been a musician for 8 years now, and most of those around me having played the same or near the same length of time, it isn't just a hobby we do at school for fun, it's something our lives have been devoted to. Money is hard enough to come by already as the school gives NO funding at all to the arts at our school and we have to raise everything through fundraising. They even cut our ABILITY to charge a yearly "band fee" which was used to pay for buses to shows, uniform and instrument repairs, etc. We have been doing fundraisers nearly every other weekend the entire year just to attempt to keep it going, even with raising over 10,000$ on two huge fundraisers, we don't have enough money to do what we usually can. Every year, we march the Disneyland parade and could not get the money this year. Couldn't go to regionals, cut 2 field shows we were going to do, etc. And that's JUST the band, I'm not sure how the other programs are doing.
Unlike sports programs, we don't make money off of our performances, they're free or cost us.

#31
stevepole
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Hearing art program getting cuts is always sad to hear about as they are so important culturally to society. On the other hand from an administrative perspective it's the easiest to cut since their goal is to education and move you on to the next thing be it the entry level job market, or higher education and hope that if you re really passionate about the arts, you will continue them outside of an academic environment.
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#32
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Standardized tests are great for seeing how good students are at standardized tests

#33
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^That was my brother's defense every time he finished in the 25th percentile.
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#34
Will H
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This draws a lot of parallels with the issues we have in the UK, but action has to be taken (although America really should cut on it's military spending a bit, although I know you never will). I would say that field trips should be the first in line to be cut, I'd say they're the least cost effective for stimulating children into learning. That's not to say that field trips aren't worthwhile, but the damage would be minimised if they went first.

Don't cut teacher's salaries. The motivation of the teachers affects everything that happens in a school.

My order of preference of what should be cut first:

1. Eliminate funding for field trips and special events
2. Eliminate funding for new textbooks and materials
3. Eliminate funding for all district arts and music programs
4. Eliminate funding for all district athletic programs
5. Force district employees, including teachers, to take a pay cut

~ W ~


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#35
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I support paying them based on how well they teach. If they don't teach well we should be able to get rid of them.

How do we monitor how well a teacher teaches?


In the UK, Teachers get "observed" every so often by a peer colleague such as a member of a senior leader team or headmaster, or external moderators when required, though not sure if this is the same for the United States. Basically they sit in the back of the classroom for a lesson and take notes on how the teacher is performing, how well the students are interacting with the lesson and how well they interact with and control the students. It also goes on (though I don't agree much with this) exam results of one class compared to another.

I think these methods aren't 100% though, being in a lesson where teachers are sat right behind you observing makes you feel you're the one being observed and not the teacher, so everyone tends to behave better and it seems a little false compared to what normally might be going on :P . I think the "pay by skill" strategy is a hard one to implement, as it's immoral nowadays to say "Her students are better, she'll get more than you for it" and such. However I do agree that if the teachers are terrible, then they should receive no pay at all and asked to leave :P.

On this poll I voted for least opposed to cutting budgets for Field trips and special events. I would have been more towards cutting athletic programs, but I think they play a vital role in getting kids interested in Sport and exercise which in the long run will increase lifespan. I think Students should be involved with the subject as to go out and experience it out in the open in the wide world themselves, without being taken there especially. I know that's not always possible with family income and such, but with technology moving on these days, you can be virtually transported to a field of work like a mountain formation for example with just a click of a button, and it's not always imperative to go there with good resources, though it is of course not the same :P

I voted for most opposed to Teacher cuts. There are less and less teachers nowadays who want to go into the profession because of poor pay and unruly behavior in schools, and I think education is the most important thing we can give our kids, and without Teachers it just doesn't happen. :thumbsup:

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#36
Myweponsg00d
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As a teacher, I have to say that I am suprised that there isn't more support for cutting spending on books and materials.

I could teach kids with nothing more than a small blackboard and a piece of chalk. Theres wayyyyy too much money being spent on flashy technology and books, which won't improve the quality of information that I am conveying to the students.

The single most important factor in the classroom is having a good teacher. Take away our books, internet, and computer projectors. We'll make it through.

Most of us spend our own money for the good materials anyway, because the districts buy useless junk.

The next thing that should be cut after that is field trips. Then music/arts. Then athletics.

Sure, athletics isn't that important to kids recieving a good education, but the athletics programs basically pay for themselves..I mean it wasn't uncommon for us to bring in nearly 2000 dollars just from selling raffle tickets at a football game. If you're going to cut anything in athletics, it could be the pay for the coaches. Teachers who can also coach make like 50% more, and it definitely is not 50% more work.
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#37
Assume Nothing
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Take away the internet? What?

It's one of the best ways to find and share information and up to date news. Why would you want to take it away completely?

Your argument is definitely very circumstantial. Certain courses can be well taught with nothing but a blackboard and a piece of chalk. Some courses are best taught in a laboratory, and some are best taught in the computer room. Take Economics for example: It's good to have the internet in the course, because the students are more likely to better develop their application skills if they're working with relevant and recent material. However, I would agree that sometimes, the funding could be better used.

I would argue it's not just the teacher salaries that has to go up, it's the motivation levels and the ability of the teachers. Good pay does not necessarily imply good teaching quality, nor does vice versa.

Not sure where I'm going with this now. I'll leave this here

#38
marcustullius
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^That was my brother's defense every time he finished in the 25th percentile.


I've always been a straight A's and B's student and got a scholarship toward my first year at university, tests don't mean [bleep].

#39
KittyKat
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In my opinion, merit-based/test-score based teacher pay is a bad idea. Not everything that is tested is useful, and not everything useful can be tested.
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#40
Harakiri
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Here's a fun story about my high school. We're having so many budget cuts and our test scores are so low that we are apparently in the red zone. So what does the honorable and righteous school board who cares about my future do?

1. Stops Early Bird-Early bird is an hour before school and allows us to take PE or ROTC to open up an hour for an elective. We don't have this anymore, thus stopping students from failing electives.
2. Makes PE A Full Credit Class That Counts Toward GPA And Class Rank-Thus, with my A in PE, my GPA looks better, and the overall GPA's of everyone in the school looks good.
3. Recommends We Take Two PE Classes- Yes, in order to make themselves look better, the district recommends we take two hours of PE.
4. Dropping People With Less Than A B From Enriched Courses- In order for grades and GPA's to be better, people with C's, D's or F's in enriched courses are automatically put to basic classes, which are now called "regular" courses so that enriched kids don't feel like they're losing out. Now enriched kids with C's will get A's in basic because the work is way to freaking easy.
5. Study Hall Counts As A Class- The past few years study hall has not counted for anything and was just an hour where people who didn't take an elective went. Now, they get credit for it and it's called "Study Skills" to make it sounds like they're actually learning and not slacking off and getting credit for it.

All so the schoolboard can say "Hey, GPA and test scores have vastly improved now! Isn't that great!" Then the lady in charge can go back to the state she comes from, get a better job than administrator, and say she made our test scores and GPA's better by making us take shortcuts. People with C's in enriched classes can't continue enriched courses, but they can do Advanced Placement college level courses if they wish. That makes a lot of sense. That's what I'm doing though for my history classes, not because of bad grades in history, but because college credit is nice and the only way to take European History is through AP.

So anyway, the school board are idiots. I hate my school district. They pink slip tons of teachers yet bus kids from the south side up to the north side schools on a daily basis.They can't manage money, nor care about the welfare of the students once they leave the district and go to college.
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