Thursday, August 4, 2016

School Funding

Misappropriation of funds. It's not a new concept. Especially within a school district. It happens and, when it does, the responsible parties take it out on the kids. There is nothing anyone can say that will change my mind about this. I've seen it happen again and again from the viewpoint of a parent of students to the viewpoint of teaching within the district. It's old and they have got to be stopped.

I can't speak for all the schools in our county but, at our school, positions were in danger due to the misspending of county funds. People were losing their jobs and the students were going to be affected in a way that is not conducive to learning. And yet, our stuperintendent (intentional spelling) can find the funds to purchase the tote in the picture for all certified teachers in the county. Our teachers were most unhappy about this. And no one is using their tote. I think most of them were thrown out.   

This is not the first time our school has had to seek funding outside the district for teaching positions. Which is ridiculous. It seems the first place the cuts get made are always, and I mean ALWAYS, at the level that directly affects the students in a negative way. Intervention, class size, special area classes...

I assure you that there are positions at the Taj Mahal CCSD district office that could be taken away without affecting the students one bit. There are numerous positions that were created in times of budget fatness but those times are gone. And those jobs need to be revisited. And done away with. 

Please don't start talking to me about people losing their jobs. That's the same thing that's happening in the schools. People are losing their jobs and the students are being hurt by it. The unnecessary jobs downtown? People would lose their jobs but the students would not be affected at all.

When these are my choices, I'm going with the choice that does not hurt the students. 

At our school, PTA has always stepped up to the plate. One example is the year my youngest daughter was entering 4th grade. Our classes were going to be HUGE, due to budget cuts, and having thirty, fourth graders in a small classroom is not going to make learning anything other than difficult. PTA stepped up and paid for a fourth-grade teacher. Class sizes went back to manageable and all was well. One thing our PTA has always had is a healthy bottom line at the end of the school year just in case of an emergency. You see, we know how the district works. And we were prepared.
The upcoming school year would have been the first time in the school's history that the PTA had dropped the ball should they not have raised the funds. When things got scary, the pres decided to pick on someone and try to get out of paying for that position. Not cool. She lost all her credibility. Luckily, the money was raised, the district 'found' a little money, and there will be a new PTA pres next year. No, I'm not on PTA and it's been many years since the last of my four daughters was in elementary school. But I have been there- as everything from a member to the president and I know that we have always had a buffer to begin the school year. Funny how things change.  

It's great that our PTA steps up to the plate. But what about schools that don't have such generous parents and a supportive community? Sometimes, I have to wonder, does the district feel free to throw a wrench in the middle of student learning because they expect PTAs to step up? And what happens to the Title 1 schools? Not cool CCSD.  

And I'm not even going to start on how badly the people in some positions were treated by the district. But it was, at the very least, unprofessional. Every time the district messes up financially, the schools pay the price. The fat cats downtown still have their jobs as do their helper monkeys. But I am thrilled that I made the decision in November to stay home and take care of my grandlove instead of going back to school. I can't stand the way people are treated when money becomes an issue. The backstabbing alone is enough to sicken you. 

Is it the same in your district?