Saturday, July 22, 2017

Cry me a river

An Okie teacher has taken to panhandling to raise money for her students. Teresa Danks has been standing out along an exit off interstate 44 with her sign. Aw. Poor lady. Oklahoma ranks 44th in the nation in terms of money spent on education. Oklahoma per-pupil expenditures were pegged at an average $9,075, well below the national average of $11,864. That's disastrous! Is it? Oklahoma also has a much lower cost of living, but they don't tell you that in their many articles.
Lets do a little math. Average class size in Oklahoma is 30 pupils. That's $272,250 bucks for her class room. They pay her $35,000 for her nine months of work or more than double what a lot of folks make. If she has an assistant, subtract another $35,000 for argument's sake, and the school still rakes in $200,000 for her one class.
The reporter noted that she raised $80 in a short time. If she did it in under four hours she should consider quitting teaching and panhandle full time. Most beggars do pretty good, I watched one guy while filing my truck a few months back. He averaged one donation a minute.If people gave him a buck, that is $60 an hour, but we all know when people roll down the window it is usually a ten or twenty.
Back to my point, average expenditures for school kids is $9075 in Oklahoma. By contrast, tuition books and fees at OSU-OKC are $5133.60. Say again? College is cheaper than public school? Sadly, yes. Our schools are tipping us off. We are paying through the nose and getting substandard product.
Frankly, Oklahoma does pretty good, Places like Chiraq or Lost Angel's hit below rock bottom. We won't mention about Disaster Central and the critters in the Swamp.
Our education system is a disaster in most places. Private schools give a better product, and at a fraction of the cost. If schools privatized, and teachers were allowed to operate from home, Tess could take 20 kids, charge $5,00 each, and have a budget of $100k to play with. She could either rent space, even if she paid $1,000 a month, that still leaves her with $88,000 to heap on her darlings.
Our schools are a money pit. The only answer I see for those high costs is funneling money to the communist party aparatus.
Our schools can and should do better. We have a right to demand better. Its time we demanded it.

3 comments:

Tony Tsquared said...

The 9k per student cost is eaten up by administrative and facility costs. The actual cost per student is much less. Go back 40 to 50 years ago and for a high school of 400 students you had a structure that had heaters in the classroom and no AC that would last 30-40 years. You also had blackboards and textbooks that were used until they were no longer serviceable. The administration consisted of a principal, secretary, part-time admin, a janitor, Librarian who taught some classes, and councilor who also taught a half day of classes. There would be an assistant principal who was usually was the athletics coach and also taught a full load of classes. The class size was also 25-35. There was not any extra staff but the teachers.

Now you have class sizes 20-25. The school must be a climate controlled sterile environments with carpeted floors that need replacing every 2 to 3 years. Computers provided, big screen TV, and all kind of electronic support and the IT staff to support it. Books are replaced every 2 to 3 years for the next edition or a more politically correct book. The cost of books have also outpaced inflation by 130%.The school size has increased 4 times in student size and the administration has increased 10 to 15 fold to keep up with the free lunch/breakfast, Head Start, and after school government mandated programs. Critical courses such a Civics, advanced math, advanced science classes, trades, and languages are no longer being taught. The school systems are teaching to the lowest common denominator as no child can be left behind. The athletic programs had also quadrupled in size and budget to include specific high dollar coaches in every off the wall sport that is not football, basketball, or baseball.

With the creation of the department of Education the quality of education had dropped at a tremendous rate. The liberals have infiltrated the teaching profession with teachers that do not have "a calling to teach" but see it as an easy way to get a BA/BS as colleges have lowered the requirements for those degrees. Once teachers have their teaching certificate they land a job that when you get your 3 year tenure is next to impossible to get you out of the system if you are a lousy teacher. It is not a high paying job unless you get advanced degrees. Even with a 6 year Specialist degree and 20 years experience you are making almost what an E-7 with 20 years in the military makes.

You do have those that have the calling. They will do whatever they can to provide the very best education that they can to their student. They will spend their own money to provide pencils and paper to the students who have parents who will not buy their kids the basic school supplies. If they do not have many years in the profession and only a 4 year degree they are existing paycheck to paycheck. The reason I am aware of that is I have a wife that retired as a teacher with 30+ years and the Specialist degree. I went the other route and retired military as an E-7. Her salary always lagged behind my enlisted pay as I progressed through the military. She spent her summers taking classes to keep her certification current. Then there were the night classes she took for 4 years to get her Masters and another 3 years of night classes to get the Specialist. The biggest problem with teaching is the parents who have more important interest/agenda than their children's education.

Gregory said...

The other commentor did not mention where they were teaching at. Chicago? But I am wowed by Oklahoma and their 'budgets'. This does not mention all the extra shekels they get from uncle sam for labeling a student as mentally defective...ie. ADHD,manic depressive etc.etc. So, I think that they try to label 75% or more of the kids as 'problems'.

JeremyR said...

Hi Tony, I'm one of those products of a school from 40 years ago. In terms of staff, we need to get back to that standard so that most of the money is spent on the kids.
As far as books, my father went to a private school and graduated in 1926. When I took advanced math, he commandeered my text book, then dropped his old one in my lap. Same book right down to the example questions at the end of each chapter, just arranged in a different order. That and a different edition number. A few years later, my then girl friend was dealing with frustration in her college math course. Her text was the same one. Should have seen her face a few days later when we were at my folks and I handed her dad's old text.
When my eldest was in seventh grade, we became disgusted with the public school. A private school cost us $200 per month per child. The school had a higher percentage of college bound grads than the public school did.
I'm not sure what the private school tuition is now, but our public school here is just above $13,000 per child. I see that as a serious problem. I have helped with fund raisers for public schools. I quit when I saw how they were back door accounting and redistributing money. I see privatization as one option, there are others though.
When we scrimp on education, we cheat our kids. Throwing money at the monster only feeds the monster. Back in my dad's day, a buck got you TNT. Now it takes a mint to get you a dud firecracker.