Tuesday, February 6, 2007

School Funding

The bane of public schools has reared its ugly head again. The process of public funding through property tax levies is on the horizon for many school districts. Periodically school districts are forced to go "hat in hand" to the voters and beg for money. There has to be a better way to fund schools.
On the other hand, the track record of schools in managing money is abysmal at best. If schools had been held to the same standards of businesses in the past, there would be scant few schools for the children to attend. The vast majority would have declared bankruptcy, cut their losses, and got a paper route. The travesty is that there were no standards to judge academic progress in the past and when they were instituted by NCLB, the schools were ill-equipped to adjust.
Instead of fighting tooth and nail to keep standards out of the schools, the union should have formed a partnership with the federal government and mutually set some standards. The knee-jerk reaction of the union to fight any government standards for classroom learning has served to deprive them and us, of any type of legitimate place at the table. We have now been reduced to the role of foil to the NCLB standards rather than a partner in establishing realistic ones.
Being against everything is a sad place to be. Our union has badly served us by refusing to be a contributing partner in the process. Now, we teachers are forced to throw good money after bad in union dues. In the public eye the union represents an obstructionist stance to any classroom standards and they don't understand.
We in the law enforcement profession, learned that when it's all said and done the taxpayers deserve to have a say in what goes on in citizen-funded instituions. If we can't stand the glare of the public spotlight maybe we're doing something wrong. I say we should open our classrooms and invite the parents in. I think we have a lot of good things to show them. We, teachers for the most part are very good at our jobs. After all, they pay the freight!

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