Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

How would your district weather a 22% budget cut?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Education Donate to DU
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:02 PM
Original message
How would your district weather a 22% budget cut?
That is exactly what our state legislature is proposing for the 2010-2011 school year. These clowns have no idea what impact that kind of devastating reduction would have at the classroom level.

Now that Janet Napolitano is in DC, we have a RW governor to say Amen to the leg's numerous attempts to gut state education. Janet managed to keep us at #49 in the US for state funding of education. Now watch us drop to less than 3rd world status.

Yeah, Arizona like many other states is facing tough economic times. One solution of course is to lure businesses to the state. What do companies look for? Favorable tax structures and good education to produce a good work force. Their proposed are counterproductive and shortsighted. But they don't see that.

They respond only to "Mr. Cut My Taxes" and don't care about anything else. A penny's increase in state sales tax would take care of our budget deficit. As unpleasant and unprogressive as this is, it would solve the problem right now while they leg sucks it up and develops a more stable and responsible plan. Guess I'm dreaming.

I've pondered leaving Arizona and moving back to the Seattle area. I doubt the financial situation is much better there but at least I'd be closer to my family and be in a state that does value education -- at least it did when I was growing up there.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
lostnotforgotten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. My School Taxes would Go Up And We Would Have Another Home Foreclosure
eom
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Raising taxes is not likely to happen in the current legislature
they will cut cut cut until there is nothing left before they will even allow the idea of a tax increase to enter their shortsighted little brains.

Is education valued? Obviously not.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lostnotforgotten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. I Value Education But Have No Kids And Pay The Full School Tax Rate - Seems Unfair To Me
eom
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Then you don't value education.
Do you want to live in an educated society? Do you want the cashier at your grocery store to know how to count change? Do you want your bank teller to know how to add? How about your cable guy knowing how to read their meter thingies and figure what's wrong with the signal box? Not to mention that fire fighters, police, doctors, accountants and other professional need to begin their education somewhere.

Education isn't just about one's own kids, its about society. Paying for education is paying for our civilization.

Think about this: I have never used the services of the fire department, but I'm sure glad they are there. I've never had a police emergency, but I'm glad our officers are trained and there to respond if I ever do need them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lostnotforgotten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Quite The Opposite - Why Should I Be Charged the Same Fee With An Empty Nest
And I might add a nest that has always been empty - never had children.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Because you benefit whether you have kids or not.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-28-09 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
25. Gosh, where have I heard that before?
Oh yeah - Rush fucking Limbaugh.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-29-09 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. No kidding.
I don't use the fire department so I shouldn't have to pay for it either, right?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pale Blue Dot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
2. This is going on everywhere.
You can't run from it, unfortunately. I'm a teacher in Connecticut, and I'm scared to death. Seattle, from what I understand, is in horrible shape.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I know...
and it totally pisses me off to hear that some assclown banker gets to redecorate his office with a $1500 trash can and $88,000 rug with our tax money because Congress refused to put oversight into the bailout bill. Shows where the nation's priorities are.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. If you have young kids, then you might want to consider getting out of town.
Or putting them in private school. Here's how you cut 22%.

Cut teachers and increase class sizes to the maximum allowed by law, if there is a maximum.
Cut all school trips.
Cut most construction costs.
Close and consolidate schools as much as possible.
Cut bussing as much as possible
Cut a subject out. Do you really need spanish education in Arizona? :sarcasm:
Cut teacher salaries if you're permitted.
Cut funding for books and materials.
And there's lots of other devious little tricks.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Already done...
most of it anyway. If my classes get any larger, I will not have the kids do science labs due to safety issues. I cannot physically superivse more than 35 kids and will not as long as I'm liable for their safety.

Our district had a problem when the roof fell in at one of our elementary schools. The contractor screwed up and was no longer around so we had to pay for the repairs. The state has a budget item for this but it isn't funded. Of course, we could have left it as it was -- plaster falling from the ceilings and rain coming in on the rare occasions when it does rain here. Maybe we should have left it to illustrate how bad the problems are.

The citizens of our town won't go for a tax increase, even if $100 a year, which is what the latest proposal they defeated would have cost them. And most of them can afford it -- it's a matter of values.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #6
20. If they want to let their kids grow up to be morons, then that's up to them.
Are your class sizes really 35 kids? That's outrageous. NYC is limited to 25.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. And growing...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ChazII Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-29-09 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #6
28. In Paradise Valley Unified
the K-3 passed but the override failed -- the first time one failed since the late '80's. :( We are not top heavy with administrators in the district office and with the state cutting its budget we are going to be making tough decisions. Luckily, I am at an excelling school and we have a caring community.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Riley18 Donating Member (883 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
8. Florida is 50th in spending for education. We'll go to 51 if Puerto Rico ever
becomes a state. The politicians just met to basically gut education, and it seems like that is the plan all over the country.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. We're in a race to be #50 so you'll move up to #49.
Wow, isn't that exciting!

Do they want to do away with public education? Sadly, I think the answer is yes.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. There's this sense on the part of too many people
that public education is a luxury. And as someone posted above, too many people who don't currently have children in the public school system honestly think that they don't have a stake in public schools.

Everyone does. Good public education is the foundation of a strong economy.

I actually went to high school in Tucson, Arizona, many years ago when the standards were still quite high. I then lived in Phoenix about twenty years later and was appalled at how far the schools had fallen.

I suppose the only think you can try to do is to educate people. Many run ads that show exactly what a 22% budget cut would mean: show classrooms designed for thirty students with fifty crammed in, show something bad happening in Chemistry lab with too many students, show the functional illiteracy and ignorance that will result. Employers have been complaining bitterly for many years that recent high school graduates need a lot of basic education to do many simple jobs. It's only going to get worse.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Part of it is what is perceived as scare tactics and the appearance that
the leadership is trying to scare people into pay more and not really working the problem. Seeing a lot of this in California where the budget has grown faster than inflation etc per some and that alone makes people suspicious.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I also think they're trying to break the teachers' unions.
Offer us such low, insulting salaries, that we delay signing contracts, or don't sign en masse, or strike. Then, like the Raygun and the Air Traffic Controllers, they could fire us all and hire unqualified babysitters and save a boatload of money. Anything to avoid raising taxes $100 a year, right?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. They are trying to break our union in my district
We have been in negotiations for 11 months and it has been the nastiest process ever.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Your district is a nightmare!
I cringe everytime you post an update. Your school board seems to have no respect for the work you and your colleagues do. Too bad you can't all walk but then you'd all get fired and be without jobs. Would that make them appreciate you? No. They don't. And they obviously don't care about kids.

My district is tight. I've had school board members' kids in my classes and found them very supportive when I needed to call them. Heck, one coached me on growing gardenias. Our pay is crap, but we don't have the stresses like you have.

I fear your experiences represent the future unless we have intervention from our new Administration. But, even so, what could they do about the soured relationships?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. But we have just great kids
That's what keeps me there. The adults are insane but the kids are wonderful. :)

And our negotiations have been better lately. In 2 weeks they have agreed on 13 items. That's amazing progress. The team is spending all day today and tomorrow trying to finalize negotiations.

The difference seems to be the lead negotiator for the district was replaced. This new guy is #4 but he is far more reasonable than the others were. One of them admitted he wanted to break our union. And another of them was a young 20 something attorney who had never negotiated a contract before. He went over every single item in great detail. I think they said he spent a week talking about intercom interruptions. He wanted it out of the contract and said 'oh the principals would NEVER do that'. I suggested we have some teachers run tape recorders in their classrooms so this idiot could hear for himself how much time some of our principals spend on the damn intercom. Of course it is a problem; that's why we added it to our contract several years ago.

This week our board voted to put the money they had set aside for raises back in the general fund. So it doesn't look like we will even get step increases.

Anyway I hope it is all settled soon. It's been such a mess.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. I'm glad to hear you have made some progress.
It is ridiculous that you need to write the deal about the intercom into your contract but I certainly understand why you want to curtail interruptions. Some people just don't understand the concept of interruptions!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-11-09 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #15
32. There is definitely anti-union sentiment...
...out there. Worse than I have ever seen...not only against teachers' unions, but ALL unions.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-11-09 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. The Leg. is definitely trying to break our union.
I think they want us to strike so they can "pull a Patco" on us. They've already shown that they don't give a rat's ass about education.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-11-09 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #13
31. It's also the foundation of a strong democracy...
...which benefits everyone. I am SO tired of the selfishness.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-11-09 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. Cut taxes, cut taxes, cut taxes!
I actually sense that the sheeple are starting to wake up and see what years of that kind of mentality and action has wrought. Our most recent cuts have jolted the public into awareness. What they choose to do with that will be interesting.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
22. We are looking at a severe mid-year cut. THIS year.
I don't know what we'll do next year.

I do know that this year our district has begun talking about cutting 10 days from the end of the school year.

Our students are already only in school for 168 days. One of the shortest school years in the nation.

That would require union agreement, since it would cut our contract by 10 days. It would probably pass, since the union's priority is to keep jobs from being cut, and to prevent lay-offs mid-year.

Cutting 10 days of pay off my contract, when I'm hanging on by an already weak financial thread, would be devastating for me.

Not to mention the reality that it's damned hard to hold us accountable for a whole years' growth while further cutting days from the year.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Wow!
What is the parents' reaction to this? Is there anything that can be done to rally them behind you?

I just came home from a rally at our state capitol about the proposed education cuts. The press covered it well -- all the local news outlets were there. As I drove to it, I heard publicity for it on the radio. I'm guessing 800-1000 people were there on short notice. Our legislative leadership is right-wing-cut-taxes-republicans so I doubt they'll pay attention but it felt good to participate in it.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. The parents don't know yet.
As of now, it's been floated during staff meetings as one on a list of possibilities the district is considering. When they are ready to make a move, they'll bring it to the public, whatever they decide, with their talking points all prepared.

I have also heard that they are hoping for last minute salvation from Obama, although I think that's a pretty slim possibility. I don't see him coming up with a stimulus package that covers payroll. Perhaps, if it's in the pipe in other areas, the state can divert funds and avoid the statewide cuts.

If the current budget is cut, there's not that much outside of payroll left to cut by the time they make a decision. Supply budgets have already been used. Utilities still have to be paid. They'll cut field trips and staff development, but that isn't enough to fill the gap. The only thing left is payroll, so the choices are to lay off people, causing job loss, or for everyone to volunteer a pay cut in the form of working fewer days.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-28-09 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
26. Here's some equivalents in my district:
22% would be about 9.4 million. Average teacher salary is 60K, with benefits. That's about 158 teachers - almost half the staff. Of course, it would be spread more evenly than that, but obviously class sizes would have to increase ENORMOUSLY - probably about 1/3 more kids in every room. I'm not even sure it's possible. May have to cut some things entirely - no transportation, no sports, no music/art programs. No after school anything. No sponsors for activities - no prom, homecoming. No tech support.

I just don't know how we could function. Seriously.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-29-09 06:12 AM
Response to Original message
27. Hire more administrators.
And buy fewer books.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Scooter24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-09 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
30. We've been lucky to keep more of our tax money from going to the state.
Edited on Fri Jan-30-09 08:30 PM by Scooter24
Currently we send 72% of our taxes to the state through recapture. We are a small community of about 9000 people. 10% of our district budget comes from gifted funds such as our education endowment, parents, businesses, etc. I doubt we'll face a major budget cut as you have pointed out. If such a cut was demanded by the state without relief from recapture we would probably sue to retain more of our taxes to make up for any major shortfall. Usually whenever this happens the state backs off. Not to mention we have enough cash reserves to get the district through bad times thanks to our private-public partnership with the educational foundation.

Whenever money is short, our community steps up. Over 5000 people volunteer at our schools each year! 1500 parents volunteer in our cafeteria's serving lines and serve as cashiers. Our educational foundation provided $1.4 Million to fund our teacher's pay raises. We are currently in the middle of a $100 Million capital campaign to raise money for our foundation's endowment.

My district's budget for 2008-09:

Tax Collected: $105.5 Million
Taxes Recaptured: $75.9 Million (72%- Robin Hood)
Taxes Retained: $29.5 Million (28%)

Operating Revenue: $49 Million
-Taxes Retained: 60%
-State Aid: 23%
-Gifts: 10%
-Investments: 2.5%
-Fees & Other: 4.5%

Operating Expenditures: $49 Million
-Payroll: 84%
-Other Contract: 11.2%
-Other Operating: 2.1%
-Supply: 2.7%

On our local education channel, they humorously write "Wisest strategy to keep recapture low: Tax avoidance"
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KakistocracyHater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-12-09 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
35. I wish they'd put high schools into empty malls
floor-to-ceiling windows might cut out lights, skylights put in would also reduce electricity bills. The empty shopping malls have big bathrooms already, it's already fully wired, with huge parking lots that could partially be pulled up for grass.

22% cuts are brutal, I'd fire alot of the school boards, they seem redundant to me. New books really are for colleg-level, except for Pluto now being classified a planetoid, there's not much need for new books, just reglue them together. Buying paper & pencils & other school supplies should be publicly discussed, I'm sure there's probably ways to reduce some costs there.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Oct 01st 2014, 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Education Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC