Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Charles Parker: School Budget Cuts and Their Consequences

Brevard Public Schools has spoken.  The proposed $30.7 million budget reductions have been released. 
Let’s look at some of the high ticket items on the 62-item list.  Let’s also remember that I am a high school teacher, but have tried to be objective and honest in this assessment.
The elimination of one planning period for secondary teachers will save $11 million and reduce the teacher workforce by nearly 200 people.  Even though this is a major blow to the workforce, this was a no-brainer for school officials.  Elementary teachers have rightly complained for years that they barely have time to go the bathroom while secondary teachers have 90 minutes a day without students. 
The increase in class size could affect students and families through unintended consequences.  Yes - it will save $4.8 million and eliminate another 68 teachers. However, BPS notes that this “may eliminate high performing district status and early start calendar.” 
This means first semester exams will be in January.  This means conscientious students will be studying over Christmas break. This means less conscientious students will have several weeks between their last lesson and a test that is 20% of their semester grade.
Eliminating corridor busing will save $1.2 million.  Students attending choice schools by choice will have to find their own way to school.  This leads to more unintended consequences, however.
Since fewer out-of-area students – particularly poor ones – will be able to attend choice schools, more high-performing neighborhood students will be allowed to enter choice schools. 
This will then deplete neighborhood schools of more high-performing students.  Add to this to the fact that secondary summer school is being targeted for elimination.  These things combined mean it will be tougher for neighborhood schools to meet more strict graduation requirements.
Seems to me a more practical approach would be to eliminate choice schools altogether.  To accommodate high-performing students in traditional high schools, more career and technical academies could be offered.  Students would still have choice – just within their neighborhood schools.
There are more jobs eliminations on the list – the arts: music and art programs in elementary schools (116 teachers); research: media center assistants (69 positions); and safety and security: high school campus monitors (10 positions).
Plus there are more ways to generate revenue – advertising, pay-for-choice applications and pay-to-play sports.
All-in-all, it is as Dr. Brian Binggeli said, “sad and discouraging.”

7 comments:

  1. Once again, what did our community think was going to happen...We as a community were in a dream of educational entitlement....which lead us to believe that educational funding grew on trees...so as a community we became lazy...and only 48 percent voting for a sales tax....plus add the fact that we absolutely have placed no accountability and responsibility on our Brevard County legislatures when it comes to our schools in Brevard County...So welcome to educational austerity...Now as an individual and a community what are we going to do about it...

    Marcus

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  2. We need a redo! Please join our effort to petition the School Board for a November 2013 Special Election. If we act now, together, we can save ALL our schools! Go to www.savebps.webs.com to read, sign and share the petition.

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  3. I saw no reduction in Administrators? 1 Furlough day is it. Not salary cuts, no staff reductions. This is where the big money is spent..

    Shame on you ignorant voters for causing this morass of bad cuts. one half a freaking penny people. So thanks to your greed, America gets to slip a little more behind, more kids will fall through the cracks and more people on the unemployment line. If you voted against the half cent you are an ignorant fool...

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    Replies
    1. Government spending is out of control. I know things like this hurt, but I will never vote to raise taxes on anything. We need to learn to control spending and prioritize the funds to cover necessities like this...not just raise taxes.

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  4. As stated above, no cuts in administration. Currently, we have 4,616 teachers and 3,932 non-teachers in the school system. You can't make me believe that we cannot find 600 non-teachers at an average pay and benefits of $50,000/year to eliminate? Instead of asking the taxpayers to vote the schools more money, we should be petitioning for a recall vote on every member of the School Board for dereliction of duty. Have you seen the School Board lead on this issue? NO! Instead, they are being led around like lost sheep by the school superintendent. It is the duty of the School Board to set policy and dictate where the cuts are made; it is the job of the superintendent to implement the policy decisions of the Board.

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    Sơn Kim loại Thái Dương
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    Sơn thông thường cần sơn lót. Nhưng với sơn kim loại Thái Dương thì không, Sơn kim loại Thái Dương có thể dùng trực tiếp và đặc biệt là qua kiểm nghiệm của các chuyên gia sơn kim loại Thái Dương không cần sơn lót vẫn có thể chịu được nhiều dạng thời tiết khác nhau

    ReplyDelete