Thursday, May 19, 2005

Shell game

Schools' budgeting is unethical
The chairman of the Salem-Keizer School Board, Mike Basinger, (guest opinion, April 15), along with the Oregon School Boards Association president, Peggy Penland, (letter to the editor, April 25) and state Rep. Phil Barnhart (guest opinion, April 26), want Oregonians to believe that they are responsible and transparent budget wizards when it comes to school rainy-day reserves. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Let's do the math: Each ELL student brings around $2,400 extra each school year to school districts. In the past four years, the Salem-Keizer School District received an extra $48 million for the education of ELL children and spent only $25 million on their special programs. This practice begs the question, where did the other $23 million go? This is where the school district got its rainy-day reserves.
Unions: Money? jingle jingle What money? jingle jingle I don't see any money?

6 comments:

jwalker said...

I honestly don't know what is true and what isn't; but as a teacher, I know that non-English-speaking children cost a lot of money. I also know that Special Needs students, including kids with behavioral problems cost a lot of money.

For example, kids with Autism get their own personal aid round the clock, sometimes even with highly functioning Autism.

The non English kids get special computer programs, computers to take home, extra teachers with often 1:2 ratio per student and special expensive textbooks because you don't buy in bulk.

Since it is against the law to take them out of the main classroom to teach them English, people's hands are tied. I don't know where all the money is going, but taking care of all these kids' "rights" is very expensive and hidden costs are everywhere.

Let's quit the touchy feely mainstreaming crap that the kids don't care about anyway and use the money in more appropriate ways.

Daniel said...

I like the idea of full immersion english rather than spending years and years teaching kids how to do math in spanish first in those ESL classes.

Of course, if we dealt with our illegal immigration problem that would go a long way towards solving this...

Anonymous said...

So you want to throw kids who happen to have additional challenges to the wolves. I had an IEP when I grew up in the pubiic school system and ended up going to one of the top 15 liberal arts colleges in the country (as determined by US News & World Roperts).

Daniel said...

No, I want to help kids learn effectively. Currently the schools have a cash incentive to keep kids in ESL as long as possible. Why would they "graduate" them from this class when it gets them more money for their general fund? (since they do not spend all the extra federal dollars for their intended purpose)

Full immersion would solve this problem and help mainsream kids faster. The ability to speak English well is a must if you want to be successful in this country. Let's help the kids do that.

jwalker said...

IEP's are cost-effective for many children. Many children with IEP's don't need alot of extra and can be serviced in the resource room if neccessary. This is not what we are talking about.

I worked in a place in rural NW that had MANY MANY non-English speaking kids of migrant workers. They needed help with English, because they were in most cases smarter than the English speakers. They by law could not be taken out of the classroom as a group to learn English. The cost was enormous.

The kids who need extra help like the Autistic could be put together along with other kids who need extra help. This would use the workers in a more cost effective manner and would keep resources in one place so the kids had access to what they needed without buying duplicates of everything.

How is that throwing kids to the wolves?

Don't we also have to let kids without these challenges have access to the resources they need?

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