Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The education spending debate

I hate talking about education or delving into political matters when everyone's mind is focused on streaming into malls to spend money on crap nobody really needs but here goes.

This guy likes to piss about education spending. I agree that it seems a bit lofty but his attack of teachers for their complaints about the amount of personal money they spend in their classrooms if off-key to say the least.

I am not a parent but I still remember what was required in school. We brought a box of kleenexes at the beginning of the year as a classroom pool for all to share. After all, kids are sick -- alot. That was all we had to bring as 'communal' supplies. I don't remember the teachers spending anything out of pocket except more kleenexes once the initial thirty or so boxes were depleted.

While things may have changed, it's the spending increases that are getting out of hand and it's not from overpaying teachers. Think much higher up the foodchain from an endless sea of administrative staff to special education spending where the teacher-to-student ration numbers about 1:5. Then there is the matter of lofty compensation for administrators such as school principals and district superintendents.

That's where the spending comes from. And if teachers are now spending alot of their personal cash to fill their classrooms with the necessary supplies, then they have the right to complain.

And the guy I linked to above claims that the spending per pupil is $10,000 in the state of Minnesota but I have found different (and correct) information.

Overall, the district spends about $7,528 per student, compared to an average of $8,379 statewide, according to a graph provided by Nash. Prior-Lake-Savage schools spend less per student than Burnsville and Farmington and more than Shakopee, Lakeville, Farmington and New Prague.

So, other than being off by nearly $2000 per pupil, the incorrect information is fine.

In short, it comes down to believing whomever you please. You can believe an innacurate and obviously upset blogger or trust someone who backs up their stuff with a source and facts.

Education is important and necessary and while spending is getting out of hand, you neeed to be vocal about it and voice your displeasure with the school board -- not just spout off on the internet.

I'll see you at the next school board meeting. I'll be the guy asking for an explanation about my increase in property taxes before the levy is tacked on as well as a tour of the schools in such dire need of retrofitting and repair.

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