Cutting budgets, schools ask kids to bring cleaning supplies

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by OutThere, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #1
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/business/economy/15supplies.html?hpw


    Honestly this makes me sick. This country's priorities are so twisted...we're willing to spend trillions on a ludicrous wild goose chase in the Middle East, but can't even ensure that our next generation is given the best possible schooling?
     
  2. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #2
    While your point is well taken, I don't think public education has ever been about the best possible schooling.
     
  3. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #3
    If we make the kids teach themselves we can afford to use more Drone planes in Afghanistan. Maybe even save enough to start a campaign in Iraq.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    Oh- please do tell what it IS about then. :rolleyes:
     
  5. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #5
    I got an excellent education from a public school.
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #6
    I'm going to have to go with the above posters. I too received a great education from a public school.

    The article is maddening really but I've seen a Kindergarten supply list that consisted of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (they were quite brand specific) and paper towels. I was a bit surprised. Next it will be toiletpaper.
     
  7. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #7
    I received a great public school education.

    2 containers of wipes, non-bleach
    2 boxes of tissues
    2 Large bottles of paint (for whole class to share)

    All items except backpack, scissors, and paint collection are shared by entire class.

    Finally, I don't know how it used to be, but there is a fairly substantial "book rental" fee.

    On top of that, I'm waiting for the inevitable mandetory fundraisers, bake-sales, etc..

    I'm not complaining, not by any means. My kid's education is a priority, but it does demonstrate that as a society, we have made education so much less important than it should be.

    I wonder whether some or any of that was intentional. (i.e. pushing for school vouchers and faith based education)
     
  8. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

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    #8
    I remember having to bring similar supplies, which in turn the entire class shared. I believe it was my elementary school years...
     
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #9
    It is getting pretty bad. In Texas the more I read about it the more I want Perry out of office. He is turning down federal funding YET again because the fed put a extra requirement on the money that can come to Texas for education that was put in there at the requested of school districts after the stunt Perry and the Texas government did last year.

    The requirement Perry is required to follow so Texas can get the money for education wait for it ....
    "Texas must promise may not cut the education budget any extra compared to everything else"
    That means if there is a 10% cut across the board education can take a 10% cut but it means that Perry can not pull the stunt he pulled last year when the feds gave the state 3 bil. That was he cut education extra by the exact amount the feds gave the state. State just was handed the money education which the money was for got nothing.


    Sorry for my rant but back on topic. I am not surpised by this. School nation wide are feeling the massive budget cuts like everyone else. They are pushing the limits to the max. Class sizes are being pushed to the legal max for each state, they are cutting bus routes, a lot of teachers are lucky to get a cost of living pay increase, school supplies are being cut. Heck really teachers are taking a pay cut because they are now having to buy more supplies out of their own pockets for the class room.

    Some school districts around here started putting advertisements on their buses to help fill in some of the lost money but they are still facing being millions short of making their budgets.
     
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #10
    It is indeed getting ugly out there. Not only are kids being asked for donations of cleaning and other classroom supplies, but there is also a de-facto fee to play sports too. Most of the schools here ask nicely for $50-%150 if a student wants to join an athletic team. Of course, they can't mandate it, that was outlawed here in the '80's IIRC. But they sure can do the hard sell on it.

    So who can afford to have sports programs? Schools in wealth zip codes, that's who. Schools where shelling out a hundred bucks for a couple of kids isn't a big deal.

    In the past two years, California's education system has seen $17 billion in cuts. They're long past fat and muscle, now we're busy sawing off bones.

    Extracurricular activities are nearly gone. Coaches stipends have vanished. Anyone who coaches or coordinates any outside-school-hours activity is not only not getting paid for it, but is having to spend out of pocket themselves for the privilege of doing so.

    Class sizes are rising. Teachers are being let go (and contrary to what some say, it's not because they're making the switch to the private or charter systems -- they're just out of work). Already deteriorating facilities are falling further and further into disrepair. Schools aren't replacing lost or stolen books as frequently, and in fact are barely buying new textbooks at all, no matter how badly they are needed. And then, to compound the textbook problem, teachers' access to the copy machines has been severely limited. Investments in technology are way down. Science and lab equipment gets broken, and doesn't get replaced. And on and on.

    We're getting the education system we pay for.
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    I had a kid come to my door a few months ago asking for money for their school sports team. Of course I gave it to him. It was $20. I can part with that to keep a smart kid playing football. It was the saddest thing ever.
     
  12. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #12
    This trend really isn't new.

    At my wife's school, regular items on the shopping list include baby wipes, hand sanitizer, sandwich bags, face tissues, and more. Baby wipes can clean up damn near anything - paint, glitter, glue, even Sharpie off a desk if you get to it in time. Sandwich bags keep things like glue sticks, clay, etc. from drying out. Hand sanitizer might not do a lot to keep germs from spreading around, but every little bit helps. Are we really fussing over stuff like this?

    When budgets are tight (when are they not?), taxpayers don't like footing the bill for a whole lot. So the burden falls on the parents for some of this stuff.

    I have a child starting kindergarten next week, and the PTA has put together packages of each kid's school supplies (for convenience) that I can buy for $29 - and it includes all the pens, pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, paper, notebooks, etc. that they need.

    So perhaps I kicked in an extra $5-10 for face tissues and wet wipes and such. If it means my kid gets to spend a school year able to wipe his nose for a year, then I certainly don't mind.
     
  13. StruckANerve macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I did the same thing 20 years ago. Why is it now a problem? I guess this is just more pandering?
     
  14. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #14
    Well maybe not but it should be pretty decent. Additionally basic supplies should be provided. I thought we had it bad when we had to share a photocopied sheet between two :eek:.
     
  15. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #15
    Public school is pretty much designed to play to the middle, unless you have the luxury of living in a well-off (being predominantly white helps too according to the statistics) school district and/or can get into the advanced classes that are largely devoid of the troublemakers.

    It goes back to one of the big problems I have with NCLB; that it expects all schoolchildren to be at least average, which we know mathematically can't happen. Unless, of course, you set the bar so low as to render it meaningless.

    Even in the private schools I attended I had to furnish my own crayons, pencils, etc. Paper towels and toilet paper, though, is going too far.
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #16
    Yes and no. No because we're not really fussing over things like pencils or gluesticks or even cleaners. Yes because we're "fussing" (if you want to call it that) over class sizes that are too large, extracurricular activities that are essentially non-existent, decaying facilities, etc.

    And also because the mandate of the public schools is equal access to a decent education. When you start relying on the parents to kick in any significant portion of funding for something, you inherently wind up in a situation where the rich have more access to the educational experience than the poor.

    So sure, you can say it's not really all that big of a deal to have to provide supplies and stuff for your kid for class. But that's just a symptom of a much larger problem that isn't going to be solved by going to the parents every time money runs short.

    Completely agree. There are going to be kids who want to be left behind for whatever reason, and kids that just aren't going to go to college for one reason or another.

    Demanding that schools leave no child behind ensures that classes are so dumbed down that you lose the interest of the smart kids.
     
  17. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #17
    That explains why "C student W" was all for it. :)
     
  18. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #18
    Didn't Ted Kennedy author NCLB?
     
  19. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

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    #19
    Yup. And President Bush signed it into law in 2002.
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    Actually he did. Or was highly instrumental in writing it. In any case, he did support it, and complained bitterly that Bush double-crossed him on the deal at the last minute by cutting the funding and increasing the penalties for non-compliance.

    Many of us on the left were confused by why Kennedy would be working with W on the issue, and it was because Kennedy felt like he could Bush to do the right thing. Which, as it turns out, he couldn't.

    Which leads to my other major complaint about NCLB -- it's an unfunded mandate. Pure political cowardice to enact a program that you claim is so important, but then not to fund it because you'd rather give the money to the wealthy.
     
  21. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #21
    Agreed, that if the government mandates it, they should have funded it. However, the Democrats have had control over Congress, since 2006, which controls funding. So as usual, plenty of blame about this mess to go around.
     
  22. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #22
    I have no children, so one might assume that I have no interest in educating other peoples' children, much less paying taxes to support that. Yet, in my daily life, I have to deal with the effects of the education system, from the clerk who cannot figure out change when I give them a few coins to even it out, to the neighborhoods I feel compelled to avoid due to how the system has failed the children who inhabit them. We have the means to improve our children, and by extension, our society, through a better school system, but its inadequacies in the past are carried forward by a generation of short-sighted, self-absorbed, easily swayed adults.
     
  23. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #23
    Lets not forget that todays kids would rather sit in front of the TV playing Halo or texting their friends all day. I never had the amount of distractions that kids today have. No wonder test score are falling.
     
  24. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #24
    Is that the kid's fault, or the parent's?
     
  25. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #25
    Well the parents should be letting down the law on what their kids do, but when the kids are using these devices in school who do you blame.
     

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