Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Michigan schools are hurting like many in other places, no doubt. Last year, the state cut per pupil funding $165 per student, regardless where in the spectrum of state aid your school fell. This cut was devastating to every district.

Now, it looks as if districts will get a raise for the upcoming school year.

Woohoo, let’s celebrate.

Oh… wait… they are giving us back $11 per student. No, that is not a typo. ELEVEN dollars PER STUDENT.

There are many ways to look at this generous gift. For my district, our student population of just under 900 students, this generosity will grant us nearly $9900. Wow… the possibilities of what to do with that much money are endless. Transportation costs are just under $3000 a day, so we can keep those busses on the road for 3 days! Or, we can fund a third of a beginning teacher’s wages (not benefits, just wages).

If we look at this gift per student, it breaks down to just over 6 cents per day per student. I CAN afford to give each student a pencil every day after all!

Or maybe, I can pool the $11 per student for the ones I teach – about 55 7th graders and 25 8th graders next fall – and with that $880 I can…. Hmmm… math books are about $80 each so I guess I could buy 11 of those. It will be interesting trying to share those among all the kids, but we can be creative. If your last name starts with A – L, you get a book to take home on Monday and Wednesday, M-Z, you get them on Tuesday and Thursday. Friday will be reserved for those absent on their appointed day.

Oh, you say, textbooks are not needed with today’s technologies? OK, I will just use that money to buy new laptops. Hmmm… maybe I could get 2, or even 3 netbooks for that sum? Sharing 3 netbooks won’t be tough at all. Hopefully, the network itself is in decent enough shape to keep us going every day.

Forget the problem that they other teachers who have those students will want their own share of the bankroll. Forget the heat bill, the water bill, building improvements, art supplies, classroom furniture…

Again, it seems, we are destined to show the children of our country they are not a priority. As a nation, we’ve spent over $732 BILLION dollars on the war in Iraq. If you add the cost of the war in Afghanistan, we are WELL over $1 TRILLION. (http://costofwar.com/)
Even more outrageous, the city of Philadelphia cut their budget for fireworks from $3 million to $2.1 million this year. Oh how sad for them.... Boston spent $2.5 million, and DC won't even release the information on their show. (http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/the-most-extravagant-fireworks-displays-on-july-4th/19535837/)
Tiger Woods will earn $110 million this year, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Kimi Raikkonen will all earn $45 million each. Even Dale Earnhardt will bring home a cool $34 million. (http://www.gkmen.com/sports/north-american-sports/who-are-highest-paid-athletes-2010190210)
And here I sit counting that $11 a kid.... rolling in the money.... counting my blessings...

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