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School Budget Discussion

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by shim, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. Ozgood

    Ozgood Not a space alien

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    I think you broke the code on this one. Nice summary. :clap:

    I agree with you on this.

    However,

    Playing Devil's Advocate though, what they are doing is shifting the burden to those taxpayers (parents) who garner the benefit from the activity (parking/sports/ect) instead of spreading the burden to taxpayers who may or may not benefit from the activity.

    You choose to play a sport you have to pay extra
    You choose not to play a sport you don't have to pay extra.

    There are some people who support such policies. Perhaps this is how the school board is justifying their decision?

    In any case, I think you are right. The school board is not trying to reduce costs; they are just looking for ways to transfer the tax burden.

    IMO what they should be doing is trying to reduce everyone's burden. :nono:
     
  2. mamatothree

    mamatothree New Member

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    If they are VDOT streets they can be parked upon...We all know that VDOT moves at a glacial pace when it comes to changing regulations and they don't have the budget to start putting up signs even if they change the parking rules.
     
  3. bird

    bird New Member

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    Maybe in a rich county with over-indulged kids, parents will not hesitate to pay these fees - so no harm. But nevertheless, this is public education. The haves are not supposed to have greater opportunities than the have-nots. There are families which will have trouble paying the athletic fees (to keep their kids out of trouble via sports) or the parking fees (so that the kid can transport himself to a job after school). This isn't right.

    As evidenced by the speakers at the budget meetings, we as citizens are not demanding financial accountability by the school board. The vast majority of speakers cried please don't cut the budget! We are fearful that if we don't hand over every penny asked for, education and our kids will suffer. We are being played.
     
  4. Ozgood

    Ozgood Not a space alien

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    Being played like a 20 pound bass on a 10 pound line. :blahblah::blahblah::happygrin:
     
  5. bird

    bird New Member

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    This is my small example of unnecessary spending, my pet peeve: the Spanish program in elementary school and 6th grade. It is a total waste. It costs about $2.5 million (exact figure wasn't listed). My 11 yr old hates it, has hated it since it began in 1st or 2nd grade. She knows no Spanish other than a few words. She says the other kids hate it too. They have a special teacher come in 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes to play games, etc in Spanish. The program is supposed to give an appreciation for multi-culturalism, expose the kids to another language at an early age. It is not achieving this goal. I'm not sure there is even any mechanism for feedback about the program's effectiveness or value. My child says, they should just teach about other cultures and forget this program. Right on! Besides, they are offering foreign languages for credit in 7th grade - seems good enough to me. But our superintendent must think that having this program looks good on paper, and so we pay the price.
     
  6. mwb2218

    mwb2218 New Member

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    :clap:
     
  7. redon1

    redon1 aka Aphioni

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    :agree:

    providing a lackluster ineffective program just to check a "culture" box is FAR WORSE than nothing at all. it could actually have a negative effect in that they will think learning foreign languages is boring, too hard, etc. and kill the desire! improve it or REMOVE it.
     
  8. mamatothree

    mamatothree New Member

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    Americans are way behind in learning other languages and the earlier children begin learning them the easier it is...I am not commenting on this particular program but understanding other languages and other cultures becomes more important as our world becomes smaller. My daughter is a foreign exchange student in Europe and she and the other American students were embarrassed when they first arrived that they were the only ones who spoke only English and maybe one other language. The Europeans, Asians and South Americans she met were all multilingual. I'm sure there are good elementary school language programs out there, but if we feel it is not an important subject for our children to learn, no one will find them.
     
  9. Brassy

    Brassy Hiyah

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    indeed, we do a great disservice to our kids who take a foreign language without it being total immersion! The teachers in MS and HS already supposedly know how to fully speak it, so why not just do it. Shouldn't cost a dime to change that.
     
  10. redon1

    redon1 aka Aphioni

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    i think it is EXTREMELY important. but it has to actually teach the language and get them on their way to forming sentences, conjugating verbs, etc. when i went to elementary school that's how it was- by the time you got to 8th grade class was fully in spanish.
     
  11. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    In many foreign countries, English is not an elective or required "option", it is mandatory. I highly doubt "for the cultural experience" is the reason why.
    Since WWII we have been the dominant country on the planet and easily the worlds leading consumer's of foreign countries products.
     
  12. Chsalas

    Chsalas Member

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    Yes, but that is a cultural thing. Most Americans believe that everyone should speak "English" and that is the way of thinking that has been forced upon a lot of student over the years. Only in recent years has this been challenge or changed not because of wanting, but needing to be competitive in the global market place. In this area, and more culturally diverse parts of the country being multi-lingual it is acceptable and more common, but rural or smaller areas it is not. This is for various reasons, some cultural but mostly monetary. I believe you should start children speaking various languages early, but I don't think a lot of people are on that band wagon. I doubt that we will see the amount of Americans that are multi-lingual increase significantly in our lifetime, in fact the only way that will happen is if we, as Americans, are "forced" to make that change.
     
  13. Chsalas

    Chsalas Member

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    agreed!
     
  14. fidothedog

    fidothedog Member

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    For those of you who are concerned about English in this country....

    Look no further to the birth rates for 2008. 52% of all births in the US were to Hispanics.

    Like it or not, within the next 30 years there will be a change in culture in the US unlike anything we have ever seen. The majority of kids in the school systems will be Hispanic.

    Unless something is done now to push for English training to all American citizens (and immigrants), English could be the second hand language in a few generations.
     
  15. Ozgood

    Ozgood Not a space alien

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    "If English was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for anyone" - Attributed to far too many people for it to be true, but it is still funny. :happygrin:
     
  16. Chsalas

    Chsalas Member

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    HAHAHA! that's hilarious!
     
  17. teachermom

    teachermom New Member

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    My 2 cents: the Spanish program is just a plain waste of time. 30 minutes twice a week doesn't teach them Spanish, it wastes valuable time that could and should be spent learning to read, write and learn basic math! The kids are pushed and pushed to get all the info into their brains so that they can pass an SOL test! Then they forget all the information the next year. Why do you think the kids have to learn the phases of the moon in 4th grade, 6th grade and then again in 9th grade! Seriously, how many times do you look in the sky and say "oh my that is a waxing gibbous moon". Just plain stupid! They need to learn to write and to read. They need to learn to read a text book and seek out important information. Why do the kids learn 400 years of Virginia history in only 1 year? Why is there a DARE program? Why is the school system looking to cut special education funds and not take a look at the gifted program? (a program which my child did qualify for and I elected not to do) Which by the way wastes an entire day because you cannot introduce new material while they are gone! Cut from the top and eliminate the fluff. (my child is so sick of Spanish, she wants to take French in 7th grade!)
     
  18. Chsalas

    Chsalas Member

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    Nail hit directly on the head!


    The really scary part is that children know where to find the information especially with the internet, but don't know how to get the knowledge or to understand what the information means. I had a friend tell me that recently, a young college co-worker of his, did not know who Adolf Hitler was. He knew that he was a bad person, but did not know what country he was from or even what country he was leader of let alone what party he belonged to.
     
  19. fidothedog

    fidothedog Member

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    I have 5 kids (1st grade to 10 grade) and they all have benefited from taking Spanish. It is pretty funny to watch them all talking in Spanish to each other (especially the 1st grader who has picked up the lanquage from listening to the others). I took French in middle school and high school up to French 6. In my opinion, that was a complete waste of my time. It may have been useful if I lived/did a tour/relocated to Canada/France but outside of that the opportunities to actually use the lanquage around this area are extremely limited.

    I agree with you on the gifted program. My first 4 kids qualified for the gifted program (last one is not old enough yet) but once they saw what it was they opted to not do it. One of my kids actually attended the program for a month and then asked to be removed. Her issue was the unruly behavior of the "gifted" students and the lack of respect for the teacher and classmates. I have asked the schools to show me how the "gifted" students progressed in high school and if they graduated with honors or not. So far, I have had no response to my requests. My high school daughter (who is #1 in her class) says that only a couple of the students that were in the "gifted" program are in the top of her class.

    If the gifted program is not producing the best and the brightest then is the gifted program a worth the money? If schools are more results focused then what better way to assess results than look at how well the "gifted" students do in high school. All this being said, I do realize that there are many factors which can lead a "gifted" student off the path of realizing high grades (such as friends, family, economy, support, sports, drugs, drinking, etc.).
     
  20. serendipity

    serendipity New Member

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    Many of the gifted students that I have known have gone to TJ and other pvt. schools. But is that attributable to the gifted program? I'm not sure. I wonder how a program can be reviewed if one didn't actually participate in it? (30 days isn't a full participation.) Also, how does your daughter know what the other kids' grades are? From what I understand the schools don't release them or provide ranking until at least following junior year. Does she have access/knowledge of all others' grades? Not just in her grade but other grades? I agree without knowing at least several years of data from kids that participated in the gifted program we really don't know the comparables. Certainly, some of the kids in the gifted program might have gone on to graduate with honors with or without the program. There is likely to be immeasurable benefits and value to the program as well.

    My two children both have participated in the gifted program and both have found it to be very valuable. For one thing, the positive reinforcement that they receive for performing well in school and enjoying education for educations sake is invaluable. Each year, the Futura program alternates between two different units: "Structures" and "Systems". Recently, my daughter came home and told me all about the Geodesic (sp?) Dome that they created and built. That a young elementary student even knows what such a structure is let alone how to build one (something about a bunch of triangles....:conf2: ) and work together with a team on the project is a positive in my book.

    Pulling together a group of kids that are doing well in school and that genuinely want to be there helps them move more quickly on challenging subjects and think outside the box. The Math Olympiads that they work on--I honestly could not get many of them! And the word masters and analogies are definitely above and beyond the grade level that they would get in their "regular" classroom. Also, just being encouraged to explore other subjects and in more depth is great.

    Neither of my kids have had any behavioral issues with classmates that have detracted from the program, certainly you get that in any classroom, not just the gifted one. I'm sure like any program it could be improved, but I find it one worth keeping.
     

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