Whose schools are they anyway? What say do parents have in education?

Prancer

Aun Aprendo
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This might be a Nebraska/Midwest issue?
It's not true here.
Town defunds library. :wuzrobbed As someone that grew up in a small non-inclusive town the library was my favorite place to go. I even spent my 17th birthday there as my parents had just divorced and that was my comfort.
Not really school related, but I am :eek: at things happening with public libraries across the country.

There are people who are intent on destroying all public entities and will not be happy until everything is privatized, including libraries and schools.
When do kids have time for band and choir and stuff? Do they even have that as a class during the day?
My kids did; it was an elective slot.
Do they still have time for study hall?
My high school didn't have study hall. Neither of my kids ever had study hall. And most of the high-school students I see in dual-credit courses are ridiculously over-extended--but they are dual-credit students and that kind of comes with the territory.
 

Susan1

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My kids did; it was an elective slot.

My high school didn't have study hall. Neither of my kids ever had study hall. And most of the high-school students I see in dual-credit courses are ridiculously over-extended--but they are dual-credit students and that kind of comes with the territory.
I ETA'd my post - I thought about it and decided band and choir are part of the fine arts electives.

I got stuck having study hall in 12th grade because I had enough credits, but I had to have 4 years of English and Social Studies classes. I remember so clearly, Sharon Marshall and I sat at a table first period for two days, watching boys play paper triangle football. First period was really too late to be doing homework from the night before, so then what? I went in the library to get a book and asked if they needed any help. They did. Sharon took an elective art class for the rest of the year.

I can see why kids wouldn't have time for study hall anymore, packing all those classes in. Although I had 22 credits way back when, including Home Ecs, choir, Decoupage, and business stuff and still got stuck with a free hour. Seems like we only needed 18 or 19. And look at this. What in the World????? Does anyone else's schools have this?


Plus kids that have to have part-time jobs. No wonder they get a day or a week off every month and start school August 15. We used to go back the Wednesday after Labor Day.
 
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MacMadame

Doing all the things
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If they could find someone for the English position that would coach, they would hire that person.
I would teach English and coach a triathlon team! (I could even coach Track and Field to some extent, at least the Track part.)

My high school didn't have study hall. Neither of my kids ever had study hall.
We didn't either but it was a private school and there were gaps in the schedule just like at college. So every day had time to study during the day, if you wanted to.
 

Theatregirl1122

Needs a nap
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27,219
We have 8 periods a year for 4 years, 32 class slots (for full year classes, more half year).

The teachers at my school have been asking for study halls for YEARS. Our admin insists that this would be terrible and that somehow if there were study halls they’d have to fire 30 teachers. Everyone has explained that makes no sense but 🤷‍♀️
 

once_upon

Believer in woman's right to own healthcare decisi
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I know we had study hall. The band kids spent the time in the band room. Some of us used the time to get assistance with a particular section of music we found difficult. Some of us practiced our music for state competition. Some did homework and some went across the street to get snacks.

The jocks played paper football and harassed the nerds.

Nerds did homework
 

barbk

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One reason schools are underfunded us that tax dollars collected for schools come from the neighborhood in which the school is located. Think about that. Schools promote inequity by not equally sharing the tax resources collected and distributed the same to all schools.
Colorado has state equalization of many public school costs, with added amounts for rural schools with exceptional transportation costs and extra support for districts (particularly smaller ones) with unusual special education & English language learner costs. (A tiny rural district with two hundred students can have their budget cratered with one high-needs student who requires a specialized therapeutic boarding school.) We also have a statewide fund that works to fund capital needs at the schools that are in most dire need of repair, replacement, or expansion. There is a local contribution requirement (15-20%? I don't quite remember, but somewhere around there) and there have been issues where the local school district is unwilling to contribute even to that extent, even when their school has holes in the roofs and a rat infestation.

I live in an affluent, liberal district that routinely supports bond issues and that would fund public schools at higher levels than the state allows rather easily. A couple of other affluent suburban school districts are much more conservative and their voters turn down bond issues and vote in school board members who favor cutting back public education. Under equalization, we are not allowed to spend much more on education even though our populace would support it.

The situation in rural districts is much, much tougher. Declining populations leave school enrollments shrinking, long travel times make it difficult to share schools with neighboring districts, and they have a terrible time recruiting teachers. (Or physicians, or dentists, or....). Some statewide efforts to support remote access to advanced classes helps, but as we've all seen through COVID, online/remote class access isn't a great solution for a lot of kids. There are funds for internet connectivity for schools and households, and we've done pretty well getting schools well-connected. Homes are a different story, and it is geography (distance and mountains) that makes this really challenging. While I don't like how Starling satellites muck up the night sky, they may ultimately prove really helpful for internet access in currently way underserved areas. Drought/climate change and the move from coal also significantly affects the ability/willingness of rural areas to vote for school funding either on a local or statewide level.

I used to work on legislation related to preK-12 education funding in Colorado. Even in the brainstorming sessions where we started with blank budgets and tried to come up with a genuinely equitable funding arrangement, we could not. It is much like the national debate on funding health care--frustrating, and our values vary so much. What do you do with an affluent school district that financially could support a bond issue for school construction but whose voters won't support it? Should less affluent areas pay for those schools? How much should an area where voters value public education be constrained because voters in other areas would like to see public education ended or constrained? What does equity mean in the context of a tiny, remote school district? Even in my district, we have two mountain-area two-room, two-teacher elementary schools. Do you send music and art teachers an hour up the mountain several times/week because that's the standard for in-town schools? These two schools each have populations of 12-22 kids/year. How about special ed? In the context of our district, these aren't tough financial problems...but they would be in a rural district.

It is a challenge.
 

PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
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27,820
This year, students who want a study hall must apply to get one, stating the reason they need it. So multiple activity students in advanced classes, for example, would be allowed to have study hall. Ayden, who is taking English II for the second time and who just wants to sleep and occasionally go vape in the bathroom, will not be permitted to take a study hall. Not that he would apply; write a paragraph? Not Ayden.

Last year, the study halls were a disaster (I didn't have one, but I had my sixth hour class, so I can imagine), and teachers were threatening to quit if they were assigned one this year. So this is the compromise.
 

Dobre

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13,863
Florida:

Staff allegedly took down an Escambia County teacher's posters of Black heroes. He quit​


"An Escambia County public school teacher resigned this week over what he characterized as racist behavior by a school district employee.

The teacher, Michael James, emailed a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis and Escambia County Superintendent Tim Smith in which he wrote that a district employee removed pictures of historic Black American heroes from his classroom walls, citing the images as being 'age inappropriate.'

Images that were removed from the bulletin board at O.J. Semmes Elementary School included depictions of Martin Luther King Jr., Harriett Tubman, Colin Powell and George Washington Carver, James said."
 

Prancer

Aun Aprendo
Staff member
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52,970
There’s no teacher shortage.

Sure, schools across the country are grappling with a vacancy rate so high that they’re cutting the school week down to four days, loosening certification standards and even hiring veterans who have never taught.

But it’s not a shortage of teachers that’s causing this nationwide crisis.

The teachers are out there. They’ve just had enough of the real shortage that is decaying their profession: respect, value, common sense and safety.

The crisis isn’t the lack of teachers. It’s the nationwide disrespect for those in the profession.


Of course, non-teacher Georgia moms have a completely different take. It's a "woke" problem. Why not interview, say, actual teachers, Fox News????

I do wonder what will happen now, as parents have to deal with the very real problems that their kids are going to have in this environment. I don't see them backing down; I see them blaming teachers for quitting.
 

Dobre

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13,863
I do wonder what will happen now
Apparently, Oregon is doing this:

School districts plan to use Oregon grant money on retention bonuses, training for teachers​


In my particular region, student numbers have been down in several schools. (And not in some others). My hypothesis on the former would be that it's because regular immigration is still blocked in the courts & since that's where a lot of the food plants in this region usually get their workers, the number of new families in the region is down. However, I'm not sure that's the cause, though, because agriculture workers were supposed to be exempt from most travel restrictions during covid. Maybe that was more toward migrant labor rather than legal immigration? Or maybe those would-be workers are finding better jobs right now and able to skip over typical entry-level ones. Or maybe the folks that are missing are in other jobs. (Another county with food plants had plenty of students this year). Regardless student numbers are down in a bunch of schools.

Class sizes have been quite nice in those buildings.

I know there's been lots of teacher turnover, but I don't know if the districts in my region have had trouble hiring this summer. (Most didn't seem to last year).

We've spent so many years with overcrowded classrooms, I'm sure the default response will be to go back to that here if teacher shortages become a big problem. And distance learning at the high school level is another. Kids take college classes that way so I'd guess they could take high school math via distance learning if a teacher couldn't be found. Seems like sped & high school math are usually the toughest jobs to keep full. It would, as during the pandemic, work better for high students than for struggling ones; but it would still probably be the option if required high-school positions can't be filled.

----

Regarding the guns-for-teachers issue, this is not happening here; but it was actually seriously discussed in one of the small rural districts a few years ago. I know at least one teacher left, appalled at the idea. It pretty clearly bothered other members of the staff also. And the principal is now on her way out. Overall, my impression is that the discussion of arming teachers was quite toxic to a healthy staff environment. We're talking a staff that has overall been anti-mask & anti-restrictions. Not a liberal group by any means. But the idea of guns in school created a definite fissure. I hope other regional schools won't fall down this rabbit hole.
 

Dobre

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skatingguy

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11,989
Teachers can deduct $300 off their taxes for educational expenses this year:).

Bad headline.

Teachers will still be forced to pay out of pocket to pay for supplies for their classrooms that should be paid for by school boards, but every April we'll let them claim those expenses so they don't pay income taxes on that amount so they get a small portion of the money back.
 

Vagabond

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22,303
I'm seeing a number of online posts about schools "falling" to 4 days a week in various rural areas in various states. I've got to tell politicians that treating this as a bad thing is not a winning strategy. While parents definitely want their kids to have in-person school, and that was true during covid here in my rural region, parents also LOVE 4-day school weeks. They like having 3-day weekends to travel with their families. It's very popular here. It also helps small schools recruit teachers, as teachers LOVE 4-day school weeks and the large school districts don't do them so it gives small schools a competitive advantage. I know at least four districts that switched to 4-day school weeks over a decade ago, and no one wants to switch back. A lot of rural high schools, in particular, didn't really have school on Friday afternoons before because most of the school & staff attended sporting events. I do think it's more of an academic loss at the elementary level, but the teachers stay healthier; and the 4-day week is not going anywhere because it's popular with everyone. Anyway, running for office by advocating for more money for rural schools--very popular. (Having both a music & a P.E. teacher at the same time, for example). Advocating for 5-day school weeks in rural school districts. Losing issue, IMO.
Discusss. :saint:
 

PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
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The only school in this area that did not experience massive teacher turnover was the one with the four day week. In fact, they lost no one.

Interestingly, the school went to the four day week temporarily while getting their budget under control. But the staff, students, and parents love it, so now it's permanent. They have a slightly longer day and have Mondays off.

When it first started, my district experienced an increase in option-enrolled students from that school, but that has slowly trickled away and now I don't think we have any.
 

Susan1

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11,887
I moved this to reply in the correct place -

I seriously felt that way many pre-dawn “mornings” when I waited for that school bus. And no, waking up at 5am-ish for 7-ish years did not condition me to be an early riser.
I have never been a morning person. It's just what I grew up doing. Waiting for the bus with everybody else. We were tired and cold and it was dark all winter. The guy at the bottom of the street used to put his garage door up so we could wait out of the rain or snow.

When I went to community college, you had to be there before 8:00 to get a parking place somewhere close to the college. They ended up having an auxiliary parking lot at UD Arena with nonstop shuttle busses. That was kind of fun. It cut several blocks off my driving. 8 years later, when I went up there for my CPS tests, they had a parking garage, with a covered walkway over the street connecting it. Would have been nice for the two years I went there.

Work-wise, it was good to get up at 6:00, get ready and go to work to get it over with and come home. When I had temp jobs later that I didn't have to be at till 8:30, I just didn't know what to do with myself for an extra half hour in the morning. I was conditioned to wake up. I would have liked working from home if it was snowing or raining or really cold, but every day, no. You can't take time off to talk to coworkers over the cubicle wall or in another part of the building or get away for lunch or look forward to going home.

I liked getting there at 7:30 and getting stuff done without interruptions of other people. And leaving at 4:30. If I was there after 5:00, my brain would stop working. Unless it was departments where I loved the people and the work and they stayed even later.

I had to get up at 5 a.m. to go to skating things at our rink and be there till 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday Exhausting.
 

once_upon

Believer in woman's right to own healthcare decisi
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The only school in this area that did not experience massive teacher turnover was the one with the four day week. In fact, they lost no one.

Interestingly, the school went to the four day week temporarily while getting their budget under control. But the staff, students, and parents love it, so now it's permanent. They have a slightly longer day and have Mondays off.

When it first started, my district experienced an increase in option-enrolled students from that school, but that has slowly trickled away and now I don't think we have any.
My grandson's school - across the river has a 4 1/2 day school week. The students, teachers and parents love it according to what I hear. He is in STEM classes and tells me couple of his classes are at the 10th grade level (he's in 7th grade).
 

Susan1

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11,887
Funny/not funny - talking about Sinclair, it was $18/credit hour then. It's $131/credit hour now. I know, still cheaper to do the first 2 years of a 4 year degree there, but wow.
 

Susan1

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11,887
Looking at Sinclair's website, I noticed that AA degrees are only 60-65 credit hours now. When I went, I had to have 96. I guess that would cut down on the expense of unnecessary classes. When I was looking into Capital University (adult school) for a BA, transferring what I had from Sinclair, one of the first year requirements was History of Western Civilization. Really? I guess they want college kids to have a well rounded education. But how is that supposed to help a person in their 30s and 40s with a business degree. I had management (2), business law (2), economics and psychology in the secretarial program. Anyway, they need to teach real world subjects, unless you are going to be a history professor, to get your money's worth.
 

IvoryIris

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Looking at Sinclair's website, I noticed that AA degrees are only 60-65 credit hours now. When I went, I had to have 96. I guess that would cut down on the expense of unnecessary classes. When I was looking into Capital University (adult school) for a BA, transferring what I had from Sinclair, one of the first year requirements was History of Western Civilization. Really? I guess they want college kids to have a well rounded education. But how is that supposed to help a person in their 30s and 40s with a business degree. I had management (2), business law (2), economics and psychology in the secretarial program. Anyway, they need to teach real world subjects, unless you are going to be a history professor, to get your money's worth.
Capital University is a private liberal arts university. Any professional studies program on either the graduate or undergraduate level is going to require a liberal arts underpinning. It is just the way it is if you choose to get a degree there.

They are pricey, but currently credits transfer pretty seamlessly from Columbus State. My daughter was actually encouraged to take her Gen Eds during the summers there and transfer them back to Cap. YMMV
 

once_upon

Believer in woman's right to own healthcare decisi
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College costs are a huge income flow for lenders.

Can't pay up front, here's a loan. That is at tremendous interest rates. That even if you have.to declare bankruptcy for any reason, say medical bills, you can never get out from under. People who are in their 40's, 50's are still paying for the original loans have paid 90% of the loan in interest and still owe almost the entire loan (for example took out a loan of $50,000, paid $45,000 and still owe $46,000).

Lenders aren't going to give up that income source.
 

Susan1

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11,887
Capital University is a private liberal arts university. Any professional studies program on either the graduate or undergraduate level is going to require a liberal arts underpinning. It is just the way it is if you choose to get a degree there.

They are pricey, but currently credits transfer pretty seamlessly from Columbus State. My daughter was actually encouraged to take her Gen Eds during the summers there and transfer them back to Cap. YMMV
This was back in the 90's. I was working and skating and would have had to give up Saturdays for the rest of my life to take something that would not have advanced my career. I didn't want to be a boss or manager or whatever. But if I would have been able to take actual business or HR courses right away, I would have. And NCR would have paid for any degree related to work. We had financial analysts with degrees who did spreadsheets all day. When our department died in one of the many reorgs, one of my managers wanted to take me along to her new department to be a financial analyst too. It was only about $4,000/year more than I was making doing what I loved. I said no thanks. Boring. I would have ended up doing all of their secretary's work too. ha ha

Nowadays it's much easier cause people can earn business degrees from schools in other states online.
 

IvoryIris

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This was back in the 90's. I was working and skating and would have had to give up Saturdays for the rest of my life to take something that would not have advanced my career. I didn't want to be a boss or manager or whatever. But if I would have been able to take actual business or HR courses right away, I would have. And NCR would have paid for any degree related to work. We had financial analysts with degrees who did spreadsheets all day. When our department died in one of the many reorgs, one of my managers wanted to take me along to her new department to be a financial analyst too. It was only about $4,000/year more than I was making doing what I loved. I said no thanks. Boring. I would have ended up doing all of their secretary's work too. ha ha

Nowadays it's much easier cause people can earn business degrees from schools in other states online.

I went to Capital in the 90’s. I wouldn’t have necessarily chosen them for a business degree either, but know others that did and have been very successful.

My only point was that Capital is a liberal arts university. It requires liberal arts credits. If that doesn’t work for you, that is not the university’s deficiency. There were other options in the area at the time that did not have those requirements if you wanted to get your business degree. If you didn’t want to get the degree, that is fine as well. 😎
 

Susan1

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11,887
I went to Capital in the 90’s. I wouldn’t have necessarily chosen them for a business degree either, but know others that did and have been very successful.

My only point was that Capital is a liberal arts university. It requires liberal arts credits. If that doesn’t work for you, that is not the university’s deficiency. There were other options in the area at the time that did not have those requirements if you wanted to get your business degree. If you didn’t want to get the degree, that is fine as well. 😎
That's where people were going. Maybe they had a corporate discount or something. There was a building in downtown Dayton somewhere. I didn't even have a computer at home till 1999. I didn't want a business degree. My boss wanted me to look into it because she thought I could do so much more than being a secretary. Apparently not. ha ha Actually, I was a Business Support Specialist IIII. The next thing up would have been Executive Secretary to VPs and up. The job description actually said 60+ hour weeks. No way. I loved what I was doing already. I took over projects that Senior Business Analysts would have given their direct reports to do. Me, without a degree. And I was already making gobs of money.

Funny, in a department meeting we got on the subject of "just a secretary". My boss said the Secretary or State is a secretary. Yeah, that helps. Another guy said I was Secretary OF Everything. That was true. The next day my boss was on the phone with someone somewhere in the company that did not know me and he got up and stood in his cubicle doorway facing my desk and told them "send it to my assistant". They loved me. Now I'm sad.
 
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Prancer

Aun Aprendo
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College costs are starting to keep me up at night. Something needs to change …. 😕
It is crazy. I am glad that I am done with all that and that the decisions we made have (so far) worked out.

You might find this piece interesting: https://slate.com/business/2022/07/college-financial-aid-sham.html

Looking at Sinclair's website, I noticed that AA degrees are only 60-65 credit hours now. When I went, I had to have 96. I guess that would cut down on the expense of unnecessary classes. When I was looking into Capital University (adult school) for a BA, transferring what I had from Sinclair, one of the first year requirements was History of Western Civilization.

They are pricey, but currently credits transfer pretty seamlessly from Columbus State.
Roughly twelve years ago or so (I am a little hazy on the exact time frame), higher ed in Ohio went through Alignment, a process in which all state-run colleges were required to make classes entirely transferable between institutions. This meant that all colleges had to run on the same calendar (semesters) and that all classes at all state institutions had to meet the same state minimum academic requirements. Private colleges, of course, did not have to follow the same rules, but many did so voluntarily, and so transfers between colleges became (almost) seamless. Some private colleges actively recruit CC graduates and they tend to bend over backward to make transfers as easy as possible--some offer pretty great tuition packages, too.

Not too long after Alignment, the state mandated that state colleges reduce graduation requirements as part of a program designed to improve graduation rates. I think that was a Kasich program, while Alignment was a Strickland program. I have some real issues to this day with the credit hour reduction, but lalalalalala. For example, I think all students need Western Civ, regardless of major. It's college, not trade school. But again, lalalalalala.
 

millyskate

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15,987
Every system has compromises and people always think they have the best deal.
For instance in France, uni is virtually free. Living expenses grants are given to students based on family income.

The standard is generally high. But it's nearly all down through mass lectures with no or little small group / mentoring contact and no practical component. Assessment is nearly all through on table exams at the end of the semester.

It suits someone like me down to the ground. Anyone can afford an education. But failure rates are incredibly high. The exam system means that students need both ability in high doses and depending on the courses, hard work. The students who compensate for lack of natural ability with hard work in the UK or US just fail in France. There's no help, if you are not capable of coping with a 4 hour essay question requiring you to have memorised the entire year's programme alone, with no laptop or book, if you get stressed going into a viva where the examiner could ask you any point of detail from any of the dozens of hours of lectures that year or a single line of an 800 page textbook... Tough, French education is not for you.

I'm partial to this system because it suited me and because I find recruiting grads with British degrees these days means nothing. They have been helped and spoonfed so much they are no more advanced or autonomous than recruits without degrees.

But so many people find it harsh or traumatic. So it's all swings and roundabouts....
 
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