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Readers Respond: What can be cut from your district's budget and not impact student learning?

Responses: 24


Obviously, school districts are hurting across the nation. Cuts are being made that affect teachers and students. Some of these cuts include items such as decreasing the number school days, increasing class sizes, and closing older schools. However, as teachers many of us see waste around us that could help alleviate at least some of the budget problems. From your point of view as a teacher, what budget cuts could be made that would lessen the effect on student learning and educational quality.

Costs of improvement

An analysis of West Virginia schools, a state of excess school levies (taxes) shows that the A and B graded schools cost less per improvement percentage point per student than the general average improvement over school systems that have no extra tax money. It seems that this may be created by toxic administration of teachers.
—Guest Eric Pritchard


It is definitely a big difference. The bigger debt gets the worse our financial situation becomes. It is an easy logic: we depend on how good small business operates (I am sure everybody knows that small businesses are the market which provides the most of job vacancies). Small business has been slow lately. It is difficult to obtain loans which possibly give a chance for a better operation. So it is a cycle. Loans for small businesses are to that easy to get as for example, instant cash loans .
—Guest Noname

For Skippy-doodah

You said what everyone says: "I chose teaching - knew the pay". False, what a lie & NO i absolutely didn't. I thought I did? I knew it wasn't the best pay, but it's when you're young with less re - sponsibilities. I also knew after 20 years in this embarrassing profession, that piece of BS meaningless paper (pay scale) said I would be making a modest living at 20 yrs, so I can afford a decent living at an important time. That is flat out wrong, they have no right changing it for the worse. NO other job ever exists where you make less money every year, not more? It's an embarrassing joke to our profession! It's ok the district decides to stop giving us our whopping 3.5% inflation raise 6 yrs ago, stop steps 5 yrs ago. I know, (20 yrs) I'm on step 15 still, made less money every yr the last 5 yrs, I make less today than I did 6 years ago, I only make $5k more than a 1st yr teacher, I know I'm making $40 K less than I should be & after 20 yrs of busting my hump, I can't afford to live

cleaning house!

As an educator for over 30 yrs. in an urban setting, I have seen many programs,new curriculum, and new "gadgets" to teach our children. I have often asked teachers- " Why are we changing the reading again when we just started a new one last year? Why are certain schools getting double supplies while others have very few resources? Why do we have administrators who have administrators who have no personnel they oversee?" Redundancy is a key word in education. A publisher might introduce a new program that will produce "excellent scores in reading". The district purchases thousands of of books,charts,teacher materials and throws out everything else from before. The following year a publisher promises to outdo the previous publisher. New workshops for teachers are given on the "new"program, parents are sent info on the "new " program and our students become confused by the shuffling of curriculum. What we need is to get back to a textbook,workbook,and consistency in curriculum.

Cost cutter

Look schools need to understand that funding for staff is around 80% including benifits. So the only way to maintain is to cut the fat, like remove what isn't education, all sports cost big money, but physical activity needs to stay. Tighten your belt and remember, it's about education not state championships. Now if the colleges wants great players let them spend there earnings on your program, just educate your students as the education budget allows. The money your state and local government pulls in is more than enough, but you don't receive the amount that was collected! You share with the hand out group that has nothing to do with education. Under the table spending!! This will never change and the student growth will continue. You as educators are being squeezed to the minimal amount. Budgets should increase once every two years by 4% in order to maintain flexibility, but cost savings should also be around 1% each year to allow for budget increases. Give a little take more.???
—Guest Keith

too many admin

Our high school has 1200 students. We have one principal and six assistant principals. We have an AD that has never has never been in the classroom but is now reviewing teacher performance. We have 1 football coach and 8 assistants. We have one speech & debate team and were denied a scholar bowl team because of no money for a substitute on meet afternoons. Our district has five academic core coaches - that are retired teachers working 1/2 time - but paid better than the full time teachers. They do NOTHING for our depts. They are selling their own private ACT prep program they developed together, presenting to other districts during the daytime. Ummmm these are the people I would get rid of. Oh yeah - old AD was promoted to Asst. Supt by his friend, the principal, who got the supt job. We have three asst supts now...
—Guest Just a lowly teacher

what are we gunna do

kids future are important if kids want to be teacher when they grow up then there needs to be a decent pay check or what kids will want to be teachers??? it is getting to the point that all people think about is money and with things getting more expensive what people are going to want to be teachers if the paychecks are so low
—Guest jlove

Budgtet Savings

1. Cut the Federal DOE-for most of our history as Americans we did not need this expensive "big brother". 2. Remove Federal involvement in education. Education is a function of state and local governments. The father one gets from the source the more waste. 3. End Endless state testing-in Florida we are overrun! 4. Address only the most basic issues at the state level. Beyond outling the basics, let local school districts decide what classes to offer. This would allow parents more input. 4. Remove state paperwork requirements. You would not believe how much of "teaching" today is really providing data to show what was done. Are parents really unable to hold schools accountable? They seemed able in the past. 5. Demand that parents provide documentation paperwork to receive free lunch. Are you aware that schools are ordered to NOT check. I have seen free lunches go to the children of successful doctors! 6. With these cuts, fewer district level admin will be needed!

What to cut

Secondary education instructors must go. I belong to a department of 17 science teachers and we do everything ourselves. Very self sufficient and have no need for the district coordinator. Need to remove avid and teaching academy classes from campuses. Just review the curriculum and you will see how it can easily be incorporated into a core class.
—Guest KH

Ride on d_nas

d_nas has great ideas! in my county, we have 23 school districts for about 90,000 students with a couple thousand employees. Plus, the county office of education with its 500 employees. We have huge numbers of people in education who do not educate. School districts should merge to lower facilities costs, buy in bulk and reduce administrative costs. The taxpayers need to take a hard look at the total dollars spent on education and cut, cut, cut the administration costs to the bone. Our school system is not a jobs program. Teachers, maintenance, good principals, someone to answer the phones and someone to pay the bills. Everyone else is unnecessary overhead. Too many managers managing 10 people doing the job 1 person could do.
—Guest Woodrow

Too Many Administrators and Programs

In the State of Mississippi there are too many highly paid administrators. There are too many school districts in the state with several administrators for each district. But most importantly is the purchasing of "programs" instead of teacher created and planned instruction.
—Guest Bldavi1

Start Teaching Kids

As a building principal I am very aware of the waste that costs dollars as some tenured teachers abuse sick leave losing valuable instruction and costing the district sub pay. I see considerable savings IF many teachers would stay away from the copy machine and rely less on worksheets and rather turn their classrooms into engaging and appealing centers of active learing. Beginning class on time instead of spending 10 minutes in the hallway talking to the teacher next door. I know teaching is a tough profession but nobody has been forced to enter it - it was a choice - live up or get out - you're costing us $$$ I fully acknowledge that we have some very bad administrators - most of them were bad teachers that we moved into administration - shame on us!!
—Guest Skippy-doodah


Education is the basis for future growth, protection, and develpment of any nation.I do not understand why a school district should take HITS of cuts when we have legislators giving themselves raises, giving PORK money right and left, administrators giving themselves raises, and Americans agreeing to tax cuts when CUTS kill programs. Sorry, let's start at the top of the ladder and let the administrators truthfully look at their salaries and and take a cut off their huge check. OH my gosh, someone said have the kids walk to school??? Has this person not read of the numerous abductions while walking to or from school! A sad day for children to take cuts from technology, basic learning, sports, music, enrichment classes, and positive social interactions. Of course in other countries if you don't make a certain grade you go to work and not school????We are the land of the free and opportunity.
—Guest mellow43

Area Administrators and Block Schedules

Why have area administrators and area assistants? All they do is tattle and mismanage! Block Scheduling is for block heads! Students need to attend class daily and taught to listen and do the work that is requested! If the administrators and parents stopped coddling students, performance would be better! Teachers teach when they are listened to and respected; teachers do not need to befriend everyone!
—Guest Star

Day off/Less Resources

For middle school/high school, three day weekends and a "telecommute" day where classes are taught on-line. This means less commuting and maintenance costs.
—Guest Guest M
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