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Fair_Play
10-03-2004, 09:19 AM
Our school districts and taxation:
No Child Left Behind?

Rich areas in our country enjoy the benefits, for the children who live there, of a superb educational budget,
while the poor areas have holes in the wall, old books, and the bottom level of educators.

What happened to equality?

It is agreed that education is the key to the future for our success, why do we have a system in which the only children who are not left behind are those of the priveledged?

Would it be right, and fair, to have a system in which the taxes in all areas were shared equally?

All the best,

Fair Play

Ross
10-03-2004, 10:13 AM
I know that some states require equal tax revenue sharing across all of the districts. When I grew up in Texas, my school district was rural but had all of the money it needed because there were oil wells in the area to boost the tax base. Neighboring school districts weren't so lucky and so they had to raise property taxes to try to get close to the money we had. Finally in the '70's or so someone challenged the inequity in the courts, and the Texas supreme court ruled that the education money had to spread more evenly across the state. The rich districts fought this, the poor ones welcomed it, but it became law in any case. I've read about the same thing happening in NJ in the last 10 years or so(?). I think we have the same thing here in NC.

All of the above is from my suspect memory so don't hold me to it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Fair_Play
10-03-2004, 02:08 PM
Hello Ross,

I was wondering if any states (mine is California) had an equal education tax sharing system. Do you have an opinion of how it works? I know that here is Cali, there is an unbelievable difference between rich and poor. The rich have manicured school landscapes, the latest computers and books, tours, etc. and the buildings look like private universities.

The poor neighborhoods: lousy surroundings, toilets blocked up, books in tatters and not enough to go around - and computers? What a joke, "we ain't got no stinking computers".

Arnold (Schwarzenegger) the Republican Hero, has a nice 'after school program', to better keep track of the future felons in the inner cities.. how about a fair and equal education???? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

All the best,

Fair Play

highsea
10-03-2004, 05:24 PM
Fair_Play,

In Washington State, most of the public education dollars came from the timber industry. Between the spotted owl and the megabuck environmentalist lobby, this money has dried up.

Nowdays communities have to rely heavily on local property tax levies to provide extra money for their schools. There is still a State mandated minimum that comes out of the general fund, but it is inadequate. So in wealthy communities, the voters are more likely to provide extra dollars for their schools, because they want the best education for their kids. In depressed communities, the levies always fail, because the residents are already strapped.

My sister is a music teacher in Oak Harbor, Wa. This is a smallish town, with a Naval Air Station. A large portion of the permanent residents are retirees on fixed incomes, so their kids are grown up and gone. These people will never vote for higher taxes to pay for a school system that is comprised of military brats and other people's kids. The Navy people often don't even vote in the local elections, because they don't really stay in one place that long. The funny thing is that they could probably pass these levies if they voted, and it would be the permanent residents that footed the bill anyway. But they don't bother. As a result, her district is one of the poorest in the State, even though the town is solidly middle class.

NCLB has compounded the problem. The testing materials are expensive, and the district has to pay for this out of their budgets. If they don't meet the standards, their budgets get cut even further. It's considered a "performance incentive".

It's a messed up system. The wealthy districts pass the standards easier, because the schools are better. This means they get a bigger cut of the public dollar, because they can prove they deserve it through the test scores.

The poorer districts have to work twice as hard to meet the standards, because if they fail, they get poorer. Their only option is to cut programs, because they can't be tested on something they don't teach. My sister's music program will probably not last another 2 years, even though she foots the bill for a significant portion herself.

I'm not opposed to NCLB, I think it's a good idea. I just wish it was better funded, and recognized the disparity in the various districts ability to fund their own programs. I do think that if the Gov't is going to mandate a program, they should fund it if the district can't.

Fair_Play
10-03-2004, 06:57 PM
Highsea,

I couldn't agree more!

[ QUOTE ]
I do think that if the Gov't is going to mandate a program, they should fund it if the district can't. <hr /></blockquote>

Not to have equal education creates an underclass. My daughter is working on a Masters Degree in Counseling, and she made a trip to inner city Los Angeles. She was absolutely astounded at how bad the school are there.

Besides the amount of money spent, there is also the 'touchy feely' approach school boards take to education that IMO is causing grave problems.

When the people who run our schools and teachersí colleges prefer the "whole language" and "whole math" approaches to teaching English and mathematics, it doesnít matter how many studies show that these approaches donít work. The education establishment has the power -- and power trumps knowledge.

It has been said that knowledge is power but, politically, power trumps knowledge.

Senator Kerry has said that he was for spending more money on education with "no questions asked." The teachersí unions no doubt loved hearing that, but blank checks are precisely how our schools have produced the most expensive incompetence in the world. <font color="blue"> Here I am just making an observation, I do not know if GW has any better idea! </font color>

Back in the 1960s, when judges began buying into new liberal theories about the "root causes" of crime and about "rehabilitation," it didnít matter that the old approach which they cast aside had led to declining crime rates -- and it didnít matter that the new approach led to skyrocketing crime rates.

IMO we donít need limousine liberals telling teachers how to teach, builders how to build, and everybody else how to live their lives. That power is too dangerous to let it trump knowledge.

In regard to education I see very very little that is fair or practical, and even worse, I do see a system of inequity that is quite dangerous.

Best Regards,

Fair Play

Wally_in_Cincy
10-04-2004, 05:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr>

...I'm not opposed to NCLB, I think it's a good idea. I just wish it was better funded, and recognized the disparity in the various districts ability to fund their own programs. I do think that if the Gov't is going to mandate a program, they should fund it if the district can't. <hr /></blockquote>

The Bush administration has increased federal funding for schools by 50%, and it now reperesents 8% of school funding nationwide, according to John Boehner, c0-author of No Child Left Behind.

Wally_in_Cincy
10-04-2004, 05:42 AM
Increased funding does not guarantee a good education.

Schools in Ohio are funded by, in this order, local property taxes, state money, and federal money.

Cincy City School District spends over $8000/yr. per student and has a 50% dropout rate.

The suburban district where I am sitting right now, Lakota Local School District, spends $5000/yr. per student and 75% go on to college.

If the parents don't value education it doesn't matter how much you spend.

SpiderMan
10-04-2004, 08:37 AM
In Texas it was called the "Robin Hood" plan, and has recently been declared unconstitutional.

SpiderMan

hondo
10-04-2004, 10:42 AM
Right on, FP.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fair_Play:</font><hr> Our school districts and taxation:
No Child Left Behind?

Rich areas in our country enjoy the benefits, for the children who live there, of a superb educational budget,
while the poor areas have holes in the wall, old books, and the bottom level of educators.

What happened to equality?

It is agreed that education is the key to the future for our success, why do we have a system in which the only children who are not left behind are those of the priveledged?

Would it be right, and fair, to have a system in which the taxes in all areas were shared equally?

All the best,

Fair Play <hr /></blockquote>

Ross
10-04-2004, 10:57 AM
You are right there Wally. If the parents don't support the schools, the school has little leverage over the kids. Chaotic communities (drug dealing, poverty, crime, high unemployment, hopelessness) produce poor students no matter what the school does. The most successful educational programs are the ones where the school and the community work together to solve the neighborhood social problems. Believe it or not, some of these programs have been shown to actually work.