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Reply to "The Effect of Public Schools on Our Kids"

Originally posted by Rowe:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by NJRoadie:
If the "poor districts" are getting $8,000 a kid MORE than my district, WHY can't they afford to buy books, attract teachers with higher salaries, fix the schools etc.?

I don't know NJ. I don't know what is going on in your district. But again your district does not represent the norm, and it reads as if you are attempting to make a connection between what is taking place in your district to what is taking place all over the nation, when it is not. "

I think I've stated plenty of times that what happens in NJ is my ONLY point of reference. Specific to this situation -
NJ is a densely populated state with lots of urban areas. I think it is fair to look at what is happening - In NJ when money IS in fact being poured into the school systems in the poor districts and ask WHY, WHY, WHY isn't that money producing some good schools, with superior supplies and teachers who stick around? And I think it is fair to say, if it isn't happening in NJ when money has been poured into those districts for years, it isn't likely to work in other places. At least not until we figure out WHY the enormous sums of money aren't getting us what other districts are able to buy for much less. And I'm talking strictly about buildings, books and teachers.

"It is my understanding that most of the money that is given to public schools comes from property taxes."

And as I explained, in NJ this is how it works too, except for the 31 so-called "Abbott" districts, which due to a court ruling are given additional state aid - enough to equal them getting as much funding as the richest district in NJ.

I wonder if the reason the money (in my opinion must) be getting swiped by someone is because as Sunnibian said, there isn't as much neighborhood oversight. I know the attitude in our area (which gets some state aid, and is racially diverse) is that this money is somehow 'free money' - as if it was coming from some magical money tree and not from taxpayers (i.e. OUR!) pockets. I've heard more than once on a new school referendum "Let's add this fancy football field, since we are getting state aid at 40% ..."

"Teachers come and go every two years, schools are understaffed, kids are way out of control (because the school lacks consistency and structure), no one is learning because teachers have to spend 90% of instruction time discplining students,"

This is a huge problem, but what I am saying is that I have not seen here in NJ, that throwing more money at it fixes this problem. We've tried that here and we still have these problems!!!

I think it comes back to the community - we need to place emphasis on learning as a critical part of success in life. Too often I see kids who think they are going to be the next sports star etc.

Another thing that I think would help a lot is home ownership programs. We rehab houses in Trenton, NJ. We take a house that was burned out, boarded up and filled with trash and clean it out, gut it, rebuild the inside, fix up the outside (new windows etc) and really make it look terrific. Then we put in a new sidewalk to replace the broken up trip hazard out front, and what do people do when we leave? Write all kinds of junk in the wet cement. What is up with that?? But I digress...

"Finally, why wouldn't administrators and well-connected contractors in predominately White school districts be just as interested in lining their pockets as those in racially-diverse districts?"

Oh they ARE! And often they do, or do for a while and get caught. This is NJ we are talking about - where the biggest medical college is under federal investigation for embezzelling millions of dollars of medicare/medicaid money by double billing for at least ten years. It happens all over the place and whereever it happens makes me angry. Yet this makes me more angry because it hurts the kids directly, and seems so obvious that I don't know how it isn't caught.

"To make such a suggestion would imply that administrators and contractors responsible for White school districts are more morally grounded than those responsible for Black school districts."

I'm making no such suggestion. Being a crook seems to cross all races.