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Subject: Prager U: Why Good Teachers Want School Choice rss

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Kelsey Rinella
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Original piece. Here's the transcript:

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Jan 23, 2017 Presented by REBECCA FRIEDRICHS
Can every child receive a good education? With school choice and competition, yes. The problem? Powerful teachers unions oppose school choice. Rebecca Friedrichs, a public school teacher who took her case against the teachers union all the way to the Supreme Court, explains why school choice is the right choice.

Take the pledge for school choice! www.schoolchoicenow.com

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What if schools had to compete for students in the same way that businesses have to compete for customers? Would schools get better or worse?

There’s no need to guess.

In almost every state and city where there is competition today, educational outcomes improve – often dramatically. This competition is called school choice, and many states and cities now embrace it.

With the old model, under which most American children still live, the government – not the parent – decides which school children will attend.

Now, here’s how school choice works:

The money follows the student. Every child receives funding that their parents can direct to the school of their choice – public, private, charter or even homeschool.

According to researchers at the University of Arkansas – in the most comprehensive study done to date -- students in school choice programs saw their reading and math scores improve by 27 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

Sounds like something we should get behind, doesn’t it? But for millions of families in my home state of California and in many others, school choice is not a choice.

And there’s one reason why: teachers’ unions.

I’ve been a teacher for 28 years, and served as a leader in a local affiliate of the California Teachers Association -- so I’ve seen this problem from the inside. Teachers in California public schools are coerced to pay dues to the teachers’ unions. True, we cannot be forced to join, but we are forced to pay the union. Their fees are mandatory - and expensive. In California alone, the unions raise over 300 million dollars every year. What do the unions do with all that money? They lobby the government for more money - more money for public education. That might sound good, but it’s really just a smoke screen.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that since 1970, public school attendance in the U.S. has gone up by just five percent, while public school employment has gone up 95 percent!

More public school employment means more dues for the unions. But does it mean better schools? Certainly not in California, which ranks 45th in the nation in reading and math despite spending over 55 billion dollars a year on education. That’s over 52% of the state’s total budget. Yet rarely is anyone held accountable for these dismal results. I’ve personally seen excellent, new teachers lose their jobs while incompetent, and even abusive, veteran teachers keep theirs because of the unions’ infamous “last in, first out” layoff and tenure rules.

For these reasons and more, parents almost always prefer school choice when allowed to choose. This is obviously true for wealthy parents who can afford to send their children to any school they want, but it’s equally true for middle class and poor parents when they have a choice. And here’s the real giveaway: public school teachers are less likely to send their children to public schools when given the choice.

Why are most school choice options better? Because teachers at these schools are free from the unions’ stifling work rules. In short, they’re free to teach. And the administrators at these schools are also free to reward good teachers and fire bad ones. The teachers’ unions don’t like school choice because it means less money and less power for them. That’s why they’ll say anything, do anything, and spend any amount to stop it – whether in the halls of the legislature, on the campaign trail backing pro-union candidates, or on TV with sweet-sounding commercials.

During my public school teaching career, I have worked alongside many other teachers to reform the unions from within. Only when we realized that this wasn’t possible did we take our case to a higher power – literally: All the way to the United States Supreme Court. The argument behind our lawsuit, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, was simple: Teachers should be able to decide for themselves - without fear or coercion - whether or not to fund or join a union. Unfortunately, in a split 4-4 decision, we lost.

But I haven’t lost hope, because the unions and the politicians do not ultimately have the power. We do. If you believe, like me and millions of others, that parents - not the government - should decide where their children go to school, and that competition will make all schools better, then join the school choice movement.

We can have good schools for all our children. We just have to make the choice – for choice.

I’m Rebecca Friedrichs, mother and California public school teacher, for Prager University.


There's some obviously BS framing going on there, and looking at a single study in a large literature is pretty terrible, but, basically, that's not a bad way to start the conversation.
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Jon Badolato
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While the attendance may have increased by only 5 percent, what has caused a significant increase in costs to school systems is the special education budgets. In 1970 when the author starts her timeline special education services did'nt exist and were not mandated by law. Most special needs students weren't effectively educated. Most of us old enough to have been schooled in the 70's could probably relate to the story of the kid who was deemed a problem child, when in all reality they may have been acting out their frustrations as a result of their dyslexia which was not identified or outright ignored. Special education costs have been a major driving factor in the increase in school budgets, which she never really mentions.

I also have a distinct problem with tax revenues allowing people to choose a private sectarian school whose curriculum may be preferred by parents due to religious viewpoints, but that in fact are very poor. In short, I don't think it's in any way advantageous for society to use public funds to have children be taught that Jesus rode a dinosaur or that evolution is satan's seed. And yet, this would invariably happen.
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Quote:
The problem? Powerful teachers unions oppose school choice.
No, the union does not oppose school choice. They oppose vouchers which would allow public dollars to flow to privately run schools. In Minneapolis there are Montessori, International Baccalaureate, Native American language, Hmong language, Open, and other alternative schools all available to choose from. In this city, charter schools only compete as well as public schools when they can cherry pick their students, i.e. no special needs students accepted, no non-english speaking students accepted, etc.

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The National Center for Education Statistics reports that since 1970, public school attendance in the U.S. has gone up by just five percent, while public school employment has gone up 95 percent!
I question the veracity of this stat. If this is indeed true, how is that class size per teacher has grown since the 70's?

This speech could have been given by Betsy Devoss, so it may well come true. It will do nothing but gut public schools.
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Josh
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Vrooman wrote:
Quote:
The problem? Powerful teachers unions oppose school choice.
No, the union does not oppose school choice. They oppose vouchers which would allow public dollars to flow to privately run schools. In Minneapolis there are Montessori, International Baccalaureate, Native American language, Hmong language, Open, and other alternative schools all available to choose from. In this city, charter schools only compete as well as public schools when they can cherry pick their students, i.e. no special needs students accepted, no non-english speaking students accepted, etc.

Quote:
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that since 1970, public school attendance in the U.S. has gone up by just five percent, while public school employment has gone up 95 percent!
I question the veracity of this stat. If this is indeed true, how is that class size per teacher has grown since the 70's?

This speech could have been given by Betsy Devoss, so it may well come true. It will do nothing but gut public schools.


I am willing to bet the special needs students made up a large chunk of the staffing increae. Often gimes they need to be taught on an almost 1 to 1 basis.

Right now I'm on the default 'Anything PraegerU puts out is wrong on the face of it' setting because so much of what I have seen from them is smoke and mirrors BS.
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The thing about school choice is that the devil is in the details. I've seen for example school choice used to offer specialized schools in some locales and in others to effectively reintroduce segregated schools for those who want them. Obviously those are just two possibilities out of many. For any school choice, the issue becomes the nature and needs of the community and the nature and requirements of the school options.
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Kelsey Rinella
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I agree with the thrust of most of these comments. Special ed is huge, and some implementations have been much more successful than others.

But, though I'm very wary of school choice and think most of the arguments for it rest on confounding variables, I'd much rather have this author as Secretary of Education than Betsy DeVos.
 
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Special Ed is a hot potato and everybody involved wrangles the numbers to make their point and deny any opposing points. The NEA claims that it costs $16K versus $8K for general population students. Which is astonishing since New York drops $20K per head and California about $11K for every regular student.

See why it's hard to justify any side of this by comparing raw dollars. So it all has to be per district in order to get a grasp. My son has a learning disability and in a school with 800 students there are two Extended Resource rooms with about 30 students total, 2 teachers and 4 aides. 30 out of 800. Seems unlikely that at least in this district special ed is draining the dollars. But what about other schools?

Boise has a large number of African immigrants who all must be taught English and other basic skills American kids get from K-6 and onward. These students suck way more dollars out of the system than 30 kids in a school of 800 total. I intentionally send my son to a public school that has almost none of the immigrants because the nearest school that does has just finally abandoned trying to provide services to indigenous kids with learning difficulties alongside immigrant kids who are so far out of their element that extra staff and dollars far exceeding the Extended Resources dollars are needed just to provide the basic remedial needs of those kids.

In addition, the culture shock has had some unsettling behavioral side effects and one or two schools are not as safe as they used to be, specifically for female students. While this isn't the total problem I think if you examine a state like California which makes no attempt to practice sound fiscal policy WRT immigrants and non-English speaking students, that's the real drain on public education.
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DWTripp wrote:
Special Ed is a hot potato and everybody involved wrangles the numbers to make their point and deny any opposing points. The NEA claims that it costs $16K versus $8K for general population students. Which is astonishing since New York drops $20K per head and California about $11K for every regular student.

See why it's hard to justify any side of this by comparing raw dollars. So it all has to be per district in order to get a grasp. My son has a learning disability and in a school with 800 students there are two Extended Resource rooms with about 30 students total, 2 teachers and 4 aides. 30 out of 800. Seems unlikely that at least in this district special ed is draining the dollars. But what about other schools?

Boise has a large number of African immigrants who all must be taught English and other basic skills American kids get from K-6 and onward. These students suck way more dollars out of the system than 30 kids in a school of 800 total. I intentionally send my son to a public school that has almost none of the immigrants because the nearest school that does has just finally abandoned trying to provide services to indigenous kids with learning difficulties alongside immigrant kids who are so far out of their element that extra staff and dollars far exceeding the Extended Resources dollars are needed just to provide the basic remedial needs of those kids.

In addition, the culture shock has had some unsettling behavioral side effects and one or two schools are not as safe as they used to be, specifically for female students. While this isn't the total problem I think if you examine a state like California which makes no attempt to practice sound fiscal policy WRT immigrants and non-English speaking students, that's the real drain on public education.


I will ask my friends that are Supes, but do you know of any other direct or indirect costs to the district that are associated with your son's education? Such as educational training for staff, resources/supplies/lesson plans, transportation, etc. In no way am I saying that any of those are required for your son, so I'm just making a guess, and therefore no offense intended.

 
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darthhugo wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
Special Ed is a hot potato and everybody involved wrangles the numbers to make their point and deny any opposing points. The NEA claims that it costs $16K versus $8K for general population students. Which is astonishing since New York drops $20K per head and California about $11K for every regular student.

See why it's hard to justify any side of this by comparing raw dollars. So it all has to be per district in order to get a grasp. My son has a learning disability and in a school with 800 students there are two Extended Resource rooms with about 30 students total, 2 teachers and 4 aides. 30 out of 800. Seems unlikely that at least in this district special ed is draining the dollars. But what about other schools?

Boise has a large number of African immigrants who all must be taught English and other basic skills American kids get from K-6 and onward. These students suck way more dollars out of the system than 30 kids in a school of 800 total. I intentionally send my son to a public school that has almost none of the immigrants because the nearest school that does has just finally abandoned trying to provide services to indigenous kids with learning difficulties alongside immigrant kids who are so far out of their element that extra staff and dollars far exceeding the Extended Resources dollars are needed just to provide the basic remedial needs of those kids.

In addition, the culture shock has had some unsettling behavioral side effects and one or two schools are not as safe as they used to be, specifically for female students. While this isn't the total problem I think if you examine a state like California which makes no attempt to practice sound fiscal policy WRT immigrants and non-English speaking students, that's the real drain on public education.


I will ask my friends that are Supes, but do you know of any other direct or indirect costs to the district that are associated with your son's education? Such as educational training for staff, resources/supplies/lesson plans, transportation, etc. In no way am I saying that any of those are required for your son, so I'm just making a guess, and therefore no offense intended.



Not really. The teachers have masters degrees in their specialty but that's not a cost to the school or a recurring expense. Transportation is the school bus provider that all the schools use, which may be slightly more because the district decided to not have Extended Resource services at the nearest school and that requires them to run 1 extra bus route. There are no kids at Middle School level who still attend regular schools if they are severely disabled that I am aware of. K-6 had a number of them but by puberty the ones who are essentially socially and educationally just in need of some extra help (my son) are not put into any special programs. Those would be state/federal funded I believe via a different funding route, not the school budget.

No doubt any kid with a disability no matter if it's emotional, learning or physical, costs us more money. That's pretty obvious. It's the notion that the costs for those disabled kids are the source of red ink and poor results that I think is a flat out lie.
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Quote:
Why are most school choice options better? Because teachers at these schools are free from the unions’ stifling work rules. In short, they’re free to teach. And the administrators at these schools are also free to reward good teachers and fire bad ones


Here's another thing that sounds good on paper but doesn't work out ok in the real world. The above quote from the author of the piece seems to have much faith in the ability of administrators to discern between good and bad teachers. In the real world it's not so cut and dry. I've seen administrators that were barely competent themselves and should have realistically been in no position to determine whether a teacher was competent or not. In some cases administrators have even less classroom experience than those teachers whom they are evaluating. But their position requires that they evaluate. Don't always assume they do that job well.
And I think it's good that districts have strict protocols on firing teachers ( usually instituted through union help ). Quite frankly, a teacher's job should not be determined simply by whims of the particular principal in the building.



 
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DWTripp wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
Special Ed is a hot potato and everybody involved wrangles the numbers to make their point and deny any opposing points. The NEA claims that it costs $16K versus $8K for general population students. Which is astonishing since New York drops $20K per head and California about $11K for every regular student.

See why it's hard to justify any side of this by comparing raw dollars. So it all has to be per district in order to get a grasp. My son has a learning disability and in a school with 800 students there are two Extended Resource rooms with about 30 students total, 2 teachers and 4 aides. 30 out of 800. Seems unlikely that at least in this district special ed is draining the dollars. But what about other schools?

Boise has a large number of African immigrants who all must be taught English and other basic skills American kids get from K-6 and onward. These students suck way more dollars out of the system than 30 kids in a school of 800 total. I intentionally send my son to a public school that has almost none of the immigrants because the nearest school that does has just finally abandoned trying to provide services to indigenous kids with learning difficulties alongside immigrant kids who are so far out of their element that extra staff and dollars far exceeding the Extended Resources dollars are needed just to provide the basic remedial needs of those kids.

In addition, the culture shock has had some unsettling behavioral side effects and one or two schools are not as safe as they used to be, specifically for female students. While this isn't the total problem I think if you examine a state like California which makes no attempt to practice sound fiscal policy WRT immigrants and non-English speaking students, that's the real drain on public education.


I will ask my friends that are Supes, but do you know of any other direct or indirect costs to the district that are associated with your son's education? Such as educational training for staff, resources/supplies/lesson plans, transportation, etc. In no way am I saying that any of those are required for your son, so I'm just making a guess, and therefore no offense intended.



Not really. The teachers have masters degrees in their specialty but that's not a cost to the school or a recurring expense. Transportation is the school bus provider that all the schools use, which may be slightly more because the district decided to not have Extended Resource services at the nearest school and that requires them to run 1 extra bus route. There are no kids at Middle School level who still attend regular schools if they are severely disabled that I am aware of. K-6 had a number of them but by puberty the ones who are essentially socially and educationally just in need of some extra help (my son) are not put into any special programs. Those would be state/federal funded I believe via a different funding route, not the school budget.

No doubt any kid with a disability no matter if it's emotional, learning or physical, costs us more money. That's pretty obvious. It's the notion that the costs for those disabled kids are the source of red ink and poor results that I think is a flat out lie.


Perhaps the argument is that they are unfunded mandates, which do result in red ink, if you were to look at those expenses and funds in a vacuum.

I dunno, but now I have something else to bring up to them, thanks to the wellspring of topics that is RSP.
 
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Quote:
Not really. The teachers have masters degrees in their specialty but that's not a cost to the school or a recurring expense.


Technically, a teacher obtaining a master's degree is not a recurring expense, but it is an expense that the school district does track as that usually puts the teacher up into the next salary lane and is something they have to budget for. If an unusually large number of teachers move up to the next salary lane in a given year the district needs to make sure that's budgeted. Our district puts out a notice each year that you have to inform the district in writing if you anticipate getting another degree and moving up to the next salary lane each year. It's not a driving force in the budget of course, but does need to be tracked and recorded.
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darthhugo wrote:

Perhaps the argument is that they are unfunded mandates, which do result in red ink, if you were to look at those expenses and funds in a vacuum.

I dunno, but now I have something else to bring up to them, thanks to the wellspring of topics that is RSP.


Yeah, they aren't unfunded. The schools have kids like mine on IEP's and those are federally funded (state assisted too I believe, I'll ask). The IEP system is subject to abuse though and that is a concern. Not only can schools abuse it to pad their balance sheet but parents often make huge efforts to get their kids on an IEP because that opens the door to free after school care, transportation and other ways for the parent to either not have to bear the costs of the child fully or to just give them free time to get new tattoos with.

I think that's a real problem and it amazed me that people in the system were working pretty hard to get me to use more of it, after school stuff, extra counseling, some sort of partner program where they have a "buddy" who takes them to the mall or skating, etc. To me those tasks aren't tasks at all but are part of what is great about having a kid. Well, my kid anyway. But the dollars are dangling there for parents and providers to just pluck if they want to, or can.
 
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So the thought I have on this is... why has nobody come up with a model that is both effective and profitable which specializes in special ed? It seems like the person who can do this, the main bugaboo in the whole school discussion from what I've seen, would likely be up for some sort of Nobel Prize.
 
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J.D. Hall
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I'm all for school choice. I am not in favor of tax money being used to pay tuition and costs for students at those schools EXCEPT for special needs children. In Oklahoma, we have a program that allows private donations to go into a special scholarship fund for tuition to pay for special needs children's tuition if their parents are unable to pay for them, and also a fairly substantial tax break in the income tax for parents of ANY income level who have to find a private school for their special needs child(ren).

Oklahoma is not a money-rich state, and few school districts -- especially those outside of the state's two metro areas -- can adequately fund effective special needs classes. The real problem, though, is geography. If you're a parent who has a special needs child, and you live in Woodward (northwest OK near the panhandle), the nearest private school might be in Weatherford (an hour or two away), or Oklahoma City, two-plus hours away. There are efforts in the Legislature to allow these parents to seek schools outside of the state (ex. Woodward is closer to Amarillo than Oklahoma City) but even that might not help. If you live in Altus (southwest corner of OK), there really isn't anything resembling a metro area for 100 miles in any direction. It's a knotty problem but thankfully, one area where politicians on both sides of the aisle and the teachers' unions are working together with parents to solve.
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remorseless1 wrote:
I'm all for school choice. I am not in favor of tax money being used to pay tuition and costs for students at those schools EXCEPT for special needs children. In Oklahoma, we have a program that allows private donations to go into a special scholarship fund for tuition to pay for special needs children's tuition if their parents are unable to pay for them, and also a fairly substantial tax break in the income tax for parents of ANY income level who have to find a private school for their special needs child(ren).


This. It's your issue if you insist on teaching your kid that evolution and global warming are lies, but I'd rather it not be on my dime.
 
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DWTripp wrote:
I think that's a real problem and it amazed me that people in the system were working pretty hard to get me to use more of it, after school stuff, extra counseling, some sort of partner program where they have a "buddy" who takes them to the mall or skating, etc. To me those tasks aren't tasks at all but are part of what is great about having a kid. Well, my kid anyway. But the dollars are dangling there for parents and providers to just pluck if they want to, or can.


To be fair, you probably have the time and money to do most of that kind of stuff for your child. But single parents, or those who have to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet, might need those services.

I certainly agree with your point, though, that these kinds of funds need to be audited closely and frequently. Programs designed to help children with special needs and/or free-reduced cost lunches are designed for families and children who really, really need that kind of help. Taking advantage of that to pad the budget is disgusting.
 
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GameCrossing wrote:
So the thought I have on this is... why has nobody come up with a model that is both effective and profitable which specializes in special ed? It seems like the person who can do this, the main bugaboo in the whole school discussion from what I've seen, would likely be up for some sort of Nobel Prize.


That's the problem in a nutshell. Plain and simple, it costs more to educate special needs children. This is why many private schools don't have special education programs. It's typically not within their budget to offer such services. If you privatize education most private schools are simply going to opt out of teaching special needs children because servicing them requires more revenue and quite possibly less profit. Most private schools won't take the risk and will instead choose to service students that tend to cost less to begin with. Which of course leaves a surplus of special needs children whose educational needs might not be met in the private school realm. This is why public schools are still needed. They are mandated to teach those students. The biggest issue there is that costs for those types of services are increasing all around, but the state's cost sharing component with districts is going down. As a result local districts are feeling the pinch in covering the costs of those services with less and less money from the state to help out. It's a mandate that they are having more and more difficulty funding from just local sources of revenue.
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Freezing rain closed school today, I have some time to add to the conversation!

Quote:
Why are most school choice options better? Because teachers at these schools are free from the unions’ stifling work rules. In short, they’re free to teach.


This doesn't line up with my experience in education. Between working in schools and regularly consuming articles concerning education I have never heard a teacher complain about the stifling work rules being laid upon them due to a union. It's universally about lack of administrative support, poor working conditions, and external mandates that do not "free them to teach."

As has already been mentioned in this thread, the grand problem with school choice is that charter schools are normally able to avoid, or can quickly remove, challenged students. Then they can point at higher tests scores than public schools because they've lopped off the bottom third of the bell curve of the learning population.

What compounds the issue, particularly in a rural environment like the one that I work in, is that school choice benefits those families that have the means and flexibility to leave their local school and go to an alternative school that might be far away. Transportation, money, time and work flexibility could be essential in getting to a different school.

If school choice ends up segregating populations of students then maladaptive feedback loops start to kick in. The clustering of poverty, language barriers and disabilities creates very challenging educational environments, meanwhile those that have "fled" those issues fosters a worldview that is deficient with diversity and empathy. There is an abundance of research that students with challenges do better in integrated settings. The top end students take a small hit, but the bottom students get a boost. However, top end students are still benefiting culturally so that when they go off to do their amazing things there is less of a bubble effect for them.

It should be added that using words like "segregating" and "diversity" don't have to be code words for race and ethnicity, it can be decidedly about socio-economics. Vermont is mostly white and its class divide that create larger problems in our state than racial tensions.

The last piece I can think of with this issue is the long term investment. We want a stable and healthy citizenry. When you segregate you end up with an underclass where you have cycles of poverty, drug abuse, and physical and mental health all keep feeding back on each other. That costs society in real money through courts, jails, health care, ineffective schools and so on. Make investments in human capital and it saves taxpayer money in the long run.

Ultimately, public school money really needs to be tied to public school mandates. If you separate them it is unhealthy for the country.

DWTripp wrote:
Yeah, they aren't unfunded. The schools have kids like mine on IEP's and those are federally funded (state assisted too I believe, I'll ask). The IEP system is subject to abuse though and that is a concern. Not only can schools abuse it to pad their balance sheet but parents often make huge efforts to get their kids on an IEP because that opens the door to free after school care, transportation and other ways for the parent to either not have to bear the costs of the child fully or to just give them free time to get new tattoos with.

I think that's a real problem and it amazed me that people in the system were working pretty hard to get me to use more of it, after school stuff, extra counseling, some sort of partner program where they have a "buddy" who takes them to the mall or skating, etc. To me those tasks aren't tasks at all but are part of what is great about having a kid. Well, my kid anyway. But the dollars are dangling there for parents and providers to just pluck if they want to, or can.


Not to discount issues of abuse, but to just expand on the complexity of these services...

So far what I've seen hasn't been anyone trying to work the system, but rather a lot of parents that are rather intractable in signing on to services for their children. The normal reason is they don't want their child "labeled" and there is a general denial that their child has an issue that needs to be addressed in a specialized way. It's been rather painful to see a great kid that has a hard time working in an academic setting having to waste half a year or more to get the services they need. The hole gets dug deeper.

Beyond that, generational poverty is a nasty trap. After school care, transportation, food, showers, laundry, counseling, basic medical checkups, along with respite care for the family from each other have all been essential to getting some stability with a family so that the kid could just nominally function at school. I had a student who lived in a tent, in the middle of winter in Vermont, and the school was the lifeline to anything approaching normal. Studies have shown that growing up in poverty can have a neurological impact on the brain. Those who win the genetic lottery which allows they to shrug off stress can make it through rather unscathed, but for a lot of people that can't cope with the stress it makes them cognitively deficient.

I understand there can be gaping philosophical differences on hand outs and government services, sometimes though it seemed that it is just deeply dysfunctional families that are so lost in fight-or-flight mode that they can't make rational long term decisions.

What's clear is that schools are in many ways the spear point to the social welfare state. Children from all walks of life enter into the system and then over time a lot of data gets collected on a child and basic needs can be identified. What is integral to learning is not only the intellect but also emotional and physical health. When scores fall and the school asks questions then a picture develops about needs, which if they aren't addressed can cascade throughout the child's life and perhaps onto future generations.

I've grown more fond of UBI from seeing everything I've seen over the years with at-risk populations. If you want to make education cheaper then cut poverty off at the knees and just give everyone an indexed amount that is equal to the federal poverty line. Stability would kick in for the population as a whole and the school wouldn't need to be Big Nanny.

Time's up! Must do some school work from home.
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J.D. Hall
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Oklahoma
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DWTripp wrote:
No doubt any kid with a disability no matter if it's emotional, learning or physical, costs us more money. That's pretty obvious. It's the notion that the costs for those disabled kids are the source of red ink and poor results that I think is a flat out lie.

I meant to speak to this yesterday, but first ...

I know we disagree on politics and other matters, and occasionally we snap at each other, but as one father to another, you sound like a helluva dad. And that's way, way important than the other shit we bat around here.

No question that children with special needs cost more to educate. What irritates me is the people who somehow think that's a bad thing. It only makes sense to try to maximize the potential of every child regardless of their circumstances. It's good for the economy, it's good culturally, and it demonstrates that as a nation, we actually have a moral compass.

I agree those costs do not lead to poor overall tests results or "red ink." On the other hand, even if it does have an adverse impact on budgets, so what? These are children, for God's sake. Parents routinely have to wrestle with personal budget issues with any child, much one with special needs. But it's more than worth it.
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Kelsey Rinella
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Rochester
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I am proud to have opposed those who describe all who oppose them as "Tender Flowers" and "Special Snowflakes".
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Neil, that was excellent.
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casey r lowe
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butte
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Quote:
During my public school teaching career, I have worked alongside many other teachers to reform the unions from within. Only when we realized that this wasn’t possible did we take our case to a higher power – literally: All the way to the United States Supreme Court. The argument behind our lawsuit, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, was simple: Teachers should be able to decide for themselves - without fear or coercion - whether or not to fund or join a union. Unfortunately, in a split 4-4 decision, we lost.

looks like having 8 people on the court reduced their chances of winning this case lololol (also an intentionally bad representation of what this case was about)
 
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casey r lowe
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DWTripp wrote:
I intentionally send my son to a public school that has almost none of the immigrants

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casey r lowe
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btw prager u sux
 
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remorseless1 wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
No doubt any kid with a disability no matter if it's emotional, learning or physical, costs us more money. That's pretty obvious. It's the notion that the costs for those disabled kids are the source of red ink and poor results that I think is a flat out lie.

I meant to speak to this yesterday, but first ...

I know we disagree on politics and other matters, and occasionally we snap at each other, but as one father to another, you sound like a helluva dad. And that's way, way important than the other shit we bat around here.

No question that children with special needs cost more to educate. What irritates me is the people who somehow think that's a bad thing. It only makes sense to try to maximize the potential of every child regardless of their circumstances. It's good for the economy, it's good culturally, and it demonstrates that as a nation, we actually have a moral compass.

I agree those costs do not lead to poor overall tests results or "red ink." On the other hand, even if it does have an adverse impact on budgets, so what? These are children, for God's sake. Parents routinely have to wrestle with personal budget issues with any child, much one with special needs. But it's more than worth it.


I'll be having my boy's yearly IEP meeting in a few weeks and I am curious enough about how burdensome having kids with disabilities really is on budgets and as you mentioned, overall test scores. I assumes that kids like mine who have learning difficulties that are in some areas almost crippling don't count against the general population of students. That may be an assumption on my part because my kid has math skills that are maybe 3rd/4th grade level but he's in 8th grade. If the school was required to treat his scores just like his age peers who have scores closer to whatever the norm is supposed to be then I'd call that unfair and worth fighting to change.

I believe they grade differently, he gets a report card that shows his grades based on the materials he is working on, not what some kid in AP math might be studying. Now I want to know for sure how this is done.

As to the overall costs to our society, yes, it's worth the investment because if we don't make the investment we end up in a perpetual care situation that can run into the the hundreds of thousands of dollars for each person. I know probably 100 disabled kids over the recent years and my guess from a distance is that 4 out of 5 of them will be able to work and be at minimum partly self-sufficient as adults. Even if that number is only 50% then the investment has a huge payoff in eliminating future losses by providing total care for people who could have been helped as children and teens.

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