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View Full Version : School Funding is Broken


admide
August 10th, 2017, 01:46 AM
Schools where I live are paid from property taxes. Having a decent school opens up more valuable career opportunities and increase property value/tax revenue.

This is an issue. My school has 600 students in k-12. If where I lived had average property value and an average household size, it'd be all fine and dandy. Its not though.

I am not meaning to put down other people in saying this, but most of the houses in my area are trashy mobile homes exceeding their capacity. Almost everyone here has children, unlike in wealthier communities, and lots of them.

I find it to be complete injustice that families of 6 living in single-wide mobile homes fund my school with their property taxes, yet the next town over has their schools funded by property taxes of much wealthier people in better homes and a rapidly increasing property value fund a school with a much lower household to student ratio.

If you think I'm being too socialist, you should realize that wealthier communities have a monopoly on decent education and monopolies are bad for free markets as they have substantially more resources than the competition and can stay ahead as long as the economy is stable.

Sorry for my English, it's 2 AM

Flapjack
August 10th, 2017, 02:13 AM
I don't think you said where you live?:) It would help us discuss it!!:)

Stronk Serb
August 10th, 2017, 07:33 AM
I agree with you. School funding here is broken too, but along party lines. Essentially if the school is pro-Ministry of Education, all is dandy, but if the school is pro-teacher union... It's gonna get fuggd.

Bull
August 10th, 2017, 08:36 AM
In the USA there are many funding schemes. At the federal level there is a Education Secretary who is totally unqualified for the position. It is her philosophy that education in US should be privatized. There are many politicians who are in agreement. States are finding ways to give tax money to private and for profit schools who drain top talent from public schools and then call public schools failure factories. State legislatures often fail to adequately fund public education. Local school boards are often locked into tax rates by state law and then handed unfunded mandates. In my state teacher salaries are low, teacher shortage is real and growing, morale is in the toilet, students are being denied the education they deserve. Get the politicians the hell out of our schooling. Our teachers have to pass tests to be certified to teach. Why do we not require candidates for public office to pass tests to be certified as qualified to govern?

Just to add a note about teacher unions: I am told that the largest-in membership- union in USA is the combined American Teacher Federation and National Education Association. However our ruling government is currently very anti-union, so dismiss most labor movement. Their philosophy seems to their way or no way.

Porpoise101
August 10th, 2017, 08:53 AM
Yeah, I am going to have to agree here. I would personally prefer a national education system, or at least a national funding source with different curricula for the states. That way you don't get the disparities in educational quality between rich and poor for the most part. At least the facilities will be more equal and promote more of a meritocracy instead of being condemned by not being born rich. Where I live has the same sort of funding: about 2% is federal grant money, 9% is raised locally (with property-based taxation), and the rest is filled in by the states (which is determined on test scores). Obviously there is a self-perpetuating cycle here for poorer districts: if you don't get the money from local sources, your facilities fall behind, lowering performance and reducing state revenues. The way to avoid such traps is to avoid this flawed funding scheme and centralize it.

It would be very hard to change this in the US. Education is firmly grounded at the state and local levels by the 10th amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
We would need to pass an amendment, which is near impossible.

mattsmith48
August 10th, 2017, 10:51 AM
Here our school are funded by the province. I don't think it would work in the US since one of the two political party, I won't say which one, interest in keeping people dumb both for religious and political reason.

ShineintheDark
August 10th, 2017, 12:55 PM
Well I'm no expert in schools here in the UK but every school here gets minimum funding per stdent from the Local Authotiries so that it can run on a basic level. If the schools need any more funding, they pretty much have to make it themselves. Whether it's bake sales, running charity events, opening up partnership groups with local businesses, I've seen my local schools do them all just to afford enough money to function properly. Class sizes are growing at a steady rate, fewer teqachers are joining the profession and more and more are abandoning it. Basically, the education system here is severely struggling. The fact that richer families who send their kids to private school are leaching funding from comprehensives are just another factor.

admide
August 10th, 2017, 03:46 PM
I live in a rural area about 1 1/2 hours from Dallas.

I overlooked another major issue in funding: corruption.
When I still went to the Middle School, our principal was fired for embezzlement of funds. I asked my friend who's father was on the schoolboard what he took, I learned he stole the majority of the money from fundraisers, money for Science Olympiad, Beta Club, and the entirety of the money dedicated for the school's gifted program. This evens out to be at least $20k for the 50 or so students in these programs. This was only 1/15 years he's been here.

Before this whole scandal, we still had heavily mismanaged funds and an incompetent schoolboard. For instance, when I was in 6th grade, the school had approximately 600 students total. About 60 max were on the baseball/softball teams, but they decided to build a 4th field for practice. No one but the coaches(many of whom have been best friends to schoolboard members since Elementary.) wanted this. Being a low budget school, there are more teachers that are coaches than just teachers.

I personally had nothing against this field until they cut the softball team and wasted $900k for an empty field. they could have used this 900k for scholarships, up to date history books, or paying separate teachers and coaches.

Snowfox
August 10th, 2017, 03:59 PM
It actually doesnt matter much what education you get. You can get what ever degree.
What determines your future is your family backround. For every better job there is full backround chek and if your socioeconomical or political backround doesnt match.... too bad for you.

People inherit their social status as well as economical status. I see little point to educate yourself if you are from lower bracket of society... unless you do it as hobby.

Stronk Serb
August 10th, 2017, 08:02 PM
Here our school are funded by the province. I don't think it would work in the US since one of the two political party, I won't say which one, interest in keeping people dumb both for religious and political reason.

Teacher unions in some states hold godlike powers. Like with all decentralized systems on sucha large scale, this one is falling apart.

Voice_Of_Unreason
August 10th, 2017, 08:58 PM
Here our school are funded by the province. I don't think it would work in the US since one of the two political party, I won't say which one, interest in keeping people dumb both for religious and political reason.
It is interesting then, that the same party is advocating for helping kids afford to attend better schools, while the opposing party wants to essentially force kids to attend failing schools.

Here is the problem. Public schools have a monopoly on the schooling business. They have no reason to be more efficient with their money or school children better, because there isn't a competitor that they have to deal with. That is economics 101, better products and innovation comes from competition, not stagnation. Public schools have no competitions, and teacher unions are making sure they don't have competition, so there is no need to innovate. The Left is always anti-monopoly when it comes to other businesses, claiming that they are worse for the consumer. Why then, are they advocating for a monopoly in which the consumer is children's education?

Teachers Unions are also worse for children. Remember, unions are made to help the members, not the business. Despite what teacher unions like to say, their goal is not to help the children, but to line their own pocket with money that ought to go to the children. It is like that with every union, why would it be any different with teachers? Teacher unions also enforce rules upon the school that hurt children. For instance, salary rules mandating teachers be paid based upon years worked, rather than student success. Or seniority rules mandating that in the case of layoffs, newer teachers much be fired first, even if they have better student success than older ones. Or another seniority rule that mandates that senior teachers get first grabs at promotions or new positions, rather than the most successful teachers. And through union lobbying they have fought against legislation that would value performance over seniority. I could list more, but it should be obvious that they are just for lining the teachers' pockets, nothing altruistic.

And throwing more money at the problem, a typical leftist tactic, is not a solution. 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 teacher, more money, yet we are barely better off than we were in the 70s. And in the case of California, they throw in 55 billion dollars a year upon public schools (over half their state budget, a much greater percentage than most other states) yet rank 45th in reading and writing.

The problem with schools is not that we don't throw enough money at them. We've been throwing heaps of cash at them since the 70's but they aren't getting much better. The problem is government bureaucrats who want to socialize education, and greedy teachers who just want to line their wallet with government money. The only way this will change is if there is major reform in how we deal with education in this country. Perhaps instead of monopolizing, we need to diversify. Perhaps instead of valuing seniority, we need to value skill. Perhaps instead of forcing kids to attend failing schools, we help them attend thriving schools. Money is not the answer, and money is not the problem, it is our system of valuing the school and teacher over the student that is the problem.

admide
August 10th, 2017, 10:14 PM
It is interesting then, that the same party is advocating for helping kids afford to attend better schools, while the opposing party wants to essentially force kids to attend failing schools.

Here is the problem. Public schools have a monopoly on the schooling business. They have no reason to be more efficient with their money or school children better, because there isn't a competitor that they have to deal with. That is economics 101, better products and innovation comes from competition, not stagnation. Public schools have no competitions, and teacher unions are making sure they don't have competition, so there is no need to innovate. The Left is always anti-monopoly when it comes to other businesses, claiming that they are worse for the consumer. Why then, are they advocating for a monopoly in which the consumer is children's education?

Teachers Unions are also worse for children. Remember, unions are made to help the members, not the business. Despite what teacher unions like to say, their goal is not to help the children, but to line their own pocket with money that ought to go to the children. It is like that with every union, why would it be any different with teachers? Teacher unions also enforce rules upon the school that hurt children. For instance, salary rules mandating teachers be paid based upon years worked, rather than student success. Or seniority rules mandating that in the case of layoffs, newer teachers much be fired first, even if they have better student success than older ones. Or another seniority rule that mandates that senior teachers get first grabs at promotions or new positions, rather than the most successful teachers. And through union lobbying they have fought against legislation that would value performance over seniority. I could list more, but it should be obvious that they are just for lining the teachers' pockets, nothing altruistic.

And throwing more money at the problem, a typical leftist tactic, is not a solution. 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 teacher, more money, yet we are barely better off than we were in the 70s. And in the case of California, they throw in 55 billion dollars a year upon public schools (over half their state budget, a much greater percentage than most other states) yet rank 45th in reading and writing.

The problem with schools is not that we don't throw enough money at them. We've been throwing heaps of cash at them since the 70's but they aren't getting much better. The problem is government bureaucrats who want to socialize education, and greedy teachers who just want to line their wallet with government money. The only way this will change is if there is major reform in how we deal with education in this country. Perhaps instead of monopolizing, we need to diversify. Perhaps instead of valuing seniority, we need to value skill. Perhaps instead of forcing kids to attend failing schools, we help them attend thriving schools. Money is not the answer, and money is not the problem, it is our system of valuing the school and teacher over the student that is the problem. I do agree that most of the staff are just in it for the money and not to teach the children. And if they do want to help the children, they get fired for not teaching the state test correctly. IMO, the state government here in Texas is probably being paid off by a collection of private schools to make the public schools look bad with the STAAR test scores and discredit the teachers who try. I believe a 65% pass rate is average on some tests. I have no source right now, but that's what it was last I've checked. The scoring is made to look even worse with the passing percentage on some tests as low as 40%

It actually doesnt matter much what education you get. You can get what ever degree.
What determines your future is your family backround. For every better job there is full backround chek and if your socioeconomical or political backround doesnt match.... too bad for you.

People inherit their social status as well as economical status. I see little point to educate yourself if you are from lower bracket of society... unless you do it as hobby.

Sorry, but your socioeconomic background doesn't matter if you have decent post secondary education and prove to have the necessary skills for the job. Not to mention my family is not poor, we just live in a poor area too far away from any good schools we can go to. Both of my parents have bachelor degrees and all of my grand parents have atleast associates degrees. The poorest person in my family was a German refugee in WW2.

Posts merged. Please use the edit button next time. ~Jinglebottom

NewLeafsFan
August 10th, 2017, 10:27 PM
This is the biggest problem with the right wing. The poor get poorer because their opportunities are limited. I'm a left wing supporter because I believe that everyone should be born with the same chances to succeed.

Snowfox
August 10th, 2017, 10:57 PM
Sorry, but your socioeconomic background doesn't matter if you have decent post secondary education and prove to have the necessary skills for the job. Not to mention my family is not poor, we just live in a poor area too far away from any good schools we can go to. Both of my parents have bachelor degrees and all of my grand parents have atleast associates degrees. The poorest person in my family was a German refugee in WW2.

Sorry it is all that matters. Necessary skills for job are totally irrelevant. How come we see doctors driving bus and taxi while at same time they hire doctors who barely are literate.
Its common myth that companies hire is somehow based on skills or competence. It is not. Companies hire based on blood relations, horoscope, etc

mattsmith48
August 10th, 2017, 11:35 PM
PlasmaHam you need to understand that education is not a fucking business and schools are not about making money, public schools have a monopoly on the schooling business, what’s next public hospital having a monopoly on health? Somethings should not be for profit, education is one of those thing.

lliam
August 11th, 2017, 05:17 AM
education is not a fucking business and schools are not about making money


Well, at least it should be no business. But the fact remains that the more money a school has, the better the education is.

My last school was a state international school on highest international standards. The classes were filled with only a few studentd and the school's capacity ended at 300 students. The state financed the school mainly to persuade people who often working abroad to stay longer in the region.



The states intention to bring up that school was clear:

it wasn't a question of getting kids and students better educated, but of creating an incentive for already wealthy people with higher education to stay at least for a longer time than usual in this region. This in turn is mainly due to an increase of the region in terms of economic development.

Normally, parents have to pay a lot of money for these schools because in most cases they are private schools at these int. educational standards.

Losers are now schools in the neighborhood who don't receive such funds from the state in order to offer a similar education.

Dmaxd123
August 11th, 2017, 10:34 AM
i'm not 100% sure about texas but i thought NY was mostly funded by local taxes turns out the local property taxes make up a small portion of the budget. some comes from a national level and most comes from state level

admide
August 11th, 2017, 11:21 AM
i'm not 100% sure about texas but i thought NY was mostly funded by local taxes turns out the local property taxes make up a small portion of the budget. some comes from a national level and most comes from state level

Even what does come from the State and Federal government is broken. The issue also isn't entirely property taxes, but the poor management of funds.
Although property taxes make up a small portion of the budget in most places, wealthier communities have much higher property value, fewer kids, and many send their kids to private schools.

Dmaxd123
August 11th, 2017, 01:26 PM
i think a lot can go back to the unions: higher class neighborhoods generally means the union will demand more for the teachers, and even the lower class schools the unions will still get some crazy benefits for the employees costing the taxpayers a ton of $$

Porpoise101
August 11th, 2017, 03:31 PM
Here is the problem. Public schools have a monopoly on the schooling business. They have no reason to be more efficient with their money or school children better, because there isn't a competitor that they have to deal with. That is economics 101, better products and innovation comes from competition, not stagnation. Public schools have no competitions, and teacher unions are making sure they don't have competition, so there is no need to innovate.I rate this claim as "Not Understanding of the Situation".

I would agree with you, but in the case of public education we have replaced economic competition with that of political competition. As school districts are local offices, the citizens are meant to hold them accountable and not the market. As people hear about successes in different school districts and states, the voters should naturally push for those reforms to suit their interests. It is just a different type of competitive pressure being applied. In this way, the schooling system does not necessarily need the pressure of a market.

Of course, we don't see this happen always. This is because civic participation in local politics has declined dramatically. This means that there are three options here for the public school system to survive: 1) Encourage voting and civic participation (hard to change culture, but possible and in my opinion necessary) 2) Make schooling a direct duty of states/feds (difficult reform) 3) Privatize education (easy to do over time, what Republicans are doing slowly). These options aren't equal.
The Left is always anti-monopoly when it comes to other businesses, claiming that they are worse for the consumer. Why then, are they advocating for a monopoly in which the consumer is children's education?I personally think that monopolies can be good. Take power plants. You wouldn't want the nuclear power industry to be run by mom and pop shops :D. No hypocrisy points to be had here.
Teachers Unions are also worse for children. Remember, unions are made to help the members, not the business. Despite what teacher unions like to say, their goal is not to help the children, but to line their own pocket with money that ought to go to the children. It is like that with every union, why would it be any different with teachers? Teacher unions also enforce rules upon the school that hurt children. For instance, salary rules mandating teachers be paid based upon years worked, rather than student success. Or seniority rules mandating that in the case of layoffs, newer teachers much be fired first, even if they have better student success than older ones. Or another seniority rule that mandates that senior teachers get first grabs at promotions or new positions, rather than the most successful teachers. And through union lobbying they have fought against legislation that would value performance over seniority. I could list more, but it should be obvious that they are just for lining the teachers' pockets, nothing altruistic.Agreed. Teachers' unions, like many public sector unions, are pretty bad. Their methods of payment are pretty dumb and are based on loyalty to the post rather than empirical results. I rate this claim as "Pretty Good".
And throwing more money at the problem, a typical leftist tactic, is not a solution.While this used to be the conventional wisdom, new research has really shaken the game here. Here is why the old methodology (which found school funding to have a negligible impact) was bad:

[A] limitation of previous work is that most national studies correlate actual changes in school spending with changes in student outcomes. This is unlikely to yield causal relationships because many of the changes to how schools have been funded since the 1960s would lead to biases that weaken the observed association between changes in school resources and student outcomes. [...] Additionally, because localities face trade-offs when allocating finite resources, positive effects of endogenous increases in school spending could be offset by reductions in other kinds of potentially productive spending. We overcome the biases inherent in relying on potentially endogenous observational changes in school resources by documenting the relationship between exogenous quasi-experimental shocks to school spending and long-run adult outcomes. Source (http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ruckerj/QJE_resubmit_final_version.pdf)

With the improved methodology, more school funding lead to better results.

mattsmith48
August 12th, 2017, 10:37 AM
I rate this claim as "Not Understanding of the Situation".

I would agree with you, but in the case of public education we have replaced economic competition with that of political competition. As school districts are local offices, the citizens are meant to hold them accountable and not the market. As people hear about successes in different school districts and states, the voters should naturally push for those reforms to suit their interests. It is just a different type of competitive pressure being applied. In this way, the schooling system does not necessarily need the pressure of a market.

Of course, we don't see this happen always. This is because civic participation in local politics has declined dramatically. This means that there are three options here for the public school system to survive: 1) Encourage voting and civic participation (hard to change culture, but possible and in my opinion necessary) 2) Make schooling a direct duty of states/feds (difficult reform) 3) Privatize education (easy to do over time, what Republicans are doing slowly). These options aren't equal.

Wait what? That would make your country even more stupid that it already is. Sure Republicans would like that, as it would help them win elections.

Option number 2 sounds like what I said we do here. The provinces fund the schools.

ShineintheDark
August 12th, 2017, 01:59 PM
Wait what? That would make your country even more stupid that it already is. Sure Republicans would like that, as it would help them win elections.

Option number 2 sounds like what I said we do here. The provinces fund the schools.

I'd have to agree. This would disproportionately harm poorer and less privileges kids, who arguably need schooling and opportunities way more than their more well off counterparts. Even if schooling was to be consequently subsidised, it would still hit the majority of the poor hard and overall damage this nation's productivity.

Porpoise101
August 12th, 2017, 02:41 PM
I am not in favor of that option, but at least it is something to address these serious problems. Usually the Republicans are in favor of a voucher program. In fact, my state is one of the most privatized systems in the country. I don't think it has been that much of a benefit either because the educational achievement has not improved too much. All the reform did was classify a bunch of public schools as 'failing', which lead to their demolition and the decline of the local area. Obviously, these schools were in poorer, blacker, and less privileged areas. In their place rose unstable schools. But they do tend to have nicer facilities. The issue with this, however, is that the money that went into the private schools could have just went to the public ones and made them nicer.

Oh, there were some issues with fraud and corruption. The state subsidized a school that did not really teach. So while it may have reduced the corruption by teachers and administrators, the new system just added corrupt school owners.