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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Equitable funding for schools

The budget is supposed to treat every school fairly, but there are seven schools singled out for unfair treatment. The Board should address this unfairness - which clearly violates policy and the strategic plan - when they vote to today to adopt a budget for the coming school year.


As always, the annual budget will include allocations for each school. Per Board Policy 6010, School Funding Model, the funding for each school is supposed to:

  • Provide the basic staffing for school
  • Have a transparent model
  • Provide core staffing
  • Be based on data
  • Account for differences in student characteristics like poverty, bilingual, and special education
  • Align resources with requirements
  • Align staff with student populations

The school funding model is the Weighted Staffing Standards. The newly adopted Strategic Plan gives a definition of the WSS:
Weighted Staffing Standards (WSS) are a set of allocation rules intended to ensure all Seattle Public Schools get the essential administrative and support staff funding required to operate effectively and serve the needs of students in an equitable manner. The WSS are intended to ensure that every school receives the basic administrative and support staff that is necessary to operate. Weighting factors, such as school enrollment, Special Education enrollment and Free/Reduced Lunch percentages, are used to adjust the staffing allocations of a school to accommodate differing needs.
Seven schools - The Center School, The NOVA Project, South Lake High School, The World School, Cascade Partnership (formerly known as the Homeschool Resource Center), Interagency, and Middle College - are not funded according to the WSS. There is no explanation offered anywhere for why these seven schools are selected for this distinction.

This is a clear violation of the policy and the definition of the WSS.

Two programs - the Skill Center and Lowell @ Lincoln - are funded as if they were schools despite the fact that they are not schools.

These are also violations of the policy and the WSS.

The key violations are the failure to provide a transparent school funding model that schools, families, and community members can understand, as required by the policy, and to provide the equity required by the definition of the WSS. There is no rationale provided for funding these schools differently, nor any rationale provided to explain how their funding was determined. The WSS is supposed to apply to all schools to give every school the essential and necessary support to "serve the needs of the students in an equitable manner."

The District doesn't absolutely have to change what they are doing, but they do absolutely need to explain it. They have not done so. They have been asked - repeatedly - and simply refused to answer. This does not inspire trust or demonstrate the District's stated commitment to transparency.

44 comments:

Po3 said...

Isn't South Shore funded by outside resources or has that ended?

Charlie Mas said...

A number of schools receive funding from sources other than the District. They receive grants, both competitive and non-competitive, and in-kind support.

The original MOU between the District and the New School Foundation signed in 2002 had a ten-year term.

Po3 said...

Does SS still have free pre-K and full day kindergarten? I believe that additional funding also supported an additional math teacher and smaller class size. Are all those perks gone?

mirmac1 said...

I believe Southshore gets $2.4K in grants per student. See Pg 176

Anonymous said...

Does anybody really think that FRL students can be "equitably" funded by an extra $50 or $100 per student? I would think that an "equitable" funding for FRL would be a minimum of an extra $2500, and probably a lot more. In order to do that, the district would have to reduce the non-FRL students by at least $1000 and probably a whole lot more. Additionally, the "per head" funding seems to have some discrepancy too. Teachers with more seniority cost more, and are more highly clustered in wealthy schools. WSS funds classrooms based on student teacher ratio, not on actual staff costs. If we wanted to be really equitable, we'd fund teachers based on actual cost. A school with mostly salary top ended teachers, would have higher class size. But, we don't see that and it isn't supported in CBA. And finally, if anybody really cared about "equity", we'd equalize donation money. Wealthy schools wouldn't be able to fund their way around equitable funding, at least if we're looking to actually be equitable. The idea that a couple of schools that somehow aren't in the WSS as the emblem of "inequity" misses the whole bigger picture. These schools mostly lack diversity. Likely, that is a reason to reduce funding. Their needs are less.

-parent

Charlie Mas said...

parent,

Couple questions:

Where did you get the number of "$50 to $100 per student" for FRL students? That's not the amounts. The actual amounts are:
Kindergarten: $264.01
1st - 3rd grades: $300.43
4th & 5th grades: $382.36
6th - 8th grades: $661.55
9th - 12th grades: $676.72

These numbers come from the WSS document. Where did you get your numbers?

You wrote that the amount should be "an extra $2500, and probably a lot more". How did you calculate that number? How would the $2500 be spent?

It is true that teacher salaries can vary. What happens if a school has a stable set of teachers and, eventually, can't afford them. What happens then? Does one or more of the teachers at the school have to leave? Which one? Should schools be making teacher hiring decisions based on budget?

Having expensive teachers wouldn't impact class size. Most schools only have two or three classes per grade. There isn't enough flexibility in those small numbers to reduce the number of teachers in the school by increasing class sizes - not without forcing the creation of mixed-grade classes. How does this serve the students?

If we "equalize" donation money, why wouldn't we "equalize" compensatory education funding? Aki Kurose will get $449,299 (about half of the school's total funding) in Title I funding. That isn't enough to "equalize" donation money? Are any middle schools - no matter how affluent - gathering over $400k in donations?

As for the schools that are not equitably funded in the WSS, they include the World School (FRL 95.7%), South Lake (FRL 80.3%), Interagency (FRL 76.6%), Middle College (FRL 51.1%). Do these schools lack diversity and therefore rendering their students undeserving of funding equal to that provided for other students? Tell us more about this. What about attendance area schools with much lower FRL rates? Aren't they also undeserving of our support?

mirmac1 said...

parent,

school budgets assume $X/teacher. They don't analyze how many have so many years experience. So in a way, those schools with higher earning staff will find their district funding buys less. I don't disagree with your other reasoning (except the higher class size thing).

Anonymous said...

If we "equalize" donation money, why wouldn't we "equalize" compensatory education funding? Aki Kurose will get $449,299 (about half of the school's total funding) in Title I funding. That isn't enough to "equalize" donation money?

No Charlie. You said you wanted to discuss "equitable" funding not "equal" funding. The goal is not to have equal funding. "Equitable" funding is the extra amount needed to have equal outcomes, or even a reasonable shot at equalized outcomes. And it is large.

Ok. Let's take your higher numbers. It's still 10X less than necessary at the elementary level. For high school, would you really want to educate an FRL student for only an extra $625? How many of these kids have you worked with? Not many evidently. $625 doesn't begin to do it. What would/should the district do with extra funding? Counselors, mental health professionals, coaches, mentors, tutors, enrichment, materials, advocates. Those are a few things they need. And they are things you've listed yourself before as necessary.

You have a good point for World School, South Lake, Interagency, Middle College. These schools are not equitably funded.

-parent

Anonymous said...

Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) programs like Cascade and NOVA are funded differently because they get reduced funding from the State (90%).

Nova is an ALE (Alternative Learning Experience) school authorized by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. ALE is spelled out in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 392-121-182. They are learning experiences for public school students that are developed and supervised via a student learning plan and certified teachers. Different from conventional schools, ALE sanctions student learning based in our non-graded, competency-based system that relies on student application of learning and performance-based assessment. ALE provides the legal and legislative basis for our ability to create and implement our innovative, flexible program with our students. The other significant component of ALE is that student achievement and funding are not based primarily on “seat-time”, which is how conventional high schools are funded.

just fyi

Anonymous said...

parent,

How do you suggest we fund those things? We are already underfunding education for every student in our district.

Those are necessary costs - and it's in society's interest to pay them. They're not educational costs though - and calling them that leads to these claims of overspending on schools you hear everywhere. If our society allows children to grow up in poverty, and wants those children college and/or career ready at eighteen, we're going to have to invest in these types of social welfare programs. Let's just call them what they are. Let's find (or create) the right public entity to deal with this - and let the school district focus on education. Maybe then we could spend our money on decent curriculum and reasonable class sizes and even building maintenance. And parent - middle class families aren't the villains here. It's ridiculous to suggest reducing the state funds spent on their students or taking the money they contribute personally and redistributing it.

We have to provide those services, but not by draining the resources we have available for education. We will have to raise taxes (either city, county, state or federal) to compensate for the effects of poverty on children if we want their educational outcomes to be equal to those of middle class children.

Lynn

Melissa Westbrook said...

It's interesting how some come here, spout figures and then won't back them up. If Charlie and I have to back up what we say, I'm more than a little puzzled why readers don't want to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Certainly the board should and can address the unfair funding issue of these schools.

Voters elect our reps for being the education champions, but somehow that never translates into better funding of education. Then again citizens aren't storming the citadel over this betrayal either. No Bastille day for us. It's unlikely poor kids are going to get much more than what they have in this progressive minded state (it's the liberal mind vs. the liberal pocketbook). So it's back to schools, parks & rec, libraries, pre-schools, churches and mosques, and health care centers to cobble together the safety net for them.

Other reality



Anonymous said...

They are educational costs if they are needed to educate the student. And, the school is a good place to provide them. The actual free lunch that comes with FRL has made a tremendous difference to the welfare of children. One could certainly argue that food is something that should come from some other program, but providing it at school has been effective.

The same would be true for many other services that the children living in poverty need. Arguing that those services should be provided in some other way because of a desire to keep categories separate (look, that's about health, that's about nutrition, that's about . . . .) is not a particularly useful discussion and just hurts the children.

zb

Anonymous said...

I thought the WSS formulas allocated FTEs, and not budget amounts? So that in fact a school that had a high proportion of teachers with long experience got more money than one with novice teachers?

(in effect, that method of allocating funds could end up allocating more funds to the more stable school (which is likely to be wealthier), if say, their 10 teachers cost 2X as much as another schools 10 teachers).

zb

Anonymous said...

But it *is* a useful discussion, because the scope SPS has -educating 50,000 students- is large enough. It already doesn't have enough money, and the more you ask it to do beyond its scope, the less it can do its actual job, FRL is the easiest case for inclusion, but if we don't define what exactly the scope is, you are not the only voice asking for more. At both the Thornton creek and Wilson Pacific community meetings for those new schools, I witnessed neighbors fighting very hard for SPS to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a neighborhood park, preserve native lands, remediate traffic, subsidize Catholic school sports, restore a riverbed (that is closer to the millions), open a community center, and all of those neighbors said "keeping the categories separate is not useful and hurts children. My idea helps children, maybe even children in a low income area, so you have to do it."

I think SPS could spend all its money trying to correct for poverty, would not make a difference, and then would fail to educate the children in Seattle and make the problem worse. I think it is very important to keep SPS accountable to its actual mission, and keep other government agencies accountable to theirs.

Hope this isn't too far off topic, but I've been thinking it for a while.
-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Yes, but sleeper all the things you mention, restoring a riverbed, remediate traffic, subsidize catholic school sports, etc., are to benefit the whole community. Not just the poor in this community. So to say SPS is spending all this money to correct poverty is sounding like you are using poor children to blame for what you think are mistaken priorities of educational dollars. Low blow.

other reality

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying they *are* spending all their money to correct for poverty, I'm saying they *shouldn't,* and what I think would happen if they did(or enacted some policies proposed on this blog to attempt that which do not otherwise forward education-eradicate advanced learning, eliminate PTA donations, etc). Hope that's clearer.

The community center would be in a poor part of town, so it does disproportionately help low income students. But I believe it takes money away from the mission-educate students in Seattle. And thus is an inappropriate use of funds. And keeping catholic sports costs low supposedly helps low income catholic school students participate. Or so I heard. Great projects, but SPS should not be taking them on.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

I'm not suggesting they couldn't be offered in schools. The example of free and reduced price meals is a good one. Those meals are provided using a combination of federal funds and the required state matching funds. We're getting additional federal dollars to provide this (very valuable) non-educational support.

The other services parent suggests we should provide should be covered by Title I funds. Obviously Title I funds are currently inadequate to meet those needs. If we had state and local funds to meet basic educational needs at all of our schools, we could discuss directing excess funds to provide these other kinds of support. Until the state is meeting its obligations to all students, it is not equitable to take a portion of the general education funds allocated to some students and spend it on others.

District administration is hardly excelling at its actual job. Let's not allow (or encourage) them to take on another one.

If you feel we have a moral responsibility to support students living in poverty so that they can succeed, take that concern to your federal and state representatives. Reallocating inadequate funds so that no student in Seattle receives the education they deserve is no solution.

Lynn

Anonymous said...

How do you suggest we fund those things? We are already underfunding education for every student in our district.


I guess I would argue that providing a more generous allocation for those in need, where it is likely to do the most good, is the best thing we can do. If other people can go private, or fund themselves, or have huge fundraisers, then so be it. I think our public monies should be used first and foremost for those in need who can not do for themselves.

We could do a lot of things. We could charge tuition for students based on income. Gasp! Educating students is the paramount responsibility of the state, but that doesn't mean they can't make other people pay for it. We accept federal funds after all. We could certainly reallocate funding, and we should if we really cared about equity. If middle class families actually felt the "inequity", they might get off their voting asses and demand something. Writing a blog, essentially complaining that Nova and Center school boutiques don't get quite as much, doesn't really address real inequity.

Now if equity isn't really an issue, then by all means, leave it as is.

parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

Nova is not a "boutique" school as much as Center. That they fall in the same category under Charlie's reckoning is one thing.

"that doesn't mean we can't make other people pay for it."

We do - they're called taxes. Who do you think the state is and where are they getting their money?

Maureen said...

parent says:

Educating students is the paramount responsibility of the state, but that doesn't mean they can't make other people pay for it.

That's what taxes are for. Private investment in education may be correlated with income, but not perfectly. There are plenty of higher income families who wouldn't bother to educate their kids if public schools didn't exist and plenty of poor people who would.

paramount responsibility

Some things are optimally provided by the government. Education is one of those public goods.

In SPS, poorer kids do get more government money per capita. Is it enough? Maybe not, but peeling off the high income kids and sending them private will only reduce the odds of levies passing (including the Families and Education levy which primarily benefits poor kids.)

Paramount responsibility for all Washington kids. Paying for a paramount responsibility should not be optional for anyone. We need to raise taxes.

Charlie Mas said...

@just fyi,

NOVA is not an ALE anymore.

Also, it isn't funded even to 90% of the WSS.

Also, what's the excuse for under-funding the other five schools?

Charlie Mas said...

@ parent,

When I wrote "equalize" donation money, I was quoting you, so please don't correct my word choice when it was your word choice. It was YOU, not me, who proposed equalizing donation money.

Please say again where you got your numbers, I must have missed it.

Please also tell us which teachers would have to leave if their actual salaries grew to exceed the school's budget. I didn't get your answer to that one the first time.

And, yes, I agree with your proposals for how to spend the additional money. Isn't that how Title I money should be spent? Isn't that, in fact, what Title I money is for - to provide additional funding for FRL students?

Taking the case of Aki Kurose, the Title I funding is $449,299. Added to the $536 provided by the District for each FRL student ($344,018), that's a total of $793,317 in extra funding for the school for students living in poverty. The enrollment is projected at 747, so that's $1,062 per student. While it doesn't reach the $2,500 you proposed, neither is it the $50 or $100 you presumed. It's not a small amount of money.

How are they spending it?

Charlie Mas said...

Let's consider this, parent. What sort of model are you proposing?

What if there were a class of 45 motivated and well-behaved students forming a class that works well in one room and another class of 13 challenging students in another room. The average class size would be 29, which is affordable.

Would that be equitable? Would that be segregation? Would it matter if the two classrooms were in the same school or if they were in different schools?

Anonymous said...

Right now, teachers are displaced based on WSS and the CBA. What's the big deal???? Charlie seems to think this is some sort of gotcha. It isn't. If schools were given dollars instead of FTEs, it would definitely be more " equitable.". Schools whose budget exceeded their allocation would use seniority to reach funded levels. As they do now.

No, I wouldn't support in school segregation based on behavior profiles. If that's the funding differential between frl schools and wealthy schools, it might be something I would consider equitable.

Maureen, "paramount responsibility" doesn't mean "all students get ample funding." It just means the job gets done. Like many other state functions: social security, medicaid/care, etc, we expect the services to be means tested. If not immediately, at some point in the not too distant future.

parent

Anonymous said...

13 "challenging" kids in one classroom? 45 "good" kids in another.
That is the problem many parents of good kids have. They raised their kids well, teach them at home, etc. Then, they go to school and have to be in class with disruptive kids with tons of needs from food, clothes, English, discipline, tutoring, etc.
We are all in the same boat, but some are in the outside cabins and some are in steerage. We are trying to make a boat with all outside cabins.

Uti

Melissa Westbrook said...

Parent, the Washington State constitution, using the word "ample" does not choose among students.

Uti, you come close to blaming at least some at-risk/high needs students for their situations. And, not all students with high needs are disruptive. They aren't. And, there are so-called "good" kids who do have parents who can/do provide for their needs and guess what? Disruptive.

I agree that it is hard on schools and society at a whole that we have so many challenging students whose parents, for whatever reason, are not able to do well by them. But it is a reality and those students are in our schools.

Charlie Mas said...

Ah, so instead of 45 attentive motivated students in one classroom and 13 challenging students in another it would be 45 students, of whom only ten are FRL (22%) in one classroom and 13 students, of whom ten are FRL (77%), in the other.

So long as there are the same number of FRL students in each class, then it's right and balanced?

But how is that fair to the ten FRL students in the class of 45?

Anonymous said...

Parent,

Here's an idea you might like. Let's not worry about moving kids and teachers around - too much work for us. We can just cut short the school week for kids who are not eligible for FRL. If they stay home every Wednesday, the students who eligible could get intensive help to catch up. Those APP kids are learning too fast too. They'd have to lose at least two days a week. Would that be equitable? It would close the achievement gap.

Lynn

Anonymous said...

Uti, your summation assumes all disruptive students are poor, aren't native speakers, and don't have parental support. My, my your world must be full of well off, can do no wrong parents and their kids? What school is this? YOU are part of the problem and if your children come to school with similar attitude, I can see why classrooms are disruptive and challenging. If you are a poor kid, (or people assume you are poor because you don't have things that scream money), speak with an accent, or may not be as fluent in academic English as other kids, it must be hell having to deal with crass parents (and possibly teachers) making negative assumptions about your ability, behavior, and that you will be a burden in the class. Talk about what BS kids have to struggle with and face at school.

Hornet


mirmac1 said...

Amen, Hornet.

Anonymous said...

While it doesn't reach the $2,500 you proposed, neither is it the $50 or $100 you presumed. It's not a small amount of money.

Right Charlie - I didn't have the "exact" figure correct. Do you spend much time in impoverished schools? Seems like you only blog about a few things, mostly high end schools. If you did spend any time in them, you would see the huge disparity, and the huge needs that go unmet every day.


Right Charlie. The "extra" amount you claim Aki gets, amounts to about 4 extra teachers FTEs(fully burdened). And, I accept your figure. 4 "extra" teachers, including counselors, librarians, anybody on a teacher's pay scale doesn't begin to adequately serve 700+ kids. Notice, for years and years McGilvra's PTA funded 2 extra teachers to fill up their portables and paid for the portables. This allowed them to have very low class sizes. Among other things. That amount of "extra" funding went for about half the students that Aki has. So, Aki, among the MOST impoverished schools, got around the same per student funding as McGilvra, among the wealthiest. Does that seem "equitable" to you? It seems "equal" to me. (I know McGilvra has slipped in recent years from being as wealthy under the NSAP.) If they go the cheap rate, they can hire 9 IAs, which cost around $50K per year. The district is having grave difficulty finding help like that. IAs do not have much education, and have a very low bar of experience. Even so, they are hard to find, and they don't provide the service a professional can. My guess is that Aki would spend that money on a counselor, and 3 remediation specialists for academics. That level of "extra" funding wouldn't also cover enrichment, curricula, afterschool and/or family outreach, reduced class size.

Right Melissa. "Ample Funding" means enough funding to do the job somehow. It doesn't mean eveybody gets every single thing they could ever imagine gratis on the government. Sure we'd all like pie in the sky endless funding for every social good. We all want Obamacare funding for health care. Seniors all in awesome assisted living situation that met all their needs. But with a shifting demographics towards elderly, mostly with very little savings, and no earning prospects - we're going to have to move into a more "means-tested" public arena. I don't see how schools can escape that either. Clearly, they haven't escaped.


-parent

Anonymous said...

Parent raises legitimate and true concerns about the fact that the funding received for students living in poverty does not begin to address the needs that often accompany poverty--disparities in health care and nutrition, to name a few.

In his rush to correct the amounts, Charlie missed the forest for the trees in terms of parent's real concerns.

I'll take it a step further. When you work in schools with extremely high numbers of students living in poverty, there is an exponential, rather than gradual effect. A tipping point of needs occurs and is then passed. Funding algorithms that are used to distribute money are no longer valid because the needs playing off of each other create a cumulative effect beyond the individual students (gang issues are one example).

The money, at this point, is pathetically inadequate, as Aki and others know too well.

In terms of parent funding, Portland parents decided several years ago to help make donations to schools more fair by developing a pool for distribution.

Parent is also correct that schools like Aki tend to have a disproportionate number of newer teachers, which research has proven to have a strong negative impact on the learning of these already at-risk students. That is why the legislature decided to give nationally board certified teachers
more money to work in highly impacted schools.

I wish Charlie had shown as much concern about these painful truths in his responses to parent as he had about correcting the funding numbers.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

OK parent and enough already,

What specifically is required to improve Aki? How much would it cost? How would you fund it? If you think we should take the money from other schools - which schools? It's too easy to say we'll reallocate the funds away from kids who don't need them without specifying which kids.

How much money do you think your neighborhood middle school could and should give up to Aki?

We're just not spending enough money on schools. In 2010, Vermont spent $18,924 per student, New York spent $16,239 and Washington spent $9,145. (Numbers from Annie E. Casey Foundation and adjusted for regional cost differences.)

Lynn

mirmac1 said...

Compounding the inequity, are the reformers who blow into a school like Aki and dump 3 (almost 4) TFA on the students. (I'll bet those same will not be there come fall.) I guess they think those 4 FTE are "equal" to, say, 4 FTE at schools like McGilvra. Hardly. The pressures to do this kind of "unequal" balance will only increase in the years ahead.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Mirmac. These same reformers decry disproportionality while literally raising millions to put TFAers into schools where it is research proven that the most experienced teachers(and staff stability)are needed the most.

That money could be used to provide incentives for the most effective teachers to work in those same schools.

The hypocrisy is sickening.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

Gee Lynne. Are you able to read? I already posted as to the baseline of extra services required at Aki, and/or other high poverty schools:


Counselors, mental health professionals, coaches, mentors, tutors, enrichment, materials, advocates.


And, add transportation to that as well.

Other family support might be necessary as well.

The things you might do as the routine course of your day, needs to be provided for kids at school.

Instead, we whine and cry as to why Nova doesn't have funding for an AP, or something else. I'm all for "advocacy". Let's not call it a discussion about equity because that's not what it is.

-Parent

Anonymous said...

Yes Parente. I can read.

How much would these services cost?
Which schools would you take the money from?
How much should your neighborhood school give to Aki?
What would these schools have to give up to support Aki?

None of our schools are adequately funded. None have any extra money. Kids at Eckstein, Hamilton and Whitman deserve decent schools too.

Lynn

Anonymous said...

Poor does not mean disruptive, neglected or hard to teach. Parents of kids who are well taken care of at home, resent the state having to forfeit their kids instructional time dealing with issues that the family or, worst case, social services should deal with and pay for. Why are schools propping up a failed DHS? A failed juvenile justice system? A failed federal welfare system and immigration system?
The kids and families don't get services they need and it all lands on the lap of school where families that, by luck or hard work have raised kids to be school ready, rightly resent their kid's time being wasted.
It becomes a game of kicking the problem to the next public entity, with prison as the ultimate and most expensive ending. It's a punitive system and schools are a part of it and "good" parents, not rich, find it depressing and frustrating that their kids are in this system when all they want is an education.

Uti

Melissa Westbrook said...

It doesn't mean eveybody gets every single thing they could ever imagine gratis on the government.

Who said that? No one but it helps exaggerate your point.

Enough, we have brought up here what is being done in Portland with PTA money. The majority of comments don't support doing that (although I would support some version of it). It would lovely if the Washington State PTA or Seattle Council PTA considered organizing discussions like this but they don't. They spend their time letting McDonald's speak at our schools.

Also Enough, I believe the Legislature is thinking of (or did) end giving more money for nationally board certified teachers
more money to work in highly impacted schools.

Anonymous said...

Can you clarify whysomething like the home school resource center should be funded like a school, but something like app @ Lincoln should not? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Uti,

information on poverty and educational outcomes:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2528798/

--enough already

Syd said...

What an exciting conversation!

Charlie - I have a question. Was your intent to get people to understand that the definitions that SPS uses for 'school' and 'program' are inconsistent and redefined when convenient for SPS?

Lynn et al - I think you are doing a good job explaining the similarities between the psychology of Social Security and school funding. If too many higher income families no longer qualify for SS/get the education services they need for their children, then these families are more likely to vote against SS/school funding. There has to be something for everyone.

Parent (can I admit I have a small crush on you?...you too Charlie, and for the same reasons) - absolutely right to juice up the conversation with a call to everyone to open their eyes. Poverty is a real societal problem, and realistically the best place you can serve impoverished children is in a place they are mandated by law to attend. We should feed them, clothe them, doctor them, nurse them (it is different), and mentor them using schools as the center. That's not the schools mission you say? Change the mission.

Nick Borriello said...
This comment has been removed by the author.