Sunday, December 13, 2009

Class Size, Walk/Ride Distance & Electives Could Feel Budget Ax

    
Administration looks at ways to deal with $12 million bloat in budget to $207 million for 2010

Raising elementary class sizes to 25 pupils/classroom would allow reduction of 11 teachers

"We are looking at making reductions right now because we believe a 6 percent budget increase is just too much to take." ~~ Supt. Steve Achramovitch

"What we're going to have to do is look at which areas we have any flexibility or discretion in." ~~ Pat Tydings, BOE president.

D&C STORY

SCATS ~~ Well DUH, Pat! So you will look at increasing distances children must walk to school, without touching schools-of-choice? Do you really want that kind of a rebellion on your hands?
 

21 comments:

Charlie Hubbard said...

Please pay attention to the one figure in the article - $9 million - of this increase is for contracts. Let me remind readers as I have many times those are 'BOARD' APPROVED CONTRACTS.

Been asking for years now for the educational benefit of open enrollment, ect. aka bussing costs - nothing yet. Just more spending

Been asking to show the benefit of new contracts as has the Comptrollers audit - nothing yet. Just more spending.

Been saying for years the state cannot afford to continue to fund this irresponsible spending - now the chickens are coming home to roost.

Now the worst part - the VOTE of the taxpayers. With a track record by a majority of board members and administration of SPITTING on the vote of the taxpayers - there is a credibility problem - a BIG credibility problem.

Anonymous said...

SCATS--could you find out how much the professional development costs the district that teachers must take? I will have to be out at least 10 days due to all the professional development we MUST go to. Don't forget you have to pay subs for those days, and most of the people that run the professional development (some are teachers themselves or "higher ups" so I am assuming they don't get paid extra--assuming :-). Then teachers could be in their rooms to actually teach with some sort of regularity and flow, sub costs could be avoided, and the high cost of whoever is running the development would be saved as well. I have been teaching for quite a few years, and have had as few as 17 and as many as 25 students in my class. I would rather keep class size low and miss out on professional development during the school day and "develop" myself reading books I think would help me in my classroom on my own time. This may open a can of worms on your discussion board here, but I look forward to what the community and fellow teachers think about how I feel.

Anonymous said...

BOE and the Administration don't have to worry about rebellion. No one of importance in Greece cares. Look at the way the BOE and Admin conduct themselves. Could it be any more careless? Look at the money they are spending on attorney fees. They wouldn't need to use them this frequently if they abided by the laws. If the laws the district violated were criminal the Admin would be in prison. It is disgusting what they do to get their way. They are like children who stomp their feet and hold their breath until people give in to them.

Anonymous said...

There is evidence that schools of choice don't make any difference in student out outcomes. Although those school do better, they attract students with more involved parents, and that's what makes them better. Has the school board ever discussed this? http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/more-evidence-on-the-lack-of-impact-of-school-choice/

Anonymous said...

That's something to think about. if someone opts for a signature school or school of choice they could guarantee bus transportation because of the distance. The children that go to a close school will have to walk.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the purpose of schools of choice was for balancing enrollment/reduce boundry changes.
Unfortunatly it has developed into this level of elitism and a special place for employee's kids.

SCATS said...

To 8:29AM ~~ You ask a good question. I looked at some budget info I found online, but can't find a line item that resembles Professional Development. Maybe one of our BOE members could let us know?

Anonymous said...

boycott greece,

Take your business elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

12:50 You mean like most of the teachers do?

Anonymous said...

When other "industries" are caught in a tight budget situation, the find ways to hold the expenses:
1. Reduce travel costs (ie, bus costs for GCSD)
2. Reduce extras (like field trips)
3. Eliminate positions (both teaching and admin)
4. Close unneeded facilities
5. Sell unneeded assets (like W. Ridge and Barnard)
6. Increase employee share of cost of health care, pension, etc.

Mostly, when was this shortfall seen even as a potential? Why wasn't it addressed 2-3 years ago? Why do we have to wait until it is an emergency to deal with these harsh realities?

Anonymous said...

Raise my kids class size to keep bussing the kid next door half way across town because he "wants" to go to a different school and yes we will have a problem. You can't be serious.

SCATS said...

To 5:55PM ~~ If they raise class sizes, at least MORE kids will get into Pinebrook ;)

Actually, if every parent stood their ground the way you are saying, this issue would evaporate very quickly.

Anonymous said...

They don't usually raise class size in schools of choice - they are already capped. That way they don't get kids moving in and out all year!

SCATS said...

To 7:44PM ~~ Interesting that you make that claim in light of the fact that I questioned a BOE member a few months ago about Pinebrook's current stated "capacity" which is some 70 +/- students lower than when it was built. The reason, I was told after the BOE member contacted someone in DO about the issue, is that when GCSD lowered class sizes a couple of years back, it also lowered Pinebrook's "capacity" because their classes shrunk in size too. It sounds like a load of BS to me. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

SCATS:
Class sizes at Pine Brook have been, and still are, typically higher than all the other district schools. When PB opened 17 years ago, class sizes averaged from 26 at primary to 29 at intermediate. When GCSD reduced class sizes about 4 years ago, PB class sizes were reduced to 22 at primary and 26 at intermediate (resulting in the lowering of the overall school capacity). This school year, the numbers were again increased to @ 25 students per class ( among the highest in the district). PB also has significantly fewer support staff (teaching assistants, reading specialists, math specialists, speech teachers) than other district schools.

SCATS said...

To 10:04PM ~~ Demand for placement at PB has remained higher and with longer wait lists at PB than at all other district schools. Why were class sizes raised this year? Regarding the additional support staff, I doubt that the need for those "specialists" is as great as it is at other schools. Your student body is comprised of more "better than average" students than most schools, because your parents are supposedly more "tuned in."

Anonymous said...

10;04
What is your point?

Anonymous said...

7:13
Just explaining why Pine Brook's student population is -70 students from its capacity as SCATS wondered.
Happy holidays to you.
10:04

Anonymous said...

When I heard the district was looking at ways to reduce costs, I almost peed my pants. Gosh, by golly, it seems they mean it this time. Is that right?

This time they will use the data from the transportation study of 3 years ago. This time they will listen to the recommendation of the finance committee. (Not the current committee, but the one from 4 years ago that actaully had concrete ideas.)

And this time the press will actually report on "costs" not on all the misleading data the district puts out. And if the district doesn't report costs in a straight forward manner, the press will report that as fact! The press will report on all the questions the district fails to answer; all the misleading answers they give; all the committees that fail to meet; all the costs in any contract approved by the board. Anyway. that is my christmas wish list.

Yes, I almost peed my pants; I do that when I've head the same story 17 years in a row wilth no results.

SCATS said...

To 11:13AM ~~ It's maddening, isn't it? Don't hold your breath. For the last 17 yrs. Santa has found a way to make sure nothing significant ever changed.

Anonymous said...

Santa! That's it, Santa! We could use Santa's reindeer to deliver Tommy and Susie to the schools they choose to attend this year. Feeding a few reindeer can't possibly be more expensive than fueling a diesel guzzlin' bus, can it? What better way to deal with real problems in a "make believe" district, than to use a make believe solutions! Educational benefits?... we don't need those in the land of "make believe".

Oh and before you write this "suggestion" off as a waste of your time, I ask you this: Would you bet everything you own that Julia hasn't acually considered the aforemention possibility, while seeing visions of sugar plums dancing in her head?