Curious Math Fuels (Phoney) Outrage

The “Alliance For Quality Education” is having a rally and, BOY are they mad!  The following, from their website explains why:     

Over the past two years the state has cut $600 million from public education.   So far, the state legislature is proposing to cut another $104 million.  Under this budget state per pupil funding for the coming school year would be $1,630 (the level funded in 1995).  This year’s amount is $1,764 (the 1996-97 funding level).

During the same two-year period, state funding for our school district has been reduced by more than $47 million.  For the coming school year Greenville County Schools is anticipating an additional cut of $30 million.  Increased class sizes, teacher furloughs and program cuts are all potential actions our school district will be forced to make.

Come to the rally to tell our legislators no more cuts to public education.  Tell them they have the ability to find revenues and change priorities to restore funding for our public schools. [emphasis added]

WOW!  South Carolina funding for state schools is a mere $1,630 – DOWN from a paltry $1,764?  Who wouldn’t be mad?

Except.

It isn’t true.  Ya see, as published by the folks at “Voice For School Choice,” the REAL budgeted funding is $11,242.  Yeah… AFQE was JUST a little outside – like maybe 500%.

Quoting the South Carolina Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2009-2010:

The base student cost for the current fiscal year for Part IA has been determined to be $2,034 and the base student cost for Part III has been determined to be $300 for a total base student cost of $2,334. In Fiscal Year 2009-10, the total pupil count is projected to be 691,816. The average per pupil funding is projected to be $4,153 state, $1,296 federal, and $5,792 local. This is an average total funding level of $11,242 excluding revenues of local bond issues.

Well, then, maybe they were just talking about Greenville County.

In Fiscal Year 2009-10, the Greenville School District total pupil count is projected to be 69,784. The per pupil funding is projected to be $3,898 state, $1,040 federal, and $4,969 local. This is a total projected funding level of $9,908 excluding revenues of local bond issues.

Oops!

How is it possible that the Alliance For Quality Education got this so wrong?  You don’t suppose it was intentional, DO YOU?  Scare tactics to protest budget cuts to the state’s largest barrel of pork (and not the good kind of pork, either)?

Nah!  I’m sure they really ARE concerned about quality education and not just protecting administrators and teachers – like math teachers – who teach students how to correctly use numbers.

If the AFQE is so worried about costs, cuts and classrooms, then maybe they should focus on streamlining the state education budget to fit the students and not educators.

~ CS

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6 thoughts on “Curious Math Fuels (Phoney) Outrage

  1. All I want to know is, if the districts really have all of this money, why are they laying off teachers and forcing existing ones into furloughs? If it’s simply political posturing, why have they not been called out on it? The budgets (and the reserves of each district) are easy enough to find. In fact, I think you’ve posted them before. So, why has nobody called the Superintendents and said, “why are you laying off teachers and forcing bigger classroom sizes when you have all this money?” It’s a simple question that nobody seems to be asking. They either have the money to keep/hire teachers or they don’t. It’s not a gray area.

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  2. Districts don’t have the money, and it’s a nationwide issue. South Carolina, being poorer with a more complicated tax system is further behind than even neighbors in NC & GA. Still, Charlotte is about to lay off up to a 1,000 teachers.

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  3. Money alone doesn’t make kids learn a single thing. Caring competent professional teachers do that.
    They got furlowed right?

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  4. Money doesn’t fix a friggin’ thing. The more money we pour into education, the more we’ll attract (or retain) the leeches.

    Cut administrators and FLATTEN the management/administration structure. Hold people at every level accountable for job performance. Pass school vouchers so more competition will arise and the public schools will have no choice but to pee-pee or get off of the pot.

    I have heard it said that anyone who truly is in favor of public education would never support vouchers because it will kill the schools. This is lunacy. School vouchers (and, therefore, competition) might just be the ONLY thing that can SAVE the public school system. They’ll have to perform or die and, to be 100% honest, their death wouldn’t be too bad either. I prefer private education, but can’t afford it under the oppressive taxes we have in this state plus there seems to be a glaring shortage of K-12 private schools in this state for some reason…

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  5. Pingback: Mobile Archive 4/16/2010 — TEA Party Tax Day, Curtis Loftis, Bill Connor, Mark Sanford, Obama, Taxes «

  6. There are two arguments here: One is, why are the schools failing to properly educate our students? The other is, why are the schools having to lay off teachers? I don’t care how good the teachers are, if you’re laying off teachers and not replacing them, class sizes are only getting bigger. A lot bigger, in many cases. And that makes it harder to teach and give individual attention where needed.

    There are a lot of ideas as to how to fix out failing schools. I just want to know why the teachers are losing their jobs and when/how it’s going to stop.

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