kitchen table math, the sequel: Good thing the Fed Govt is paying for more teachers

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Good thing the Fed Govt is paying for more teachers


Luke said...

Last I heard it wasn't more teachers, but more administrators. If that is the case, it's no wonder we're not seeing an improvement in the areas that matter more (class size, quality of teachers, etc).


Joanne Jacobs said...

Actually, they're not paying for anything. The plan is to create a web site and a Facebook account to encourage math and science graduates to become teachers. Presumably the math, physics and chemistry teachers now teaching "out of field" would go back to teaching the subjects they know. If the web site has any effect. Which is doubtful.

lgm said...

Oh, it's more teachers too as well as paras and increased transport costs and litigation.

I'd like to see this graph with costs split between sped and nonsped allocation.

Crimson Wife said...

How much of the increase in spending is due to the passage of IDEA and related special ed requirements? Back in 1970, most schools did not bother to provide an education to disabled students. Now they are required to provide an education to even the most severely disabled students, regardless of how much that costs.

And because there are more preemies today and greater numbers of those preemies survive, the number of severely disabled students has dramatically increased. The NYT recently reported that there are currently 132,000 severely disabled students in the U.S. And that number went up 108% between 1980 and 2000.

Allison said...


What are you talking about "they're not paying for anything" ???? There was this bill called the stimulus. Heard of it? recovery top line says:

"As of August 5, 2010, over $89 billion in ED Recovery Act grants have been awarded. Grant recipients continue to report over 300,000 education jobs saved or created, such as teachers, principals, librarians, and counselors"

I know, I know, a hundred billion here, a hundred billion there, soon you're talking hyperinflation.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me for asking, but is the same measure of achievement used for all those years listed on the graph?

Catherine Johnson said...

Crimson Wife - it's not the SPED mandates; college spending has shot up, too. (Not sure whether college spending has increased the same amount but I wouldn't be surprised.)

My impression is that unionization is the most important reason for the fantastic rise in spending. (Not the sole reason, but the most important reasons.

Everyone: please chime in if we know t hat's wrong. I'm thinking Hoxby's research showed that unionization was the major cause of spending increase, but I haven't taken the time to look it up.

Here's Jaye Greene on the question of whether special ed is the cause of the spending spike: Blaming Special Ed.

fyi: here in my district, with its 30K per pupil spending, the only obvious efforts the district makes to cut spending are in SPED. Administrators routinely tout their efforts to save money on SPED students.

I've never heard them tout their efforts to save money on regular ed students.

lgm said...

From what I've read, sped has increased substantially over the years because of more id'd students, increased litigation, more private school nonresidential placements and tuition hikes there, more aides, less services covered by the parents' insurance, and the increase in the cost and amount of transportation needed. My district is saving sped money by hiring sped teachers instead of sending students to BOCES or private placements.

I can't find the data for NY yet, but have found some from Oregon that are illustrative:

At the budget meetings here, the biggest increases are sped and transportation followed by staff benefits and then the salary raises.

No sped programs were cut here. We lost 4 of the 5 AP courses, middle school sports, and nonmandated support staff (excess psychs, 1:1 aides for violent unclassified students).

At this point it will be cheaper for me to have my children take classes over the internet than dual enroll. The alternative is study hall or courses that lead to entering a 2 yr associates program.

Catherine Johnson said...

But...your district is failing to ID the violent kids, right?

They're being left in regular classes & treated like regular kids?

Catherine Johnson said...

Our district routinely blames "mandates" for spending.

Well, sure.


District spending doubled in 10 years' time but the mandates didn't.

Nor did the SPED population.

Catherine Johnson said...

At this point it will be cheaper for me to have my children take classes over the internet than dual enroll.


I don't follow.

How does dual enrollment work there? (You have to pay for dual enrollment; is that it?)

Your situation is appalling.

I think you should contact David Steiner. I'm serious about that. He's intensely concerned about high-end kids.

What's happening there is so wrong.

Catherine Johnson said...

college tuition increase

lgm said...

>>But...your district is failing to ID the violent kids, right?

No ..there is just not enough money to provide them all with 1:1 aides and psych support rather than going down the ISS path to OSS and a homebound tutor. We have made progress - our alternative middle school opened last year so the middle schools are much calmer. We have enough inner city youth moving up here for the better schools that the remediation effort is significant. It's not enough to tip us into Title I though.

High end kids - our county leaders decided no on a magnet high school for high acheivers. The district is in compliance with the state law on course offerings - apparently ps is req'd to have one accel course in 8th grade, and we have it with Int. Alg and we go above that req't with offering Earth Science to some 8th graders.
Dual enrollment is paid for by the student. Having dual enrollment doesn't mean that a course that a student wants will be offered - there has to be an arrangment with a college and the minimum enrollment has to be met.

Fees - I don't know the exact current year fees or book costs for each of the five colleges my district has agreements with. The AP fee was $149.

My district is no different than the neighboring districts. There is not a lot of money being put in gen ed for antyhing but remedial as the push is for a high graduation rate. Sports took a big hit - high school is playing less games and frosh teams were cut. Transport to invitationals was cut totally, then partially restored. Clubs took a 30% hit in budget so several were eliminated in the high school and all in the middle schools.

Steiner - have already contacted his office on the issue of math courses shorting the content due to the needs of the elementary mainstreamed special education students included in the classes. (note we have always had included LD students and it hasn't been an issue; sped is another story). At the Mid-Hudson Principal's Conference this summer Steiner did bring up the issue of covering all the course content. The message did get through - our super and one of the elementary principals are on record as echoing it.

Crimson Wife said...

My mom is a reporter for the local paper and for years she was the reporter assigned to cover education issues. She had a particular interest as she had kids in the system for over 2 decades. Every year when it came time to do the school budget, she'd come home mind-boggled at the rate of increase of sped costs. The general ed costs would go up maybe 2-3% but the sped costs would have double-digit increases. And nothing much could be done about it because of all the state and Federal mandates.

California Teacher said...

Many of you may already be aware of this but... here in California, sped costs "encroach" on general fund budgets, which in turn has incentivized limiting our ability to refer students for possible sped evaluations. In my small, cash-strapped district, general ed teachers must provide extensive documentation that we've tried everything imaginable to intervene (including implementing specialist-type instruction) before evaluations will be authorized by our school psychologist.

It's gotten to the point where the psych, who historically attended Student Study meetings to moderate them is no longer doing so. Thus our Student Study meetings consist of the regular teacher, the parent(s) and another regular teacher whose job it is to document the meeting. There are no specialists or "gate-keepers" (as it were) even attending. Children who are in obvious need of evaluation for specialist services are being put off for years as a cost-saving measure. And we can forget about any assistance for conduct and/or behavior disorders.

Wow... 30k per student? That's incredible... my district is at about 7k per student! But we are semi-rural and off the beaten track, that's for sure!