Monday, May 09, 2011

What happens when public schools run out of money

Public schools spend approximately $10,000 per pupil for staff salaries and retirement, books, food, gas money, equipment, supplies, etc. This does not include the money for the building  or the buses used to drive them to school. Parents pay private schools anywhere between $4000-$12,000 per child in addition to already paying property taxes for the public school system (Our town in Maine states that 75% of the annual tax we pay on our home goes to the local education budget). In contrast, homeschooling costs between almost nothing and $1000 per child (for a full enrollment school-in-a-box enrollment).

There is obviously a great deal of waste that can be cut from any public school budget, but what is the first idea suggested in Michigan (with 41% of the residents of Detroit now considered functionally illiterate) and California? Cut the school year with the result that children are not receiving even the basic 180 days of schooling.   It is increasingly obvious that the public school model is not functioning. Children are not being educated, the teachers unions are growing richer and more powerful, and the financial dam is about to break. What will it take for large numbers of parents to break free from the warehousing that is going on now? If they were offered freedom with their pocketbooks to choose their children's education enviroment then things would change in a big, fat hurry. Those in charge of the current system know it and are holding on for dear life for their own benefit. 

Teachers and parents throughout the region and state have grown accustomed to significant cutbacks in their public schools, increased demands for fundraising and threats to layoff faculty as California copes with its relentless fiscal crisis.

But schools could face a financial hit so severe in the coming school year that many may be shut down as many as six weeks early, under an extreme cost-cutting measure that was first suggested in January with little fanfare and has been gaining traction ever since.
That means children could be cut lose (sic) from school in April next year, just after Easter. Sign On San Diego


Annette M. Heidmann said...

Absolutely true... public schools are grossly inefficient when it comes to cost/benefit ratio. It's hard to imagine that such an ingrained system could collapse, but it surely does look like it's beginning to crumble.

Linda said...

When doing my taxes this year, I was reminded of my frustration with the waste in public schools. I pay taxes for public school, and if my child were utilizing that "free" system, it would cost me about $150 per month, in addition to my tax burden. Back to my frustration, I had to have documentation for everything, to count my less than a thousand dollars in homeschool expenses on my taxes. Really? But the schools can spend $10,000 per student? How can this be? I totally agree with you about the inefficiency of the public system, and I wonder how long that system can stand.
Happy to be homeschooling 1 child for 4 years with Time4Learning!