And it plays out over and over and over again. I’ve blogged a number of times: I overheard two teachers (who were also union reps) at a Town Meeting a few years mutter between themselves:
“The enrollment is down but the needs are UP!”
Like a lot of towns, the number of students has been going down but the expected costs savings never appear even as school buildings go unused more and more. Seems THAT SAME mantra is not just in those towns but in the Cities as well. In this case, Manchester, where the UL had a piece about the school system demanding $4 million more (emphasis mine):
“You’re asking to spend an additional $9 million just in this budget alone for 2021, which ultimately would mean the increase in spending since 2016 is $24 million, or 15%,” Porter said. “We have a 14% reduction in enrollment, yet a 15% increase in expenditures.”
“Although our enrollment is dropping, we also have to remember that we also have students that have a lot different needs than the Manchester of 10 or 15 years ago, and it’s a much different world to reach them and provide the supports they need,” Goldhardt said.
“Knowing the tough times we are going into, I think the school board needs to have a very, very serious conversation about closing down a school,” Porter said. “The capacity at West (high school) at one point was roughly 2,400 students, and I believe they’re down to 700 or 800. I see nothing from the school board as an alderman to show that the school board has made a conscious effort to reduce costs. Every time someone raises it, it gets squashed.”
It’s always the case that an ask for more, when the ask is reduced (but still more $$ than before), cries of “YOU’RE CUTTING OUR BUDGET!!” echoes in the empty classrooms. That’s a remarkable number at West High School downturn in enrollment: two thirds gone.
But the money is never enough in the face of “it’s a much different world“; as LAME of an excuse ever especially as the Educational-Industrial Complex decided to take on more and more of what parents should be doing – to the point, as I’ve blogged before, of cutting parents out of the picture altogether. For THAT REASON ALONE, Districts ought to have their budgets cut until they realize that parents and taxpayers are supposed to be in charge instead of how it is going down the tracks right now.
And in a lot of cases, the needs are also a factor of how schools have been trying to make themselves into entities other than just teaching academics.
Stop being parents – it’s not your job. Especially because, if you look at standardized testing, you’re failing at the basics.
(H/T: Union Leader)