Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Doing more with less

At the local YMCA, there was a group of people lobbying hard against a MLO (Mill Levy Override). In this upcoming election, I am sure that this community is not alone. The majority of MLO monies usually go to public services (such as firemen and policemen) and to education. As I was leaving, I overheard this conversation:

Man: Well they say that the schools need more money.
Woman: They have plenty, they need to learn to make due with less. We are all having to do that at home so why not at school.

It took everything that I had not to jump in that conversation.

Here are some thing that need to be heard:

  • Over the decade from 2001–02 to 2011–12, in constant dollars, average salaries for public  school teachers changed -2.8 percent with Colorado the lowest (-5.5%) 

  • My state is 29th in spending money on education 
So while I am personally getting less and receiving less from my school district, I am expected to perform more. I am expected to raise the bar of excellence and prepare students for jobs and experiences outside the classroom yet we don't have daily access to computers. Every year it is a fight to get any monies for classroom supplies such as staples, post it notes, three whole punches, etc.

So while I am getting paid less, I am expected to do more and now my job is dependent on my student's performance on tests that they themselves are not held accountable for.

Is raising taxes a popular idea right now? No - and I get that. However, if we want more from our students and we want them to achieve more, then we have to give them more.