Grim future

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out Archives' started by ChristyF, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Nov 7, 2005

    We have all been sort of sitting back waiting to see the effects that the hurricanes have had on our state. We knew that the ripple effects would last for a while, but I've been really concerned/surprised by some of them. We adopt a different subject textbook each year. This year is social studies, but we are hearing that we won't be adopting books because of the money. Also, Louisiana has TOPS which is a great program that allows anyone to go to college. In high school there is a set standard they should meet (easily acheivable grades and manageable classes). TOPS pays tuition at any state university and usually has some left over for books. Now they are talking about cutting that. I hate for that to happen. My niece is a sophmore this year and without TOPS, I don't know that she will be able to go to college. There is also talk of removing the incentive stipend for National Certification. ($5,000 a year). I don't know if I made it this year, but I have to admit, the money was part of the reason I did it. I might accidentally be able to move out of this apartment with the money that I would get. The scariest, though, is the talk of using our teacher retirment. There is a lot in there, but I am really afraid once they raid it, that it will never stop.
    I know the hurricanes devastated our state and that everyone is going to have to work to pull our state back up. I hate, though, for education to take the brunt of the blow. How are other states dealing with these issues?
     
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  3. sdhudgins

    sdhudgins Comrade

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    Nov 7, 2005

    We've had a huge influx of people from Louisiana in our area, and my heart goes out to your entire state.

    It's scary to think of education taking any of the hit. That's the key to people pulling out of their current situations in many cases.

    Sorry we're not even having to deal with anything like that i just wanted to let you know your neighbors to the north are still pulling for you every day.
     
  4. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Nov 7, 2005

    I think money is a problem for most states. In California, it sure is. The legislature and previous governors have seen fit to pass laws that ensure the state spends more money than it takes in. And it doesn't help that the taxpayers are paying for the educational and medical care of a large number of illegal aliens. Our current governor, Arnold Schwartzenegger, the Governator, is trying to deal with the mess. There is an initiative on the ballot tomorrow to give the governor power to act in a fiscal emergency if the legistature fails to. Among other things, it eliminates the funding floor for education. Currently, at least a minimum of something like a third or more of the state budget has to go to education. We have never gone as low as that floor. But if the initiative passes, the floor goes away.

    In recent years, budget problems have resulted in fee increases in the Community Colleges, State University, and University of California on just about a yearly basis. Community colleges are still a bargain, only $26/unit. And if your income is low, the fees are waived. Some students who were qualified for entry into the University of California were diverted to Community Colleges for one year. I don't see this one as a problem. Community Colleges are much better for lower division courses than UC--30 students in a classroom instead of 600 in an auditorium for some courses.

    K12 is hurting. Some districts defer maintenance. In some, supplies are hard to come by, etc. In some districts subjects which aren't basic are being eliminated.

    I wouldn't worry about your retirement system. Don't know how yours is set up (whether it has unfunded liabilities, etc.) The state can borrow money, but has to put it back, almost surely with interest. It really shouldn't be any different than any other investment made by the retirement system and is probably less risky than some that have already been made.

    It is all pretty depressing. But, frankly I doubt education is taking any more than its share of the blow anywhere, and probably less in many places.
     
  5. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Nov 7, 2005

    Christy, I hope things improve for Louisiana. In my social studies methods classes we were all worrying about the people of Louisiana. I have distant family in your state. I hope the state leaves education alone, if they touch education funds they won't help the state out very much.

    TOPS sounds similar to the Lottery Scholarship and Bridge to success they have her in NM. Every year they talk about cutting funds...I ran out of my money (with three semesters to go or $12,000--tuition only) and it hurt. I hope the Louisiana Government keeps their eyes on the future of the state. If they cut funding for teachers or/and TOPS they loose fragile trust and workers for the state in the future.

    I hope you niece and others in the state get to continue to go to college. I almost lost being able to go with two semesters left. I cried so hard...going to college for me wouldn't have been possible with out Lottery and Bridge--as with many others in this state.
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Nov 8, 2005

    I think everyone is willing to make the cuts. I hate the thought of not getting new textbooks, but the ones we have are fine for the most part, and I don't go by the book anyway. That would save a bundle. I just wish the cuts could come in other ways. The 3.7 Billion dollar bill the state got has everyone flabbergasted. (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-11-03-louisiana-hurricane-bills_x.htmf) I don't know where the money will come from. FEMA has been a dirty word around my town since the tornado (we lost a third of the homes in our town, but we didn't qualify for any help at all). Now it's worse!
     
  7. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Nov 8, 2005

    Just to correct an error in what I posted previously, the initiative doesn't remove the floor, which is 39% of general fund spending. And it has not gone that low since 1988-89. It does remove the tie to growth in general fund revenue and maintenance factor.
     

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