Stimulus Money...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Hoot Owl, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    We're recipients of a lot of it, and I'm not happy about it at all. Apparently it's earmarked for "technology" and everyone in the entire district is going to receive a laptop, mounted projector, document camera, surround sound, and Mimeo board.

    I might enjoy the document camera but everyone already has computers in their classroom, there's portable projectors and Mimeos which can be checked out from the library (NO ONE CARES to check them out), and I just don't want the surround sound at all.

    I might be a little vain, but I do a great job with what I already have, and I used to be a great teacher with just a chalk board and chalk. My mandated scores were always Advanced and Proficient.

    I don't have time or space for all this extra stuff, I'd rather had more novels.

    I firmly believe too that kids HAVE to spend X number of hours actually engaged in reading and writing to become masters of it, all this technology is just going to take my time from actually teaching.

    On top of all of this, I worry about the National Debt!

    Just venting, anyone excited about their Stimulus Money? I'm not saying anything at all about my feelings at school, this is the safest place I know of to vent.
     
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  3. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    We also received it. Most of the teachers in our school received Smart Boards. K teachers did not. All of the teachers received laptops. The ones with Smartboards are the only ones who use them. I have my own laptop at home and a desk top at school. I haven't opened the laptop they gave me since inservice where I was required to sit through hours of instruction on technology that I don't have. Oh well, maybe some day K will get Smartboards, if so, I hope I will remember what was covered.
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    You'll probably have to sit through it again if you do get one :whistle: From what I understand, the district had to ask for money and explain what it was for and how it would be used. Our district got money for RtI intervention programs and I think it is a great use of the money. Our problem though is that we did receive money that was earmarked for staff raises, which sounds great except that no one knows how the raises will be covered next year when the stimulus money isn't there.:confused:
     
  5. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    We received a bonus last year instead of a raise, that way the district was covered. It'll be interesting to see how they handle that one.
     
  6. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    Our stimulus money went to keep teachers in the classroom instead of us having 50 students to teach. I am very happy about that!!
     
  7. SSA

    SSA Companion

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    I don't think any school would rationally turn away money, but a lot of funding often has various strings attached that don't always let one use the money as one might wish. For example I know of one school that got some stimulus money to install solar panels on their buildings and of course people whine that the school is cutting staff while building solar panels. The reality is that the school can't pick how such categorical funds can be spent.

    If there is just one thing that could be changed about education in America it would be to redirect various categorical funding to unrestricted funds or at the very least make the restrictions looser.
     
  8. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Same here, but the word coming down is that there will be zero money next year - the district admin has set up meetings at all school sites, and I'm hearing they'll be asking us to take a pay cut of between 3% and 5%. I'll know more after our meeting on the 14th. :(
     
  9. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Our is to improve our schools. They are using it to add an addition to the high school and move the bus garage out of the HS.
     
  10. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Hoot,

    I only had a projector last year but this year am at one of the "technology" elementary schools and have the mounted projector and the activBoard as well as the three classroom computers and the 2 building computer labs. It's been absolutely awesome. There are so many wonderful flipcharts available at www.prometheanplanet.com that you can find something to help reinforce about any skill. I also use (or let the kids use during small group) the ActivBoard to do interactive websites as a group.
     
  11. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    That's our issue too- we were going to hire an intervention specialist with the funds, but don't know if we would have funds to keep this person on after that stimulus money runs out.

    I think it's well-intentioned, just maybe not entirely thought-through by people outside of education.
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I guess that depends on your perspective.

    Your proposal is what is happening in California this year and it is a DISASTER for categorical programs, like mine. We were cut 20% off the top from the state, and now the district can use the money any way they want. We are probably up to about 40% cuts right now and are told this will be nothing compared to January. Many categorical programs are very valuable and are being wiped out.

    Now, I happened to walk into the wrong room at the district the other day and there were computers stacked up to the ceiling. I made a comment about that is a lot of laid of teachers and, of course, was told that is a different funding source. The computers we could have done without.
     
  13. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Our stimulus money went to keep some teachers for 2 more years (hopefully most of them will earn tenure before that pot of money ends). That was a good thing. The rest of the money went to the ESE department. So someone explain to me why we have now had to put 2 ESE teachers( and all their stuff) and their assistants(and all their stuff) and all of the schools ESE students (approx 50 full and part time) in one portable classroom?
     
  14. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    We were able to hire a math/reading intervention aide and a communications aide. It will probably be just for the year. We also got the technology money and used it to replace some VERY old computers throughout the school.

    I'm not happy about the money from the federal budget/debt situation, but if they're going to insist on giving money out I'm glad we were able to put it to good use.
     
  15. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    I don't think that we got stimulus money.... We are slowly gaining the technology because our PTA is buying for us. Right now, between every 2 teachers at our school we have 1 Elmo and 1 Mimio. I love having it because the students are going to need to know how to use this for their own personal futures.
     
  16. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Don't worry about the National Debt, Hoot...... If the National Debt is a problem the Potus and the Congress will simply cut a few more checks.....:eek::eek::eek:

    Of course someone someday will have to cover these checks...... but why worry about such a trivial thing as debt........:whistle::whistle:

    Major......:)
     
  17. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Right now I have a Smart Board, but I don't have a laptop... how helpful is that?
     
  18. SSA

    SSA Companion

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    A lot of school districts in CA were hit by a perfect storm for layoffs with declining funding and declining enrollment. LAUSD for example in recent years has seen enrollment decline by 50K+ students and along with them about a few hundred million dollars worth of ADA funding left along with them.

    Furthermore, categorical funding for education is far from dead by your own admission. When overall funding isn't keeping up with inflation I don't know whether it is fair to blame the state for consolidating categorical funds into the general education budget.

    In addition, state level micromanaging not just in CA, but across the country often results in situations like you described where local priorities can't be met despite in some cases sufficient per pupil funding because so much of the budget is predetermined before the school board can make any choices.
     
  19. akatiegirl

    akatiegirl Rookie

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    I actually just interviewed for a pair of part-time positions that are results of stimulus funds (they're half-day positions, at a middle school and a high school, but they share a building.) It'll be a two-year position, which is kind of perfect, because by then I'll be very close to my Special Ed certification, and my husband and I will be looking at having kids, anyway. Also, aside from being a secondary position, it couldn't be a more perfect position for me right now. I'll be teaching Reading to high schoolers, and helping middle schoolers boost their Math and Language Arts scores on our state standardized test through remediation. I'm very excited about it. However, I know that other districts' funding has been very poorly allocated. I hate that they'll go and buy excessive technology, but not try to hire new teachers, or keep the ones they have. That just drives me crazy:(

    -Katie
     
  20. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I do agree we need more local control of funds, but the way they did it here was not well thought out and there need to be some protections in place for categorical programs and the populations we reporesent.
     

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