Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Superintendents: Governor’s proposed ‘level-funded’ school budget not for FY2018

Compliance with a new directive in Vermont Gov. Phil Scott’s budget address last month would have meant cutting 20 professional positions next year from the Springfield School District.    


  1. might not be a bad thing to cut some help,central office could lose some,they got pretty big over the years,take a walk thru some of the schools,you'll see some classes with 3-5 kids sitting in it,the worst part would be is the support staff will be the ones to go,happens every time

  2. chuck gregory2/8/17, 5:08 PM

    The classes with 3-5 kids are the classes with the luckiest students! The key to effective teaching is the relationship between teacher and student. As soon as you have 15 students in a classroom, quality starts going downhill.

    But since one of our prime cultural beliefs is, "If he's rich, he must be smart," we've never really valued education very much.

    1. It's been my experience that many of those who don't care about education are the students! The idea of education as a right has given students AND parents the belief that NO effort on their part is required. Learning is the responsibility of the student; you can't just pour an education into their heads! The motivation to learn must come from parents, you can't just dump them at school and expect little Einstiens! The average class size when I went to school was 20-30 students. I attended college courses with class sizes in the hundreds! Yet, both I and my classmates managed to learn! Why? BECAUSE WE STUDIED! You can't learn by playing video games, watching TV, or Tweeting! Class sizes of 3 to 5 is a waste of time and money! If you don't feel like learning, just memorize this phrase, "Do you want fries with that?"

  3. chuck gregory2/9/17, 3:04 PM

    6:27, When I was 11, a TV in the home was a rare thing indeed. When you were 11, there was hardly a newborn in the nation who wasn't being brought home to a TV already there. Today, more than half the kids in America are in households where TV, the Internet, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc., are normal, kids whose parents think so too. These parents for the most part don't have a clue about how the post-literate aspects of these media create illiteracy.

    These kids and their parents are not the kids and parents of your generation-- or mine. Teachers for the most part know this and do what they can to keep education at a humanly interactive level. It's a lot more work when a teacher is facing 20-30 kids who expect a cut to a different visual every 5-7 seconds.

    It's even harder when a teacher is dealing with 140-150 kids on a fifty-minute once-a-day basis in high school. It's impossible when an adjunct professor has a classroom of 300.

    To simply say it's the fault of students and parents is to resign ourselves and our children to peasanthood. We need to make the changes that are known to produce better results. We deserve to make it possible for all teachers to bring out in every student, as Larry Carbonetti said, "things they didn't know they had."

    1. Who said 150 kids per class? 20 is probably enough. Sure, there was a TV in my house when I was a kid, (black and white, so I'm older than you think) but I was only allowed to watch it one hour per day. TV rots your brain, mom said, and she was right! I was taught to read by the age of 5, so I read a lot of books (you know, the square paper things.) I don't know what to do about bad parenting; there's far too much of it. But paying teachers 30-40k per year to be pseudo parents is not the solution. One solution is jobs that pay enough so that one parent can stay home and actually raise their kids. Another would be to stop promoting computers and technology as the solution to our problems; they are tools, and nothing more. I'll paraphrase mom, here; THE INTERNET ROTS YOUR BRAIN!

  4. chuck gregory2/10/17, 4:36 PM

    Good points, 9:11, but times now aren't the way they were even as recently as when you were growing up: Flat wages for the 80% since 1970 means both parents HAVE to work. Parents born with a TV in their house don't believe TV rots the brain (it does, but they think that's normal); good teachers are not pseudo parents (never have been); and because most of society thinks social media is great, they don't think about its deleterious effects on one's adaptation to reading.

    The "150 students" refers to a high school teacher having as many as 150 students rotate through her/his classroom in the course of a day. Hard to create or sustain a teaching relationship with contact only 3 times a week for 40 minutes...

    It turns out that there's hardly anybody-- teacher, administrator, school board member or candidate, who at this time is thinking of improving the substance of Springfield schools. Maybe we've been driven so deeply into the survival level at this point we don't dare dream...

    1. Well, at least we agree on one thing; our culture is becoming ever-increasingly intellectually bankrupt! I was fortunate to have grown up during the Great Society years, when intellect and education were valued, and not condemned as "elitist" as they are now. I believe it was Jaime Escalante who said "students will rise to the level of expectation." We need to raise our standards; our future depends on it.

  5. ...the problem articulated here, level funding will equal loss of 20 positions, indicates that year over year costs are rising at a level equal to the cost of 20 staff positions...the 800 pound gorilla in the room is that it is the rising cost of staff benefits that is creating this problem. The article barely mentions benefits and draws no correlation to the effect that benefits are having on school budgets all over the country. Union contracts protect longevity, so any positions eliminated are newer employees, regardless of employee value. It is not uncommon for school district budgets to represent up to 70% of a municipality's total tax revenue, with no slowdown in the escalation of benefit costs. Look at the benefit package of your local school district employees and compare them to those of the typical private sector worker. Until this unsustainable formula is addressed, the quality of education delivered by public schools will continue to decline.

    1. Yeah, EVERYBODY should get screwed, just like in the private sector. Who do these people think they are, educated professionals? They should be on food stamps, like every other minimum wage, private sector worker!


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1st Annual Donald L. Gurney Field Day, May 14, 2016

Video by Chip Howard

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