65% or Fight

Okay, let’s just open up the conversation. With the passage of the Governor’s proposal to spend 65% of funds for education inside the classroom — an idea that is intended to not just improve education but hurt teachers unions — what do you think?

Me? I think local school districts should have near plenary power to spend as they see fit. But I also think teachers unions are going to be the death of this country and anything to stick it to them is a good idea.

10 comments

  1. EducationMan says:

    I understand the political origins of the 65 percent standard. However, higher proportions of money spent in the classroom are correlated with higher student achievement. So this proposal is good for GA students. I fail to see how it hurts teacher unions in any way. If our schools improve, that should help all the education associations–including teacher unions.

  2. Chris says:

    I’d say “the death of the republic”.

    As for the 65% rule, I need to read the fine print. I know in my home in Gwinnett they have wasted all sorts of money on “technology” because it is a cool buzz word. The teachers all got laptops that are totally useless because the system doesn’t understand how to network them correctly. They spent money on a closed circuit TV system that scolls the morning announcements or displays a clock all day. If these wastes of money are considered “spending in the class room” I don’t expect much to improve.

  3. Decaturguy says:

    Another mandate by big state government knows better than local municipalities brought to you by the so called “conservative” Republican Party.

  4. Melb says:

    I heard the problem with the 65% rule is that it does not factor in grants or specialized teachers needed at schools. Why not change the formula so that it takes these kinds of money and expand the definition of “classroom expenditures” like the critics are saying?

  5. HeartofGa says:

    This is just one more unfunded mandate for local districts. SB390 does not provide any additional money for education, but it provides for additional state control of local money. And there are multiple problems with this bill, and, according to Standard and Poors, there is no emperical data to support a magic relationship between 65% and student acheivement. You cannot simply that because a district is at 65, and they are acheiving, that the 65 is why that’s occurring. There certainly could be and are other factors.

    Georgia is the only state where “total operational” funds has included federal money- almost all of which is earmarked. I don’t think that the State can impelment a law that seeks to control federal funds. And, politically and from the stand point of policy, the republicans miscalculated on this one, in a big way. The political plan was to divide teachers (who are included in the 65%) and administrators (who are not), and parents (who tend to support the concept of this legislation). That did not happen.

    The problem for the Governor is that all of those groups did their research on this independently and all opposed this bill. Governor Perdue has unintentionally caused these groups to join together against him on this. It will hurt him in November, as it will members who voted in favor.

    I think that the majority party was surprised with the flack they got on this- and from a broad spectrum of people from both parties.

  6. EducationMan says:

    Local control is a means–not an end. Perdue’s bill says if you are performing, you will be exempt from 65%. Accountability with flexibility was what he campaigned on 4 years ago.

    The Standard & Poor’s study is not good. Please see http://www.gppf.org and click on “Classroom spending benefits students”–sorry for posting this a second time.

    Democrats railed against local control the last 3 years. The Barnes 1187 expenditure controls were much more onerous than 65%. My guess is that their vote against this was pure politics. 65% is a very flexible standard.

  7. Chris says:

    Of course, if the conservative and liberals whining _really_ cared about LOCAL control, they would tie the money to the CHILD. The child is the most local you can get, and the parents are the only ones with responsiblity and concern for the child.

  8. HeartofGa says:

    Again, there is no emperical evidence to support the claim that there is some magical cause-effect relationship between 65% and student success. Oh, how I wish it were that simple. And GPPF? Rogers Wade is a Republican- check his giving history. so, I’m supposed to believe that he did not have a partisan dog in this fight? Give me a break.

    Given the fact that this 65% plan was hatched by FCE (whose nonprofit status, I hope, by now has been challenged) and most of us have seen the leaked memo that outlines how this great 65% strategy can be used by Republicans to build public trust on education to gain election and open the dialogue on vouchers, I think that accusations of “politics” is tossing rocks in a glass house.

    For me, what is right for our schools has always come before politics. In fact, every successful effort have worked on to benefit education- and there have been a few-have been nonpartisan. If I thought that this plan would help our children achieve, I would be for it, even if it meant that Sonny would be re-elected- and that’s saying something. As it is, it’s not good for education and he has united a powerful group of parents, teachers and others against him.

    Governor Perdue put politics ahead of what is best for our children’s school. He refused to listen to those who really know what it takes to run a school district. He gave us “fluff” instead of a real education plan, and Kathy Cox was silent. And in November, we’ll remember.

  9. buzzbrockway says:

    I’m with Chris. Tie the money to the child and inject the free market into education. American kids are losing ground to the rest of the world, and it get’s worse every day. The only thing American students are #1 in is self-esteem. Meanwhile teachers want higher pay, more pension benefits, and complain about a minor attempt to force more money to be spent in the classroom. Forgive me but I’m tired of hearing about it. How about some improvement in the education of Georgia’s students?

    In case you missed John Stossel’s recent report on education, you can read about it here.
    It’s well worth your time.

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