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Val123's avatar

Are we the only country in the world that puts education at such a low importance, that when funding cuts are necessary, education is the first to start going?

Asked by Val123 (12668points) June 4th, 2010

Unbelievable, but it’s true. Do other countries have their priorities all bass ackwards? What’s WRONG with us?

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13 Answers

gemiwing's avatar

We have this horrible layover from our puritan days- ‘pull yourself up through hard work and dedication’. While that worked when no one needed to read to feed their family- it just doesn’t apply now.

I despair every time I see a 20 year-old have the writing skills of a five year-old. (let’s just get this straight now- I don’t think I’m a perfect speller/typist etc) I cry for their future. What job will they get? Who will ever listen to them and respect them when they can’t communicate on a basic level? How will they feed their family?

Our policies are those of a time when people could get by with a 3rd grade education, get factory work for the rest of their lives and live a fairly good existence. It’s just not that way anymore and we aren’t keeping up.

tinyfaery's avatar

Keeping people uneducated is how they keep us all in line.

I wish I had an answer. Bailing out corporate America and tightening it’s hold on our government is more important than education and health care. In America, we seem to care more about money and so-called progress than people.

jca's avatar

i know in my county, Westchester County, NY (one of the most affluent counties in the country – not bragging, just to describe the area), school budgets were just voted on and passed in all except for 4 districts. My parents live in an affluent area and although their house is not huge, they pay huge taxes, the largest portion of their taxes goes to the local school district. They pay $6700 per year to the school district. Just to show comparison, they pay approx $2400 to the Fire District, $1400 to the County of Westchester and $1400 to their town. That’s why i can’t afford to buy a house – i could not afford the mortgage plus those taxes. Anyway, here in Westchester there are skyrocketing school budgets and teachers regularly make at least $100,000 annually (trust me, i could show you websites with the public school teachers’ salaries, listed by name).

gemiwing's avatar

@tinyfaery I really do believe it’s from this horrible ‘bootstrap’ bullshit we have been force-fed. This horrible recent return to ‘f- you, I got mine’ sickens my heart. Truly it does. To the point sometimes I honestly can’t deal with it and I tune out. Embarrassing but true.

@jca That’s part of the problem- as I see it. School funding based on property taxes that are only allowed to pay for schools in that area. I’m a firm believer that all property taxes in a state should be distributed equally between all schools, based on child enrollment numbers. That way all the children have a level playing field.

tinyfaery's avatar

@jca That’s quite an inflated salary.

Val123's avatar

What I don’t get is why the school systems seem to want to build grand, huge, super cool school buildings every few years. Where in the world do they get the money for all the bells and whistles that go into them?

gemiwing's avatar

I don’t get why the ‘nice kids’ get the huge new schools and inner-city/rural children have buildings that are falling down around them. Breaks my heart.

@Val123 I can’t remember where I read this- citation needed! – yet I seem to recall a few years ago there was some federal grant monies available for those new schools. It took about five years for it to come down the pipeline so that’s why it seems they are being funded at an odd time. I’ll have to look but I think it was in Newsweek about two years ago.

jca's avatar

@tinyfaery: Google and look at “Data Central” I think it’s called. They have articles on the school districts’ salaries, and you can look by name at teachers’ salaries. Since you or anybody does (probably) not know any specific names, i am sure there is an article in the section just outlining the highest teacher’s salary, etc. This is right outside New York City, where celebrities live: David Letterman, Mariah Carey, Al Pacino, etc. Some affluent towns you can look at: North Salem, Chappaqua, Katonah, to name a few. I would have no reason to lie, @tinyfaery. Look at the articles and the data yourself.

Val123's avatar

@gemiwing Yes, it’s very sad about the inner schools…but the fact is, they don’t get as much tax money from those impoverished areas…..

tinyfaery's avatar

I believe it. It’s just ridiculous. The very top of the pay scale in my wife’s district is about $80,000. And that’s after years and years of working and increasing their education.

jca's avatar

@gemiwing : i can see your point but i can also see the point of a property owner in an exclusive area. if all property taxes were even distributed throughout all school districts in the state, the people who work hard and pay high taxes to live in a good school district and nice area would say why are we doing this in order to distribute it to someone who maybe receives public assistance and lives in a bad neighborhood. i am not saying people in bad neighborhoods receive public assistance, what i am saying is that you can see the point of why someone who is paying a ton of money (like i said my parents pay 6700 annually in taxes to their school district alone and they own a very average sized house in an average neighborhood) might not want to have it go to someone they may see as less deserving.

i know the argument that all children are deserving, i am just playing devil’s advocate here.

perspicacious's avatar

I honestly do not know about systems other than the one in my city. It doesn’t accept federal money. We are taxed to the hilt for our schools. I know it’s not the norm, but it works. What happens is that unless you are willing to highly support education, you do not live here. It makes for an educated population and great schools for our kids.

faye's avatar

In my counry, Canada, education and healthcare seem to both take a beating. I always wonder what the hell they are spending the money on??!! My taxes keep going up.

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