Putting big pinch on schools

Putting big pinch on schools

There are 86 comments on the Evening Sun story from Apr 28, 2011, titled Putting big pinch on schools. In it, Evening Sun reports that:

News that the Hanover Public School District cut two programs and two teaching positions this week to make its budget was greeted with some surprise by those commenting on the story online.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Evening Sun.

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Curious

Hanover, PA

#1 Apr 28, 2011
"Anyone with any education should be able to figure that out" Perhaps that is exactly where the crux of the problem resides. The "Education" system.

It cannot be denied that standardized test scores have fallen during the last number of years in the United States. The United States no longer holds top rankings in the world in the arena of science and math.

Public schools are rife with mismanagement, inefficiency and corruption by unions, school boards and administrations attempting to create little fiefdoms and pushing agendas not related to the teaching of academics.

According to their website, the “NEA opposes school vouchers because they divert essential resources from public schools to private and religious schools, while offering no real "choice" for the overwhelming majority of students”.

According to USA Today “In Washington, D.C., a 2010 study by the U.S. Department of Education found that there was a 21 percentage point gap between the graduation rates of those in the voucher program (graduation rate: 91%) and those who had applied, but had failed to win the placement lottery (70%). A study released late last month by the University of Arkansas’ School Choice Demonstration Project showed a similar pattern in Milwaukee, with those using vouchers in the 9th grade graduating at a rate (77%) eight percentage points higher than their peers in public schools (69%).”

If upon further analysis the scholastic testing shows only minor improvement in grades between those in the voucher program versus those not, the much increased rate of graduating those at risk students alone is highly significant and beneficial.

As for the comment of "throwing money at underperforming schools is no solution to the educational challenges they face. But neither is cutting educational funding." Where have you been lately? There is NO MONEY. We have no money to waste on a system which has continually failed to increase graduation rates and/or raise scholastic aptitudes. What we have are school districts building huge stadiums and building new schools when only repairs were required on the old ones (remember Eisenhower?).

Only when it gets to the point of having to cut classes and teachers (which incites taxpayers and parents alike) yet still requiring tax increases do we suddenly hear about the need to become fiscally responsible from those in charge.

Perhaps its time to really begin investigating other alternatives, particularly those alternatives which seem to have positive results and if vouchers are one of these alternatives then so be it.

"for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap"
Really

United States

#2 Apr 28, 2011
It's too bad that the students and the children are going to have to reap what the generations before them have sewn. Why should they have to pay for mistakes of the generations before them. You live, therefore you pay taxes, that's it, as did generations before you so that you had what you needed. I just feel that taking programs away from the students so that a taxpayer can save $30.00 a year is pathetic. If you have a problem paying the $30.00 a year for the children, then SHAME ON YOU!

Since: Jan 09

Hanover

#3 Apr 28, 2011
[QUOTE who="Curious"
....snip....
What we have are school districts building huge stadiums and building new schools when only repairs were required on the old ones (remember Eisenhower?).
....snip....
[/QUOTE]

I believe you mean "Eichelberger", don't you?
And actually, that is only one of the 4 former school buildings that are still being used for other purposes in Hanover.
Anonymous

Littlestown, PA

#4 Apr 29, 2011
Curious wrote:
Public schools are rife with mismanagement, inefficiency and corruption by unions, school boards and administrations attempting to create little fiefdoms and pushing agendas not related to the teaching of academics.

As for the comment of "throwing money at underperforming schools is no solution to the educational challenges they face. But neither is cutting educational funding." Where have you been lately? There is NO MONEY. We have no money to waste on a system which has continually failed to increase graduation rates and/or raise scholastic aptitudes. What we have are school districts building huge stadiums and building new schools when only repairs were required on the old ones (remember Eisenhower?).
Only when it gets to the point of having to cut classes and teachers (which incites taxpayers and parents alike) yet still requiring tax increases do we suddenly hear about the need to become fiscally responsible from those in charge.
Perhaps its time to really begin investigating other alternatives, particularly those alternatives which seem to have positive results and if vouchers are one of these alternatives then so be it.
"for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap"
Absolutely. Get rid of the union. Get rid of tenure, place in merit. They should be evaluated and observed. I know a few teachers that are apathetic and can't really be bothered nor stand children at all, they went to college for an "easy ticket" and a few say they regret it. Boards usually spend money and don't care about the academics. Spend millions renovating or building a new stadium yet cut classes? Since they decided to do this, they also shouldn't be crying about it. That's probably the best example of money mis-management. I also don't understand why kids "need" all these extra things and classes. It certainly isn't helping the test scores. What happened to being told what classes you take for your year and the only electives are a choice of language class? What happened to students having to have fundraisers to support their playing sports or the parent paying for it? Why should that come from us as well? Ugh.

As he said, anyone with an education can also figure out we desperately need cuts all over and have no more money. The high times are over. Can't live your lavish lifestyle (workstyle, learning style?) anymore, tough potatos. I still contest these extra programs aren't needed and useless.
adams county

Port Royal, PA

#5 Apr 29, 2011
Why not just cut the field trips. That alone would save a ton of money. For a school that has no bus service they shure go on a lot of trips!!! Do you think they get the bus servece for free? I THINK NOT!!!!!!!!!!
New journalism

Hanover, PA

#6 Apr 29, 2011
This has now reached a new low. The Evening Sun is writing articles on what has been put in blogs to articles. True journalism at its best.
roadman

Boiling Springs, PA

#7 Apr 29, 2011
JustMyHonestOpinion wrote:
<quoted text>
I believe you mean "Eichelberger", don't you?
And actually, that is only one of the 4 former school buildings that are still being used for other purposes in Hanover.
Eisenhower is in Gettysburg.If you would check the difference between, studies done by two independent architectual groups, at that time. The difference between renovation and building, the eichelberger, new was less than one million $$.
Curious

Hunt Valley, MD

#8 Apr 29, 2011
Really:“You live, therefore you pay taxes?” Is it a necessity that we pay taxes in some form? Absolutely. Is it necessary we pay these taxes, which rise every year, for school districts to waste and show no improvement in any area. Absolutely not! As for your $30 a year theory SHAME ON YOU. Do you really believe it is $30 a year? First - That figure is only accurate for a house worth so much. I believe its around $100,000. Second – that $30 a year adds up very quickly when you add it year after year after year. HPSD has had nothing but increases for the last 5 or 6 years or more. Third – we’re not paying it for the “children”– we are paying it for the corrupt unions, some incompetent teachers and an administration that seems to be incapable of getting our test scores even to the PA state levels (which in itself is truly pathetic). Do you realize that the increase in the budget just for the raises this year is $572,000 (295,000 for wages & 277,000 for benefits). The 4 day furlough we are suppose to be grateful for covered only half of that – where did the other half come from? Oh that is right we had to lay off teachers. Lastly – we live in a district where 30% are retired and living on a fixed income. We also have a good deal of people who have either lost their jobs or are forced to take pay cuts. Just because you believe $30 is unimportant (not to mention the tax hikes coming for the next number of years) for some people it means choosing whether to get medicine or food. Do your research instead of towing a party line and expecting all taxpayers just to shell out money for all of this incompetence and corruption. By the way, if you work just how much is your benefit package compared to your wages?

Just My Honest Opinion – Sorry I did mean Eichelberger – it was late and I was incensed again. Thanks for the information about the other schools. I forgot to count those.

Roadman – Once again, Sorry I did mean Eichelberger not Eisenhower. You also talk about $1 million dollars like it is a drop in the bucket. How much is the interest on the $1 million. Unless you have it in cash you will need a bond/loan of some sort. I don’t know about Gettysburg but Hanover now has about $30 million in bonds which is less than what we take in every year.$1 million dollars is a lot of money and to meet that obligation with the cuts in Federal and State money where will it come from? It comes from the taxpayers and you don’t even address the issue of whether a new building is actually even needed. Are all of the renovations needed at once or even at all? If Hanover didn’t have to spend $2-3 million a year to pay back the bonds principle and interest we could have done the required renovations a bit each year and not put ourselves in the hole.
Freedom

Dover, PA

#9 Apr 29, 2011
The graduation rates are the that way because voucher schools can select which students to take. They are obviously not accepting students with low academic levels, hence there is not equal opportunity for all.
Curious wrote:
"Anyone with any education should be able to figure that out" Perhaps that is exactly where the crux of the problem resides. The "Education" system.
It cannot be denied that standardized test scores have fallen during the last number of years in the United States. The United States no longer holds top rankings in the world in the arena of science and math.
Public schools are rife with mismanagement, inefficiency and corruption by unions, school boards and administrations attempting to create little fiefdoms and pushing agendas not related to the teaching of academics.
According to their website, the “NEA opposes school vouchers because they divert essential resources from public schools to private and religious schools, while offering no real "choice" for the overwhelming majority of students”.
According to USA Today “In Washington, D.C., a 2010 study by the U.S. Department of Education found that there was a 21 percentage point gap between the graduation rates of those in the voucher program (graduation rate: 91%) and those who had applied, but had failed to win the placement lottery (70%). A study released late last month by the University of Arkansas’ School Choice Demonstration Project showed a similar pattern in Milwaukee, with those using vouchers in the 9th grade graduating at a rate (77%) eight percentage points higher than their peers in public schools (69%).”
If upon further analysis the scholastic testing shows only minor improvement in grades between those in the voucher program versus those not, the much increased rate of graduating those at risk students alone is highly significant and beneficial.
As for the comment of "throwing money at underperforming schools is no solution to the educational challenges they face. But neither is cutting educational funding." Where have you been lately? There is NO MONEY. We have no money to waste on a system which has continually failed to increase graduation rates and/or raise scholastic aptitudes. What we have are school districts building huge stadiums and building new schools when only repairs were required on the old ones (remember Eisenhower?).
Only when it gets to the point of having to cut classes and teachers (which incites taxpayers and parents alike) yet still requiring tax increases do we suddenly hear about the need to become fiscally responsible from those in charge.
Perhaps its time to really begin investigating other alternatives, particularly those alternatives which seem to have positive results and if vouchers are one of these alternatives then so be it.
"for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap"
Freedom

Dover, PA

#10 Apr 29, 2011
The state and feds designate where funds are to be spend. Some money is only able to be used on renovations and new buildings. If it is not used, it is lost. Why not use it?
Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
Absolutely. Get rid of the union. Get rid of tenure, place in merit. They should be evaluated and observed. I know a few teachers that are apathetic and can't really be bothered nor stand children at all, they went to college for an "easy ticket" and a few say they regret it. Boards usually spend money and don't care about the academics. Spend millions renovating or building a new stadium yet cut classes? Since they decided to do this, they also shouldn't be crying about it. That's probably the best example of money mis-management. I also don't understand why kids "need" all these extra things and classes. It certainly isn't helping the test scores. What happened to being told what classes you take for your year and the only electives are a choice of language class? What happened to students having to have fundraisers to support their playing sports or the parent paying for it? Why should that come from us as well? Ugh.
As he said, anyone with an education can also figure out we desperately need cuts all over and have no more money. The high times are over. Can't live your lavish lifestyle (workstyle, learning style?) anymore, tough potatos. I still contest these extra programs aren't needed and useless.
roadman

Boiling Springs, PA

#11 Apr 29, 2011
Curious wrote:
Really:“You live, therefore you pay taxes?” Is it a necessity that we pay taxes in some form? Absolutely. Is it necessary we pay these taxes, which rise every year, for school districts to waste and show no improvement in any area. Absolutely not! As for your $30 a year theory SHAME ON YOU. Do you really believe it is $30 a year? First - That figure is only accurate for a house worth so much. I believe its around $100,000. Second – that $30 a year adds up very quickly when you add it year after year after year. HPSD has had nothing but increases for the last 5 or 6 years or more. Third – we’re not paying it for the “children”– we are paying it for the corrupt unions, some incompetent teachers and an administration that seems to be incapable of getting our test scores even to the PA state levels (which in itself is truly pathetic). Do you realize that the increase in the budget just for the raises this year is $572,000 (295,000 for wages & 277,000 for benefits). The 4 day furlough we are suppose to be grateful for covered only half of that – where did the other half come from? Oh that is right we had to lay off teachers. Lastly – we live in a district where 30% are retired and living on a fixed income. We also have a good deal of people who have either lost their jobs or are forced to take pay cuts. Just because you believe $30 is unimportant (not to mention the tax hikes coming for the next number of years) for some people it means choosing whether to get medicine or food. Do your research instead of towing a party line and expecting all taxpayers just to shell out money for all of this incompetence and corruption. By the way, if you work just how much is your benefit package compared to your wages?
Just My Honest Opinion – Sorry I did mean Eichelberger – it was late and I was incensed again. Thanks for the information about the other schools. I forgot to count those.
Roadman – Once again, Sorry I did mean Eichelberger not Eisenhower. You also talk about $1 million dollars like it is a drop in the bucket. How much is the interest on the $1 million. Unless you have it in cash you will need a bond/loan of some sort. I don’t know about Gettysburg but Hanover now has about $30 million in bonds which is less than what we take in every year.$1 million dollars is a lot of money and to meet that obligation with the cuts in Federal and State money where will it come from? It comes from the taxpayers and you don’t even address the issue of whether a new building is actually even needed. Are all of the renovations needed at once or even at all? If Hanover didn’t have to spend $2-3 million a year to pay back the bonds principle and interest we could have done the required renovations a bit each year and not put ourselves in the hole.
I'am just amazed that a person of your expertise and knowledge is not on the school board. Or is it just easier to talk instead of doing something and you don't have to write your name.

P.S. Middle school bond issue is paid for
Curious

Hunt Valley, MD

#12 Apr 29, 2011
Freedom wrote:
The graduation rates are the that way because voucher schools can select which students to take. They are obviously not accepting students with low academic levels, hence there is not equal opportunity for all.
<quoted text>
They were originally designed for low income at risk kids so I do agree that there is not equal opportunity for all. Hopefully that issue will be addressed so that all kids are not stuck in schools with low graduation rates, violence and poor academic standings.

Also, for your remark about why not using the money from federal and state? Seriously? Where does the state and federal govt get their money - from taxes. Its not likely there is a printing press printing money (oh wait there is according to Bernanke). Whatever money the state and federal govts are giving to the schools they are using tax money from the tax payers. So do I care if the state/federal government gives Gettysburg $5 million dollars to build an unnecessary building? You bet. That is the problem with the US right now - everyone considers everything free that the government (whether its federal, state or local) gives them - it is not free money. This is where the gravy train mentality places an enormous part of the problems which we face now - whether its a 14 trillion deficity nationally or a 1 million defict locally. It all stems from the same problem.
Curious

Hunt Valley, MD

#13 Apr 29, 2011
roadman wrote:
<quoted text>
I'am just amazed that a person of your expertise and knowledge is not on the school board. Or is it just easier to talk instead of doing something and you don't have to write your name.
P.S. Middle school bond issue is paid for
Why so hostile?

Does my anonymity make my point any less valid?

P.S. How much did that middle school bond cost the taxpayers? Including interest?
Hanover Resident

Hanover, PA

#14 Apr 29, 2011
Curious wrote:
<quoted text>
They were originally designed for low income at risk kids so I do agree that there is not equal opportunity for all. Hopefully that issue will be addressed so that all kids are not stuck in schools with low graduation rates, violence and poor academic standings.
Also, for your remark about why not using the money from federal and state? Seriously? Where does the state and federal govt get their money - from taxes. Its not likely there is a printing press printing money (oh wait there is according to Bernanke). Whatever money the state and federal govts are giving to the schools they are using tax money from the tax payers. So do I care if the state/federal government gives Gettysburg $5 million dollars to build an unnecessary building? You bet. That is the problem with the US right now - everyone considers everything free that the government (whether its federal, state or local) gives them - it is not free money. This is where the gravy train mentality places an enormous part of the problems which we face now - whether its a 14 trillion deficity nationally or a 1 million defict locally. It all stems from the same problem.
Amen! The gravy train mentality is killing this country!
Smith and Jones

Gettysburg, PA

#15 Apr 29, 2011
Thank you for this editorial and its information about school vouchers. We taxpayers also need a lot more education, more details about how school budgets are decided and spent each year; we keep talking about waste and corruption, but don't have enough information to pinpoint anything, so really end up just ignorantly voicing our fears and subsequent anger.

For instance, if we live in an area that has a substandard school and, of course, want our children in a better one but don't have the money to move there, would they each be eligible, if this bill were to pass, for a voucher if we requested them? Or would it be more of a lottery draw? Also, if my husband and I both work, how do we get them to these better schools and home again each day? And what if all the parents where we live want their children to go elsewhere (maybe even the same school we want for our children)? Some politicians make it sound so easy and such a breath of fresh air - and a cure-all - but editorials such as yours bring up more questions that need to be answered before we jump into such a program.
Borough resident

Hanover, PA

#16 Apr 29, 2011
I only wish we spent half the time and money on the best students than we do on the low income and underperforming students. We seem to be obsessed with tomorrows garbage men, and disinterested in tomorrow's scientists and engineers.

Just an observation.......
Tie em up

Hanover, PA

#17 Apr 29, 2011
Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
What happened to students having to have fundraisers to support their playing sports or the parent paying for it? Why should that come from us as well? Ugh.
They do that now, but it is pathetic the amount of money that they are able to raise in this community. The parents don't help matters, when they don't push their kids to fundraise. See how that works?
BillN

Greencastle, PA

#18 Apr 29, 2011
Curious: Wow,$277,000 for benefits....is that health care costs?
BillN

Greencastle, PA

#19 Apr 29, 2011
Tie em up wrote:
<quoted text>
They do that now, but it is pathetic the amount of money that they are able to raise in this community. The parents don't help matters, when they don't push their kids to fundraise. See how that works?
Mandatory fundraise or opt-out payment. Works for Hanover Soccer Club.
Curious

Hunt Valley, MD

#20 Apr 29, 2011
BillN wrote:
Curious: Wow,$277,000 for benefits....is that health care costs?
That is all benefits to include PSERS(pension fund). Amazing isn't it that the benefits almsot equal the wages.

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