Budget Committee decides nothing

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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:19 pm

RD

Again - why are you even posting here? Our tax rates have nothing to do with you.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Ken Coleman » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:46 pm

Dennis.

A. The link you posted is to Manchester Community College in Connecticut

B. The state pays much of the tuition for instate students. The out of state tuition (no state aid) is $ 5089.00 for 12 credit hours for 1 semester (normal load is 15 credit hours). This times 2 is $10,178 and they do not pay for any special education, transportation etc.

So PLEAAAASE try and get you facts straight before your try and claim that a year of college cost under $3,000.

Also in Merrimack we do not spend anywhere near $15,000 per student for kindergarten. It is much less than 1/2 of that.

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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:54 pm

Ken

Special Ed is another place they need to start making changes. Before anyone accuses me of being mean. I have a special needs adult daughter and nephew.

When I see a 16 year old child with Downs Syndrome having a one-on one male teacher at a high school every day because his parents insist he be treated like a normal child (but naturally they demand the male escort) who takes him for walks each day. Is this really necessary? Is this a good use of our money and how is this helpful to the student?

Why is the taxpayer footing the bill for this type of thing?

FYI - I am talking about Manchester not Merrimack in the example above, but I do wonder how much of this type of thing is going on seeing we have over 60 paraprofessionals working in the Merrimack schools.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Dennis King » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:59 pm

You are right Ken, the website was Manchester Community College in Conn, Google failed me but the numbers do not lie

Here is a link to the correct school in NH:
http://www.manchestercommunitycollege.e ... n-and-fees

OK, now lets follow the math: $195 per credit for an average 30 credits per year at a college level is $5,850.00
Now that is full time and about 1/3 of what we pay to send our kids to public school.

Ken, I accept you contention that we pay less than $15,000.00 for kindergarten, since the calulation is per pupil, as i said, if we pay a whopping $10,000.00 for kindergarteners. then we must be paying a whopping $20,000.00 for High Schoolers.
Just how is it possible to have a private school charge $8,700 for the same public service we pay $20,000.00 for?
What could explain the difference, easy, the private teachers do not have jobs for life, they do not have Cadillac medical plans, they do not have all those days off (when they only work 182 days a year already!) and of course, those wonderful pensions! That is where all the money goes, not for schools, not for our kids, nope, for the unions and the workers who get to vote for their own raises.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Dennis King » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:07 pm

Jeannine Stergios wrote:Ken

Special Ed is another place they need to start making changes. Before anyone accuses me of being mean. I have a special needs adult daughter and nephew.

When I see a 16 year old child with Downs Syndrome having a one-on one male teacher at a high school every day because his parents insist he be treated like a normal child (but naturally they demand the male escort) who takes him for walks each day. Is this really necessary? Is this a good use of our money and how is this helpful to the student?

Why is the taxpayer footing the bill for this type of thing?

FYI - I am talking about Manchester not Merrimack in the example above, but I do wonder how much of this type of thing is going on seeing we have over 60 paraprofessionals working in the Merrimack schools.


You are so right on this Jeannine, we are spending millions because of political correctness and both my boys are now big time liberals, wonder where they learned that! I sure wish I could have afforded a private school but I had to pay twice the cost to send them here.
I heard a while back (when Ken was on the board) that Merrimack was a "magnet" for special ed kids since the programs were so much better than any other in the state. People were moving here just for our programs. Not sure how much of this occurred but I can attest I saw a lot of this one on one in the elementary classes and it was clear the special needs kids were clueless on what they were supposed to be taught. Any wonder they were agitated and needed to go for a walk?
Instead on teaching them life skills and the ability to follow directions so they could eventually work in society, they are being "taught" algebra. First learn what a dime is, man, political correctness gone a muck.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:34 pm

Instead on teaching them life skills and the ability to follow directions so they could eventually work in society, they are being "taught" algebra. First learn what a dime is, man, political correctness gone a muck.


Funny you mention this. When my daughter was a senior in high school (keep in mind she was Special Ed) she brought home the book Beowulf. Are you kidding me? Not one kid in that low level English class was going to college. I went down to the school and complained and demanded they teach her something that she can use in real life, like how to fill out an application, how to write a letter, how to balance a checkbook. They looked at me like I was crazy, but they actually made "Changes" to their curriculum and shortly afterward as she was looking up want ads in the paper and writing a resume. Too many elite types in our system who lose sight of anyone who isn't college material.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Ken Coleman » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:38 pm

Dennis,

Pleeeeze! There you go again. First 1/3 does not equal 1/5 (Your original claim). In addition NH pays some of the cost of the community college. The fair way to compare cost is to look at out of state tuition as this is the total cost without the state assistance. For the community colleges in NH it is 445.00. $445 times 30 credits is $13,350 dollars a year without special education transportation cost ect.

Jeannine,

How can you make the claims you do about the special education student. Do you really know their needs or if there are no reasons for the aid (paid a whole lot less than a teacher BTW).

If you wonder why people like me don't support some of the cost reductions you support this is why. I actually think we NEED to find a way to reduce the cost of education and I also think we need to find a way to reduce employee benefit cost. I never get to say any of this because I am always spending my time answering wild, unfounded claims of gross mis-management or wild spending. This is why I quit my posting earlier about finding other ways to reduce cost and raise quality. I guess people demonizing others and making untrue angry claims makes them feel so good that they would rather do this than to deal with the real facts and come up with constructive answers that might actual work.

We may not be able to afford everything we have in Merrimack right now, but this does not mean money is wasted or spent poorly.

If someone can not afford a new car, it does not mean that the car company wasted or badly spent the money used to build it or that it is a bad car.

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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Dennis King » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:50 pm

Ken Coleman wrote:Dennis,

Pleeeeze! There you go again. First 1/3 does not equal 1/5 (Your original claim). In addition NH pays some of the cost of the community college. The fair way to compare cost is to look at out of state tuition as this is the total cost without the state assistance. For the community colleges in NH it is 445.00. $445 times 30 credits is $13,350 dollars a year without special education transportation cost ect.
Ken Coleman


1/3 the cost for a college education is still pretty good Ken, our schools also get state and federal money so I do not get why you want to use the out of state tuition costs. Even then, a college education is STILL cheaper than what we are paying for kindergarten!

Now a more apples to apples comparison is a private high school to a public high school. Here is a part of my prior post:

Now let's look at private schools, Trinity High school charges $8,605 for grades 9-11 and $8,730 for 12th grade. Now as with the college costs, I included not just the tuition but all the fees too. http://www.trinity-hs.org/admissions/tuition.html
How is it a private High school can teach their kids for nearly half of the costs we charge for kindergarteners! Remember, this average if for all pupils K-12!

Now if we take into account your statement that kindergarten is much cheaper than High school, say the kindergarten program cost "only" $10,000.00, well then the High School cost is then $20,000.00

Now follow me Ken, please explain how a PRIVATE school can give a superior education at $8,700. when we are paying more than double for the public education! :roll:
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:57 pm

Ken

What do you mean how can I make claims? I have seen these things with my own eyes and lived through them myself. I have sat through more IEPs than I care to remember. All that money spent on educating my daughter yet she graduated from high school with a 4th grade reading and math level. She went away to school for 6 months after that and doubled her reading and math skills.

I know para-professionals are paid a whole lot less than teachers but I do question why we need so many of them?
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Dennis King » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:06 pm

Manchester is proposing to get rid of ALL paraprofessionals. In the comment section, someone pointed out that if they taught one lesson plan instead of 3, the teachers would benefit and the kids would benefit as well. That was the way it was when I was growing up, tracking works, the political correctness of our current education system forces smart kids to become bored and in the case of disruptive special Ed kids, it damages all the rest of the students to accommodate just one student who has no business being there as he/she would be far better served by a targeted special ed class. It may surprise some of you but I was a special ed teacher in a private school in the 70's. We did amazing things and never needed any of these para professionals.

We have run away costs in our schools, we should rethink how we educate and learn from the past. Enough social engineering, earth in the balance stuff. I hear an Elementary school in Dallas REQUIRES Arabic lessons and cultural training. Yup you guessed it, it is a federal grant, once again, our tax dollars at work!

Here is the link:
http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx ... bfb1bcc8e9
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Ken Coleman » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:09 pm

Dennis,

Ok I will use your rules. You want to just count the cost to parents and not the total operating cost of the colleges. If you count the tax money that the colleges get, then the cost of the NH community college is a little over $5000 to the parents. If you count the tax money Merrimack public schools get and use your same line of thinking (or lack thereof) the cost is $0 to the parents. Therefore using your logic the Merrimack Schools are cheaper by a factor of 5000 times. (Ok I cheated and used 1 dollar for Merrimack school cost because you can not divide by 0).

I stand by my earlier comments. You and other posters here would like to continue to be angry instead of dealing with real facts and solutions.

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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Ken Coleman » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:16 pm

Jeannine,

Unless you have been very involved with that student, you can not evaluate what their needs are. For example, do you know without an aid they would be fine 100% of the time? Do you know that they do not have other underlying medical problems (not all, but many Down Syndrome students do!). Do you know that this student is never hurtful to others or themselves? Or other issues? Also in addition, ANY in district placement is ALWAYS cheaper than placement in a special school, even if they have a full time aid. Unless you are a doctor or trained professional you can not possibly make this type of judgment call.

I know this from personal experience.

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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Dennis King » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:33 pm

Ken, I gave you a much more apples to apples comparison:

$20,000+ for Merrimack High School vs $8,700 for Trinity High School.

Funny how you continue to compare kindergarten-12 with College!

What is that about the heat and the kitchen,,,, argue all you want but the fact remains and the taxpayers are now looking at this and asking what can we do, the answer is simple, vouchers for all based upon a $40 mil budget, the private schools will all compete for that pie and you might be surprised to see private special ed schools come to the table as well!

Private education costs much less (I would estimate about 1/3 the cost based upon Ken's assertion of the cost of kindergarten) and produces a better product. The great thing is the teachers do not vote themselves raises, they do not have a job for life, they must perform but the private schools are also great places for innovation so the teachers get more say in the curriculum, and lastly, no Cadillac medical plans and pensions!

Oh, and we could also lease some of our buildings to these private schools and I would do away with kindergarten as Hudson is now planning to do. I liked a choice of 20 schools. We should then look at the High School and phase in private school vouchers a grade at a time. in 4 years, we may find nearly everyone switched over to a private school and then we could lease it to one of those schools. We no longer pay for upkeep (why or why have we not privatized custodial and grounds maintenance) and all of us would save money.
Last edited by Dennis King on Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby andysinnh » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:34 pm

Dennis King wrote:Manchester is proposing to get rid of ALL paraprofessionals. In the comment section, someone pointed out that if they taught one lesson plan instead of 3, the teachers would benefit and the kids would benefit as well. That was the way it was when I was growing up, tracking works, the political correctness of our current education system forces smart kids to become bored and in the case of disruptive special Ed kids, it damages all the rest of the students to accommodate just one student who has no business being there as he/she would be far better served by a targeted special ed class. It may surprise some of you but I was a special ed teacher in a private school in the 70's. We did amazing things and never needed any of these para professionals.

We have run away costs in our schools, we should rethink how we educate and learn from the past. Enough social engineering, earth in the balance stuff. I hear an Elementary school in Dallas REQUIRES Arabic lessons and cultural training. Yup you guessed it, it is a federal grant, once again, our tax dollars at work!

Here is the link:
http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx ... bfb1bcc8e9

Dennis - if you read closely, they want to replace 200 paras with 100 full time certified teachers - with their cadillac benefits (your words, not mine). Do you support that?
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Re: Budget Committee decides nothing

Postby Ken Coleman » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:43 pm

Andy,

You post is unreasonable! Giving out all the information instead of using partial information or sound bites to make the case that something is wrong here!

What nerve!

Ken Coleman ;)
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