65 Million for public schools?

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65 Million for public schools?

Postby Dennis King » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:39 am

In a different post, Ken questioned my statics, here is the post I got it from and all he needed to do was to scroll back a page to find them. Since he did not, I am making it easy for him, here is my post in response to another post:

$15,195.45 per student!

Thanks Tony for doing the math, it is a real wake up call.

Manchester Community College charges $3,406 for a year of college that would be comparable to the time the students are in class. http://www.mcc.commnet.edu/students/pro ... e/fees.php
How is it a student can get a private education for nearly one fifth of what we are paying for kids to attend kindergarten. Think about those numbers, they are for grades K-12. Now it was 15 years ago but I seem to recall the kindergarten that I paid for (great program BTW) at most costs a thousand a year, after all, back then we had over 16 programs to choose from.

Now I think the education our kids are getting is comparable to a community college but for those who think this is top quality education (being a district in need of improvement should clearly point you in a different direction), well then I will use UNH data: http://www.unh.edu/business-services/tuitug.html

As you can see, the tuition for a year is $10,730, still some 50% LESS than what we are paying for our kids to go to kindergarten.

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!

How are we to explain this difference, very simple, private vs public education. We have a budget committee who just rubber stamps the board desires. Twenty One percent raises in 3 years while people lost their jobs and homes and many former managers had to learn "Ya want fries with that?". We are in deep trouble and if you are one of the lucky ones who has a good job that pays well (aka a teacher or town worker), that is good for you but the rest of us in the real world do not have a job for life, a pension for life, a Cadillac medical plan, and of course, the ability to vote for you own raises.

I know I am a voice in the wilderness here but I also know this will be our future. The unions are so entrenched, they will never make the real concessions needed to reign in medical and pension costs. Imagine, over a million dollars saved simply by hiring a private company to mow our lawns and to clean the offices. The time is coming to think in new ways. I know it is hard, change always is but one thing is for certain, at a staggering 15 thousand plus per student, we sure are not getting our money's worth. We would do far better and for far less money but sending them to private schools.

Since the school budget is 72 percent of our tax bill, if we saved 50 % in our school costs by going private, our tax bills would go down by about 60 percent, think of it, even if you had a 50% reduction in your taxes, that would be huge. How many people could then afford to stay in there homes. We must put a stop to all of this but that can only happen if enough like minded people come to the deliberative session. See you there.

As you can see, I posted all the tuition websites for all to see. It is high time we went with a charter school and we should also go the way of Hudson, let's stop public kindergarten as well. Imagine, 15,000.00 to send a kid to kindergarten, only happens when unions take over. Are the kids any better because we pay teachers 1.1 million more in pensions when they retire (tax and tax), oh yeah, for the children.
Wake up people, it is a new day and this town needs to go in a new direction. The unions are bankrupting America, we can no longer support these demands. Time for a charter school.
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:18 pm

Dennis

My oldest son spent the first 10 years of schooling in public schools and the last two at Trinity in Manchester. He was always grateful for allowing him to go there. He said he couldn't believe how far behind the public schools were compared to Trinity. Tried to get the younger boys in but they were placed on a waiting list. They did OK in public school in spite of the many distractions.
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby andysinnh » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:21 pm

Dennis - I'm not going to debate you as your belief that privatization will result in lower costs and higher-quality education, because (in the end) you get what you pay for (and that's a discussion in and of itself). But your calculations of costs for colleges are way off. It took me about 3 minutes to find 2 comparative values that show you're inaccurate in terms of what you posted:

First, Let's talk UNH. According to their site on tuition ( http://admissions.unh.edu/tuitionfees/ ), the in-state tuition and fees for someone in an undergrad program is $13,672, not including books, transportation, and other lab-based fees. Remember this cost is for 2 semesters that map pretty closely in time to a normal school year. Also remember that UNH gets state funding, and also many benefactors that help to offset the overall cost.

Next, let's talk MCC. According to their site, if you look explicitly at any degree program (let's say associate degree in liberal arts / business - http://www.manchestercommunitycollege.e ... alArts.pdf ), the 2-semester cost for the first year is about $7,000, with an estimated cost of $700 per year for books, plus any lab fees required. Also not included is transportation.

Finally, the state does not use the calculation of (student / total budget) to determine a per-student cost to educate, considering many of those budget costs are overhead or administrative costs. You'll find the Merrimack cost per student is close to $12,000 (based on the latest figures from the NH DOE site), which is almost right on the state average.

Again - my point is not to enter this debate of private vs public, but rather make sure we're all looking at the valid numbers...

andy
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby Dennis King » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:24 pm

Jeannine,
That is great that you were able to send your eldest to Trinity. Boy what a wake up call he got! I was lucky enough to go to Catholic school but since my family had to pay taxes for the public schools, there was no money left for me to attend Catholic school. My answer, I paid for it myself!

I wonder how many would choose private school education if they could use the money spent on public schools. Problem is, at over $15,000.00 for every student, even kindengarteners, they would be entitled to a massive refund!

School choice works, why should we accept the mediocracy of the unions when so much more is out there.
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby Dennis King » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:33 pm

Andy, even if I took into account your calculations, they are still lower than what we are paying and you have to take into account, we are talking a college education compared to k-12 education, I simply took the total budget and divided it by the number of students, works for me and makes total sense.

I paid my way in Catholic school and can attest it costs less than half the cost of public education and was by far much more superior. I still do not get why we added kindergarten, at $15,000.00 + per student, just how can you justify that? Now lets assume they cost only $10,000.00, then you would have to conclude the High School pupils cost us $20,000.00.

Any way you look at it, even with your own inflated numbers, we are still charging MORE than a college education to teach our kindergarteners.

Do you really think those pensions are "for the children" As it is every state/town worker gets an average of 1,100,000.00 MORE than they put in. Guess who pays that windfall? Oh yeah, it is all for the children.
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby andysinnh » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:37 pm

Dennis King wrote:
Any way you look at it, even with your own inflated numbers.....

Huh? Inflated? Sigh....
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:42 pm

andy

How can you even attempt to justify the spending being done for schools?

A college professor requires advanced degrees to teach while a Kindergarten - Grade 12 teacher needs a Bachelor's degree.
How much will finally be enough? Why is it we manage to get these pro-spenders or relatives of teachers as Chairmen of the Budget Committee over and over again? WE need a change. We need to start questioning more expenses. I look at the budget and some of these costs appear over and over again for the past decade. They are like a fixture. Why not scrap the whole thing and start from scratch?
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby Dennis King » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:44 pm

andysinnh wrote:
Dennis King wrote:
Any way you look at it, even with your own inflated numbers.....

Huh? Inflated? Sigh....


Sure, the comparison is different since we are talking college and not k-12 school.
You maintain you get what you pay for but that is not always the case. It allows spending to go to the roof because you and many others are convinced if we pay more, we get more. Having the school labelled as being "in need of improvement" speaks to the reality.

Here is a part of my post that is more apples to apples:

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!

Again, this is half what we pay and I can attest it is far superior to public school. If we gave each parent $15,000.00 for each student and let them spend it anywhere, there would be a rush to get into private schools and a huge expansion of them as well. Of course, each would get a $8,000.00 REFUND!
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby TonyRichardson » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:11 pm

andysinnh wrote:Dennis - I'm not going to debate you as your belief that privatization will result in lower costs and higher-quality education, because (in the end) you get what you pay for (and that's a discussion in and of itself). But your calculations of costs for colleges are way off. It took me about 3 minutes to find 2 comparative values that show you're inaccurate in terms of what you posted:

First, Let's talk UNH. According to their site on tuition ( http://admissions.unh.edu/tuitionfees/ ), the in-state tuition and fees for someone in an undergrad program is $13,672, not including books, transportation, and other lab-based fees. Remember this cost is for 2 semesters that map pretty closely in time to a normal school year. Also remember that UNH gets state funding, and also many benefactors that help to offset the overall cost.

Next, let's talk MCC. According to their site, if you look explicitly at any degree program (let's say associate degree in liberal arts / business - http://www.manchestercommunitycollege.e ... alArts.pdf ), the 2-semester cost for the first year is about $7,000, with an estimated cost of $700 per year for books, plus any lab fees required. Also not included is transportation.

Finally, the state does not use the calculation of (student / total budget) to determine a per-student cost to educate, considering many of those budget costs are overhead or administrative costs. You'll find the Merrimack cost per student is close to $12,000 (based on the latest figures from the NH DOE site), which is almost right on the state average.
Again - my point is not to enter this debate of private vs public, but rather make sure we're all looking at the valid numbers...

andy


** Underlining emphasis mine **

Overhead IS part of the cost, leaving it our to artificially lower the per student cost is deliberately deceptive at best.

All the accounting games in the world does not change the $65million for ~4300 students equation.
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby MattPublicover » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:47 am

Jeannine Stergios wrote:Why is it we manage to get these pro-spenders or relatives of teachers as Chairmen of the Budget Committee over and over again? WE need a change.


First of all, I do not believe that the people who are incensed about taxes and eager to slash the school budget represent the majority view of this town. I believe you are a minority.

Second, DO NOT blame the people on the Budget Committee if they do not represent your views. I have been elected twice, and each time I had NO OPPOSITION. Four people running for four seats. Last year there were two more candidates than seats to be filled, the previous year I think one. If those of the anti-tax viewpoint feel they are not represented on the budget committee, it is because they have made insufficient effort to participate in the real government process (which is not the Forum).

It is not our fault that we had little to no opposition -- it is the fault of anyone who does not agree with our viewpoints. It is not my job to serve on this committee any more than it is the job of every other resident in town. Town government is everyone's responsibility. The few who have been elected to this committee are the ones who stepped forward, not the ones who did nothing. You don't like us? Run against us! See if the majority agrees with you.

For a representative democracy to work, voters need to be able to choose from among a variety of candidates representing a variety of viewpoints. If you have 4 candidates for 4 seats, you have no choice. If you have 10 candidates but your viewpoint is not represented, shame on the people who are in your camp for not stepping forward to participate.

At last night's public hearing, we had NO public comment. From anyone, pro or con. I don't want to hear that "it wouldn't have made any difference." If a person believes he can't make a difference ... then he won't.

On the committee, there are at present two members who showed themselves willing to try to reduce the budgets.I disagreed with them, I voted against their proposals, but I respect their right to make the attempt. At least they, like me, believe this committee really should have some authority, and should use it.

The other night, we had 11 members present. Six votes would have been a majority. If the tax hawks had managed to come up with 4 other members over the past 3 years ... the budget would have been reduced last week.

You sit on the sidelines, you can't call the plays. Six positions on the budget committee will be up for grabs this year, at least half without an incumbent. If you want to win, get in the game, folks!
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby andysinnh » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:27 am

Jeannine Stergios wrote:andy

How can you even attempt to justify the spending being done for schools?

A college professor requires advanced degrees to teach while a Kindergarten - Grade 12 teacher needs a Bachelor's degree.
How much will finally be enough? Why is it we manage to get these pro-spenders or relatives of teachers as Chairmen of the Budget Committee over and over again? WE need a change. We need to start questioning more expenses. I look at the budget and some of these costs appear over and over again for the past decade. They are like a fixture. Why not scrap the whole thing and start from scratch?

Jeannine -

I won't say I'm offended, but I'm certainly disappointed that you believe my position as Chairman of the budget committee impacted the direction the committee as a whole took. As I tried to outline in an earlier post, I tried to invoke discussion this year at all levels, questioning how we go about our business, and allowing those with different viewpoints to try and implement change if appropriate. We put to a vote that concept of the committee setting the budget bogey for the school district, and it was voted down unanimously. As chairman, I'm just one vote of 12 elected officials, and I cannot sway or impact the direction of the committee without the support of at least 6 additional colleagues. During our deliberations, every single person who wanted to make a motion or discuss a topic was allowed the floor and the full attention of the committee. I even tried to allow discussion on topics we'd already closed, just to get the opposing viewpoints on the table. In the end, the majority of the committee voted on the articles and on the motions to amend the articles, and while I voted a certain way, the rest of the committee voted their minds with complete freedom. Shame on you for thinking that I impacted the direction of the committee in a biased way, and shame on me for second guessing my desire to have the committee define their direction based on the concensus of the membership.

The direction of the committee is defined by its members, not by the chairman. I know there was "perception" in the past this was true, and as such one of my goals in accepting the nomination (and getting elected by my peers) of chairman was to remove any of that "perception" by creating an open and free-flow process for directing the committee. And while the results was perhaps not in agreement for where you'd have liked it to go, you can't say I didn't live up to my goal this year...

andy
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby MissyB » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:24 pm

I think the Budget Committee did a good job, as well as the Chairman. I think the Budget Committee is limited on what they can do. I think the questions asked by both the Budget Committee and the School Board this year were thoughtful and provoking. I think the Budget Committee is very useful as another set of eyes and varied opinions and ideas looking at the budget. Thanks to the Budget Committee for volunteering.

I do have one question. I think I understand, I just want to be sure. The budget going to the voters is $65M. If Article 3 (I think that is the one on the new teacher's contract) passes, then the budget, whichever one is approved, will increase by $180k to account for the raises negotiated for the teachers. Right?
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby andysinnh » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:09 pm

MissyB wrote:I do have one question. I think I understand, I just want to be sure. The budget going to the voters is $65M. If Article 3 (I think that is the one on the new teacher's contract) passes, then the budget, whichever one is approved, will increase by $180k to account for the raises negotiated for the teachers. Right?

If article 3 passes, the budget amount that will need to be raised by taxation is $180,xxx in addition to the amount of the Article 6 vote result (either proposed budget or default budget).

andy
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:28 pm

andy

I expected more this year and was hoping a new chairman would provide a different outcome. Instead, it was samee old.

I read these little posts about well it's only $22.00 more for a 300k house, it's only $15.00 for a 300k etc. Add them all up and once again we get tax increases over $100 while having less to show, less employees, less students. It's complete madness. I find it hard to believe that town employees are paying such a small percentage of their health insurance.
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Re: 65 Million for public schools?

Postby andysinnh » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:49 pm

Jeannine Stergios wrote:andy

I expected more this year and was hoping a new chairman would provide a different outcome. Instead, it was samee old.

Jeannine - I gave the committee every opportunity to reinvent itself to whatever model the membership wanted, and the committee majority decided to move forward in the way that we did. And, for the record, we DID get involved earlier in the process, and can answer virtually any question about the budget anyone would care to discuss. The membership decided to not make adjustments. You may not agree with the outcome, but do NOT say that the process was the "same old, same old". The results of the committee were based on the makeup of the membership, not the "will of the chairman". Even if I personally was hell-bent on cutting millions from the budget, I wouldn't have been able to convince the majority of the committee to follow suit. And to anyone who really digs into the budget, while there may be opportunites to get creative in terms of how things are budgeted, the time to make these changes is by providing feedback to the school board when they work with the administration to craft their policies, which drive the budget.

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