Tuesday, February 23, 2010

IowaPolitics.com

IowaPolitics.com

"Many homeschooling families throughout our state educate their children independently at home, at their own personal expense, using no taxpayer dollars whatsoever. The savings for taxpayers is enormous. At the current state funding level of $5,768 per enrolled public school student, taxpayers save $1 million for every 174 independently homeschooled students."

Only $5,768.00? As of 2007 the figure here in Vermont was $11,835.00! At that time New York was the most costly with $14,119 per student. New Jersey was second on the list with $13,800. District of Columbia was $12,979. Vermont even topped Connecticut which was shelling out $11,572 per student. Who knows what the true figure is today!

We homeschoolers have known for a long time that we save the taxpayers a pile of money but, until now, no one really seemed to care. I guess with the present economy we've finally got their attention. Had enough of being squeezed by school budgets yet?

4 comments:

Mrs. C said...

A special ed student like my non-verbal child Woodjie may cost as much as $30,000 a year even at the preschool level and his going part-time. I don't like how the disability thing is tied in with public education after age three, because I think we can all agree that many disabled people need specialized help but that school is not ALWAYS the answer.

It bothers me that often, children like Woodjie are trotted out to "justify" high spending, when really, if you look at programs like First Steps from birth to three, they ALSO cost the taxpayer a fair bit, but not nearly so much because they don't pay BENEFITS to the providers, and don't need to spend on building, maintenance, transportation, etc.

And because the providers come INTO YOUR HOME, they can help your child with the things YOU agree should be worked on (for example, we are still working on not throwing toys. I know every kid throws toys, but this is beyond extreme... you just have to be there to understand). First Steps helps disabled people in their real environment and I wish they had that model instead of the institutional one from ages 3 to 21 and think it would be a better use of taxpayer dollars - more efficient and more targeted.

PS usually specialists (OT, PT, speech) would rather take the cut in pay and benefits and work with parents who WANT to work with them, and where they can be free from *most* of the paperwork. I know several who specifically wanted OUT of the school system.

Mrs. C said...

OH! And PS, homeschoolers don't "save" their local districts anything. Local districts see that $11,000 (or whatever) walking out the door when they see students leave. They don't think about the state budget as a whole and the "savings" of $11,000. They get the money from Papa State, so their allowance is cut.

Sometimes you will see local districts have baby tantrums about that and ask homeschoolers to pweease come back to school because THEY are hurting the budget.

yup

Cindy Wade said...

Once again, Mrs. C has some very valid points. In our state many of the schools 'double dip' meaning they take the allotted money for each student (a large sum if the student is special ed) AND Medicaid money for that student.

I've always argued there should only be 3 people involved in a child's education...the child, the parent and the teacher. If the parent and teacher are one and the same even better. Anyone have a figure on how many 'teachers' a child encounters in the course of their schooled life?

Of course, there can be many different types of teachers since a parent can't know all but that is up to the parent to decide, not some bureaucrat in a lofty tower making those decisions.

As homeschooling parents we were highly selective about who and how many instructors our children had. We didn't just let anyone have access to our children. When a child goes to public school you have no idea who or how many 'experts' have access to your child. There is no way of knowing what your child is being taught either.

Most administrators, from principals to superintendents are paper pushers and a waste of taxpayer money. This is money that can be better spent on the child, not for some cushy office, outlandish six figure salaries, or facilities (i.e. schools, administrative offices, etc.) that warehouses children for the first 18 years of their lives.

Mrs. C said...

Exactly. Right now the ps preschool is doing a good job with our Woodjie, but HELLO, in the elementary school here, Elf (also autistic) was locked in a closet on several occasions.

When I don't like a First Steps provider, I can ask the coordinator for a change and it usually gets worked out within three weeks or so. Public school? Tough crap for you.

And I know there are great folks out there educating their non-verbal autistic kids, but I'm still educating my VERBAL autistic kid, his brother and handling toddler stuff. I really am ready to admit that I could use help to do the best job possible.

I'm ok with things now, but it might get awful when Woodjie is kindergarten age. I hope not, but then again, just hoping doesn't make it so. I can appreciate the good things that are happening now while advocating for change. (GOOD change.)

:)

Also, some of the administrators (in their defense!) become necessary when the politicians WE ELECT because we are stupid put bunches of rules in place. There are so many rules, you need experts. We have a person full-time in our district to direct parents and committees on choosing curriculum. Oh... but it has to line up with state standards blah blah blah so here's what we're picking.

Or... we have people run stuff on redistricting elementary schools. But we don't want one school to be way more low income than another and we have to run the transportation data and blah blah blah. WELL WHY ASK if you already have the answer??? There is no use being on these committees because you get NO decision making power anyway.

You almost pity the bureaucrats, but they make a good enough living they can take a little flak. :)

Ok, ramble over!