Schools Asking Kids To Bring Basic Cleaning Supplies

New items on the back-to-school lists this year include cleaning spray, baby wipes, and cotton balls. It’s not for making a diorama or some kind of cheap puppet. Rather, with budgets slashed all over, schools have had to resort to asking the kids to pick up basic cleaning supplies for the school along with their usual TrapperKeepers and notebooks.

Scissors, Glue, Pencils? Check. Cleaning Spray? [NYT]

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  1. rbb says:

    That’s nothing new. they have been doing that in Fairfax County VA schools for years.

    • Gman says:

      Yup. ditto for schools in our area (Orlando).
      If the kids don’t do it, the teacher is forced to buy it themselves and out of their own pocket.

      But at least here they are limited to class cleaning supplies. They don’t have to bring toilet paper, etc.

      • sonneillon says:

        I dunno, the school toilet paper is akin to packing paper. The students (especially in fairfax county which is one of the richest counties in the country) might prefer not having to wipe with TP that is essentially packing paper.

      • mandy_Reeves says:

        um….really? toilet paper??? oh mannnn what the HELL is wrong with schools today? I know parents that have a hard time buying their own toilet paper and cleaning supplies, but to bring it to school now too?

  2. JohnDeere says:

    ya, my kids school is giving extra credit every few weeks if a different item off of a list is brought in. and i thought buying grades was illegal.

    • rooben says:

      Now that is wrong. So the kid with the parents with the most available money gets extra credit, and the kids whose parents are not so well of don’t.

      That is the type of thing that people don’t realize that happens in a discussion around class in our society. The kids with the most money, get better grades, and continue on in their privledged lives.

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        Some Americans enjoy pretending there’s no class system in the US. They’re usually the ones with the money.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Hmm…I’ve always noticed that it was the kids who studied and applied themselves who got the best grades. Maybe I don’t come from a place with excuses.

        • kabamm says:

          As if it’s that black and white. The privileged kids don’t have to work as hard. So, smart *and* privileged kids do better even without trying.

      • Snoofin says:

        Life isnt fair. Some people are privileged and some aren’t we just have to live with it. Everyone has a chance to become privledged if they work hard enough for it. Hell even the founder of Facebook was a poor nobody who had a good idea and is now a multibillionaire.

      • Benobi says:

        Husband and I are comfortable, but not rich. However, all the teacher is getting is the basic list of supplies and a $25 gift certificate to Target to whatever else she needs.

        That usually stops getting hit-up for the rest of the year.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      Please tell me this is an elementary school.

      • Michaela says:

        I had a high school teacher who gave a grade (not extra credit) for bringing her paper towels and tissues.

        In college, I had one who gave a grade for bringing community art supplies.

    • The Marionette says:

      It’s called extra credit for a reason. One of my schools gave extra credit for bringing in different things. It wasn’t a lot of credit, but a decent amount.

  3. dragonfire81 says:

    Why are those who make the budgets so quick to slash funding from education?? Shouldn’t giving our kids a proper education be one of our highest priorities as a nation and as a society?

    I don’t understand why we leave students and teachers out high and dry again and again.

    • brinks says:

      Not to mention the huge burden it puts on parents, whose finances are probably already stretched thin. I remember when you didn’t need to bring anything but something to write with and (when I got older) something to write ON. It’s a shame that schools can’t even afford the most basic resources anymore.

      • DustingWhale says:

        “But if we educate everyone, it will be harder for ME to get a job,” as said by my classmates, who are now card carrying republicans.

        Imagine if we prioritized education over war making capabilities… oh wait, that would require common sense and removing power from the uber-rich who don’t need public education in the first place.

        • George4478 says:

          Yep. When I pay my property taxes, the city government immediately divides the revenue between education and the city’s “war making capabilities”.

          Our kids can’t spell but our 1st Duluth Armored Division rules the local area.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        Is it really a “huge” burden, though?

        • brinks says:

          If you lost your job and are scraping by on unemployment, yes, in addition to buying new clothes that they’ve grown out of since last year.

          But it’s a burden on whoever has to buy it, whether it’s parents or the school.

    • grumpskeez says:

      But but who’s going to pay Cheney’s stock dividends if education money isn’t diverted to wasteful defense spending? Won’t someone please think of the poor children of Halliburton employees.

      • RickinStHelen says:

        Well, if schools recieved federal funding as a primary source this would make sense. Seeing as schools are funded mostly on the local level with some state funding, it makes no sense.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      “Why are those who make the budgets so quick to slash funding from education??”

      Because education in the USA is primarily funded by property taxes, there isn’t much flexibility to maintain revenue when property values decline.

      • SenorBob says:

        That’s not how property taxes are figured, at least not in Texas. If property values drop that doesn’t mean the taxing entity just makes do with less. They figure out how much money they need and the value of the land and calculate the tax rate based on that. Property values fell? No problem, you just pay a higher percentage.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      I don’t get it either. I support bond issues for education and I don’t even have kids. I don’t want whoever changes my diapers in my old age to be an idiot.

      • lehrdude says:

        I think Band-Aids were also on my kid’s School Supply list…

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i don’t have kids either and i agree. i was very surprised last week to get my pharmacy bill. not because i wasn’t expecting a bill, but because the city was spelled wrong in the address. i live in a state capital. one of the oldest cities in the country. named after a historical famous person. the kind of name you have to spell right on a test to graduate 4th grade. and it wasn’t transposed letters either, we’re talking wrong vowels and consonants and these are people who have my shipping address for my medications written down correctly.
        it’s very important to me that the people i have to depend on/interact with in the future be educated.

    • Taliskan says:

      This is what I was advocating when everyone was going crazy about health care. Start with education before health care, in my opinion. I could be wrong, but I do feel education could advert what the healthcare bills “bandaid”. (Pun wasn’t intended…, initially.)

    • shadowhh says:

      Because they are extremely wasteful. Only a small fraction of what goes to the school actually gets to the classroom.

      It has to go thru the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Assistant assistant superintent, ect…..

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        I am a school board member in a relatively top-heavy district (that is, we have a lot of admin for our size) and 85% of our non-capital spending is in teacher salary and benefits. A HUGE fraction of it.

    • dbeahn says:

      Because fighting wars for oil gets EXPENSIVE and we’re fighting TWO of them right now! Stop being unAmerican. We only need to teach our kids what they need to know to join the army, nothing more!

    • dgm says:

      I don’t see a problem with this. Short-circuiting the whole school budget, administration, procurement process by getting the people who actually use the supplies to buy them and bring them in seems like a win, to me.

      It’s also money that won’t show up in my property tax bill. And for those who think declining property values = declining property taxes, think again. My home lost value during the decline, but has never been re-assessed. So my property taxes have done nothing but climb. And in the meantime I see my services being cut back. Enough, already.

      Hey parents, don’t like it? Let’s try cutting back on the salaries of overpaid teachers and administrators. Or maybe you should get out and actually VOTE on the school budgets, and VOTE for fiscally responsible school boards. How many pencils, notebooks, textbooks and cleaning supplies could have been bought with the principal’s last 5% raise?

      • dangermike says:

        The thing is, your property tax bill won’t be any lower for this. The money will simply never serve its intended purpose. You should be outraged.

        • dgm says:

          The reason I’m not outraged is that it actually puts pressure on the people most motivated and most empowered to make a change; the consumers of public education.

          Any time a fiscal conservative without children complains about waste in the school budget, he gets painted as some kind of child-hating selfish idiot. Maybe if the parents actually get to feel the sting of that waste first-hand, they’ll get off their asses and do something about it.

          If we got rid of the insane contracted pay raises that teachers and administrators get, how much more actual “education” could we afford to give our children?

          • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

            Insane? Maybe. But most teachers aren’t paid what they’re worth to begin with. Cut that back even more, and you’ll have a TV teaching your kids before long.

          • shawnamuffin says:

            Do you even know how much teachers in your district are making?

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        I wouldn’t be against this if the kids weren’t getting extra credit for it. That means the poorer kids are left out. If every family was supposed to send something, and a family with income too low (say, maybe if the kid qualifies for free lunch program) was exempt, I’d say great.

    • huadpe says:

      The issue is that most school budgets have almost no flexibility in them. Buses, heat, salaries, and pensions are all mandated, and make up 95%+ of a normal school budget.

      With 5% left for sundry expenses, a 1% budget cut means that supplies and textbooks get a 20% cut, and you have kids buying disinfectant wipes.

      The real issue is that there is zero flexibility in teacher compensation, so that they always get a 3% salary bump and full pension contribution, regardless of the fiscal state of the district.

    • H3ion says:

      There’s a layer of bureaucracy that has to be maintained and the profession is highly unionized which means there is little play in the budget. Pay increases, pension costs, etc. are all contracted and have to be funded. Firing is almost impossible. With these factors, and the fact that the property tax is the primary source of school funding, it’s pretty obvious why school funding is having difficulties. For every house that is foreclosed, you can be that it is not only the lender who isn’t getting paid but also the tax collector. The next shoe to drop will be books and other materials. They will either have to be purchased or “rented” for the school year.

      • Rachacha says:

        Add to that, we are coming up on some significant blips in student population. All of those kids that were conceived post 9/11 during our “nesting” phase entered the school system at the bottom of the recession when budgets were being slashed. This means more books, more desks & chairs, possibly more teachers (depending on class sizes and district) and possibly the additional cost of temporary/portable classrooms, all at a time when more homes are in foreclosure.

        My kids go to a small private school (we were not happy with the school district, and are moving at the end of this year to go to a better district), and the class sizes have gone from an average 14 kids pre 9/11 conception to 21 kids 1-2 years post 9/11, and they drop back down to the normal 14 kids for those born after 2004. In looking at school district data there is a significant increases in class size for current 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders.

      • Alys Brangwin says:

        Except in the South, it is not unionized at all. Teaching is a rough profession anywhere, but without a union which they cannot legally form in North Carolina, teachers get screwed even more often. There’s been a salary freeze for at least the last two years, in addition to the ones in the 90s, and of course endless high-stakes testing. The education sector has been overtaken by people who know nothing about teaching, and so they want to implement “business” strategies to supposedly benefit everyone. Unfortunately who gets to decide the merit pay is probably the administrators, and I know that at my high school the person getting it first would have been the teacher my principal had as his mistress and her protege. She taught home economics, a very challenging subject for which to create lesson plans, tests, and grade papers, definitely deserving of a little bonus. Yawn.

        Education will never be business because the goal is not profit. The goal of education is the dissemination of knowledge, but try telling that to Republicans whose only solution is cutting taxes and reducing spending.

    • bravo369 says:

      I don’t understand that either. Here in NJ, our all wise and brilliant governor cut $800 million from public schools this past year. He then turns around and says he wants to implement merit pay for teachers. To me, those 2 things do not reconcile. How you can base someone’s pay off the results when you aren’t providing the necessary support for that person to get those results?

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        In Illinois, districts have six single-spaced pages of unfunded mandates to comply with. They range from the sensible to the ridiculous, but they’re all unfunded.

    • absurdist says:

      “Well I called my Congressman, and he said, quote:
      “I’d like to help you, son, but you’re too young to vote.’”

      -Eddie Cochran, “Summertime Blues”

    • Griking says:

      Education needs to maintain a budget just like every other company, government agency or individual. The reason that education budgets seem to be cut the most is because education is usually the largest expense that communities have.

      No offense but I’m tired of my local taxes going up every year because my neighbor’s kids need a new football field or a swimming pool or a new wing built built in their school. I understand that education is important but those of us who chose not to have children are tired of paying for all of this for those of you who did.

      • SenorBob says:

        Someone else paid for your education, it’s time to stop being so selfish and pay it forward.

      • jiubreyn says:

        The US is 24 / 40 in terms of education. In order to us to be successful as a country, we need to be a contender with the other countries. The majority of Americans either do not know a second language or don’t even bother. Including people in government despite dealing with foreign relations for an entire country. Can we really rely on others to do our job for us and expect to have a substantial result? No, there is always the possibility that we may get “fucked” because we didn’t do the homework ourselves.

        Education should be of the upmost importance, not the first thing to do simply because it’s not convenient (read: too expensive) to upkeep.

  4. brinks says:

    When I was in elementary school in the 80′s, we needed to bring a pencil. If we forgot one, the teacher had extra.

    How things (and school budgets) have changed.

  5. stlbud says:

    This isn’t anything new. My kids are now 30+ years old and we had to get glass cleaner, paper towels, and facial tissue, along with the usual pencils, paper and notebooks. Forget “TrapperKeeper” they were strictly forbidden.

    • Inglix_the_Mad says:

      I think we could cut costs if we ran schools a little bit more like the Japanese do in this case.

      The students stay in the same room (minus breaks) for the whole day, the teachers move from room to room. At the end of the day, the room is cleaned by the students (whom suddenly stop making big messes, for whatever strange reason) before they go home.

      Amazingly the classroom in a large school I attended as an exchange student was immaculate.

    • Kibit says:

      I am 32 and remember buying ALL of our supplies in elementary school including facial tissue and paper towels. My Mom and I were discussing this just the other day.

  6. BadgerPudding says:

    Simple solution: raise taxes. Some things like education are more important than pleasing the ignorant, racist, tea-bagging mob.

    • lymer says:

      But places HAVE had property taxes raised in the past decade. We have several times. You’re completely missing the issue.

      • Tim says:

        No, s/he’s not completely missing the issue. Just not going about it directly.

        Here it is directly: governments have a choice between raising taxes a little bit for everyone and shifting costs to parents. Of course, since there are more taxpayers than school parents, it would be a lot lower per capita to raise taxes. Plus, if the school buys the supplies, they can buy them in bulk, which is cheaper than individual retail sales.

        Yes, taxes are raised anyway. But they’re raised less because the districts are shifting costs to the parents.

        • Maximus Pectoralis says:

          IMO the problem is that public employees (teachers included) have been getting salary raises that far outstrip the rate of inflation, while benefit costs have also increased dramatically. New Jersey is a good example of this, and there has been a big battle going on with the new governor elected last year (Republican) and the teachers’ union (spent $millions to support Democrat). The salary increases have consistently been between 4.3-4.5% every year while the rate of inflation has hovered between 1-3%. In many towns a single teacher can make 50% more than the average income of a family of 4. When there are budget cuts, they keep their 4.5% raise and either lay off younger teachers or cut programs. It’s all “for the children”…

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            The answer is not to cut teachers’ salaries – it’s to cut administrative spending. My school of just under 700 kids has five grade administrators plus a principal. They are getting paid, on average, of $115,000 a year. That’s a conservative number of $690,000 or a little over 14% of the entire operating budget of the school.

            There is no logical reason why a school of that size needs six separate administrators.

            • RvLeshrac says:

              Generally, there’s no need for a school to have one whole administrator. From what I’ve seen, and what I’ve been told in conversation with teachers, the administration of ten schools could be performed by one person.

          • Herbz says:

            And yet teachers are still some of the LOWEST paid college graduates out there. Teachers in Math and Sciences could get jobs paying a LOT more than they are getting through the school district.

            http://news.suite101.com/article.cfm/2010-lowest-paying-college-degrees-includes-education-three-times-a273266

            • Maximus Pectoralis says:

              I wonder if that takes into account people with education degrees who actually managed to get a job, or just the people who go the degree? I don’t know about elsewhere but in NJ, public education is a fairly exclusive field. The pay isn’t extremely high but it’s fairly generous (my town starts at $55k base salary, tops out at around $125k). The benefits are very generous though, with healthcare costing around $30k/year for a family plan at no cost to employees (these are $0 deductible $0 co-pay plans), retirement at 55 with 70% salary etc. Principals making $150k+ and, in some places, superindendents getting up to or higher than $300k for towns that are not exactly huge (a local town with ~4000 students just hired a superintendent for $280k base salary + benefits)

          • bravo369 says:

            Let me just clarify one thing being that I’m from NJ and my wife is a teacher. these 4.5% raises you talk about are not the raise per person. That is that is the overall raise from total salary. Meaning all salaries are added up and then raised 4.5% for the following year. That is then dispersed based upon a pay scale. My wife got a $500 raise from last year…1%. The 4.5% increase is there for those who get their masters, doctorate etc along with reaching milestones of 20+ years or for tenure. These are the common misperceptions that our bully governor is putting out there to gain support for his own ideology. so again…trust me…teacher salaries are not out of line. You can look up any teacher salary (and I did) and you will be surprised. A friend teaching for 5 years is still only making $43000. She’s also still living at home with her parents and it’s no wonder once I found that out. so please, teacher salaries are not the problem and don’t believe everything the governor tells you.

            also, many districts offered to take a pay freeze with a written agreement that the savings be used to save teachers and aides from layoffs…exactly what the governor asked for and said would happen. The boards refused to accept those terms so the teachers did not take a pay freeze. Again, information conveniently left out by the governor and why his call for people to reject budgets which did not include a teacher pay freeze to be grossly irresponsible and flat out underhanded

            • shadowhh says:

              What is having the best job security outside the Supreme Court worth?
              What are the best benefits on the planet worth?
              What is knowing that no matter had bad you are at you job, you will not lose your job worth?

              Where I work we do not have great benefits, but it still adds up to nearly 10k above my salary. I hear in NJ Benefits go well above $25k.

            • Maximus Pectoralis says:

              Want to hear about underhanded? The school board in my town (1 school with less than 500 students) begged the council to avoid cutting the budget severely after it was voted down. The council made only a small cut. As soon as the budget was passed, an additional 8 teachers announced their retirement.

              Different towns have different pay rates of course. In my town they start at $49k and make it to just under $80k after 8 years. The hidden cost is in benefits though. Public employees don’t share in the cost of health benefits at all. Their benefits cost anywere from 50% to 300% more than typical private sector benefits (in my town it is over $30k/year for family insurance! my company is under $7k). With “only” a 4% raise, and the hidden increase in benefits, it can come to over a 20% effective raise. Also on average, a public employee will receive over $3 million in benefits from a $100k investment in their pension. Is “only” a guaranteed 30x return on investment good enough? Sure, it’s not the salary that is bankrupting the government. It’s the pension based on the salary, and the exorbitantly expensive Luxury Health Care.

              • bravo369 says:

                I hear what you are saying though many people chose to retire late because now Christie is focusing on the pensions of these people. Would you keep working if it became apparent that someone is trying to reduce your retirement unless you get out now? Also, as to the health coverage, many teachers who I have spoken to are willing to pay for their benefits but they don’t want to take the pay freeze. it’s either one or the other…not both because both is essentially a pay decrease. When you couple that with the Board refusing to save jobs with the money saved from such actions, talks break down. My wife’s district actually was able to agree to a contract with the teachers this year which kept the raises but teachers will pay 1.5% towards benefits. I think it’s a fair compromise but again, it shows how completely how irresponsible and out of touch our governor is. The state also has not made is obligatory pension payment in 12+ years and has actually borrowed out of the pension system so it’s not like payments into the system is hurting the state…since they aren’t making any

        • lymer says:

          No the point is that education has nothing to do with bringing baby wipes and toilet paper to school. It’s about reading, writing, math etc…

      • Tim in Wyoming says:

        And that is why I live in Wyoming now. I pay a reasonable property tax, sales tax, and federal income tax. Where I grew up in Ohio, I would pay 2.5% property tax rate, almost 8% sales tax, 2% city income tax, somewhere between 4 and 6.5% in state income tax depending on income, plus federal tax. That property tax is inflated because they base school funding on the property tax rate. The Ohio supreme court ruled that illegal, yet they still do it.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      That’s not the solution. The solution is to institute a city-wide nominal tuition charge of +/- $50 per student per month. Parents will actually have vested interest in their children’s education, and therefore, will concern themselves with their kids’ success. Parents who are forced to pony up tuition every month are going to want to see a return on their investment, in the form of a passing grade. Right now, schools are being used an extension of the welfare system.

      • BadgerPudding says:

        Parents don’t have an interest in the success of their children?

        The DERP is strong with this one.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          “Parents don’t have an interest in the success of their children?”

          In communities with greater than 50% drop out rates, I would say the answer is ‘no’.

        • pantheonoutcast says:

          No, they don’t. 54% graduation rates tell me they do not have an interest in education at all. Parents with six kids by seven different fathers tell me the same. Our PTA has 7 members. During parent-teacher conference, on average 15 parents out of every 90 students show up, and less than half stay for more than five minutes. Come down to the South Bronx where I’ve been teaching middle school for ten years and I’ll teach you a little something. Leave the snark, though.

          • myCatCracksMeUp says:

            Nationwide the drop out rate isn’t over 50%.

            From a Jay Matthews column: (Jay’s column)

            “The long graph stretches over two pages below Swanson’s article, “Progress Postponed.” It shows the percentage of high school graduates among those old enough to receive diplomas from 1870 (2 percent) through 1900 (6.4 percent), through 1940 (50.8 percent), through 1969 (the peak year, 77.1 percent), to 68.8 percent in 2007. I had never before seen this laid out with such clarity.

            Why have graduation rates been declining since 1969? The timing suggests to me that the surge in immigration has something to do with it. Immigrants account for a significant number of poor people in the country. Poverty correlates with leaving high school before graduation. When I called Swanson about this he suggested an additional factor. Graduation rates were high in both high school and college in the late 1960s, perhaps a temporary phenomenon caused by even the most restless male students of my generation not wanting to expose themselves to the draft and the Vietnam War.

            There’s more. I tend not to blame schools for large dropout rates. The higher percentage of students from impoverished families, the higher the school’s dropout rate is going to be. The educators have little or no way to change the circumstances of their students’ family lives. But Swanson and his staff analyzed the demographic factors associated with dropouts and published a chart that makes me wonder if I should be so quick to excuse the schools. “

            I don’t think charging poor families $500 a year per child is going to help them feel invested in their child’s education. Instead it would contribute to a higher drop-out rate as many teens who might’ve stayed in school will feel it’s their duty to quit to save their parents from having to spend that kind of money.

            • myCatCracksMeUp says:

              I should’ve previewed my post. The italicized part should include all the way down until the last paragraph, which are my words, not Jay’s.

              • pantheonoutcast says:

                You should have also done more research. Recent immigration plays almost no part in the graduation numbers. The graduation rate for Asian students in New York is around 77%. For blacks, it is 51.4%. The grad rates of ELL students (those who arrived in this country speaking a language other than English) has been on the rise about 10 percentage points a year for the past three years. For Blacks and Latinos, that percentage increase is about 1-2% a year during that same time span. The dropout rate for Blacks and Hispanics is approximately twice that of their White and Asian counterparts – including recent White and Asian immigrants.

                You can read the rest of the numbers here:

                http://schools.nyc.gov/Accountability/data/GraduationDropoutReports/default.htm

                “Immigration” status plays far less of a role in graduation rates than does culture.

                • trey says:

                  he said NATIONWIDE, and you come back with what can only be explained as… hell I cant explain it, it makes no sense…

                  “Here are some nationwide numbers about dropout rates…” well “you are wrong because in NYC these numbers dont match yours…” no shit? is that because NYC is AVERAGED into the NATIONWIDE numbers?

                  and you are a teacher? really?

          • trey says:

            that same argument you just made, could be used against you in the same way Mr. Teacher.

            I have had some of the same experiences with Teachers that didn’t care, had tenure, are with a union and cant be fired, are 30 years outside their degree and have become complacent. but you didn’t mention that side did you.

            Lesson; there are always (at least) 2 sides to the story and as a teacher you should not generalize about such a large percentage of your students.

            as Rodney Dangerfied said… “Good teacher, he really seems to care…about what I have no idea.”

            • pantheonoutcast says:

              I will mention that side. In addition to teaching, I’m also a union representative and I have to constantly fight battles for teachers with 30 + years experience who do the bare minimum, take their paychecks and go home. They show up late, leave early, give every student in the class the same grade, refuse to meet with parents, take “sick” days off constantly, teach with the same lesson plans they’ve been using since 1979, and a hundred other things they think they can get away with because of the contract. One of them has asked to file a grievance every week of the past school year. When I explained that many of the things she wanted to grieve aren’t actually in the contract, she told me to “find something then.” I didn’t.

              There are 80,000 teachers in the NYC system – I would say, conservatively, 15-25% of them don’t belong anywhere near a classroom. The city and state needs to severely ratchet up the certification requirements and they should institute mandatory retirement after 20 years of service.

              Bet you didn’t think I’d say that.

              • trey says:

                big whoop… you stated what we ALREADY knew! tell us something we dont know about the dismal state of the American (public) education system.

              • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

                This is why I stopped union rep’ing at my school. We are a non-union state, but my district had a hard hitting union. I couldn’t stand seeing the lazy teachers getting away with crap while I worked my butt off. That’s garbage. I also got sick of sending hard hitting questions to the school board and getting canned, run-around responses.

          • Dieflatermous says:

            “Parents with 6 kids by 7 different fathers”, so you mean, you hate those WOMEN.

            Seriously, your sexism is showing.

            • pantheonoutcast says:

              “6 kids from 7 different fathers” is a phrase of ludicrous hyperbole for the sake of humor. And I love women. Just not stupid ones with knee-jerk disease.

              • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

                Actually, my husband does have students whose siblings are by 6 or 7 fathers. I once had a student whose mom had children by 5 men. She was rich too. It’s not that uncommon in inner-city schools though.

                I have also been to parent teacher night at said inner-city school when I was interning there. only 5-6 out of about 180 students showed up. So, no exaggeration there.

        • AstroPig7 says:

          So, did one of those children have two fathers?

      • aja175 says:

        Charging tuition isn’t going to get parents to have a vested interest in anything other than the value of their now paid babysitting service.
        My dad is principal at a private school, tuition there is upwards of $10,000/year and the parents still expect the same level of babysitting.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      As long as property values keep declining at the rate that they are, taxes would have to be drastically increased to maintain the same level of revenue. Raising rates too far would make the property in the municipality even less desirable, further decreasing revenue.

      The real solution would be to break the long established tradition of paying for education via property taxes. But that will never happen.

    • Abradax says:

      Wanting lower taxes is ignorant and racist.

      Good job.

      • BadgerPudding says:

        Crying about taxes while holding up signs claiming that Obama is a secret Muslim who is ineligible to be president because he’s of African descent is ignorant and racist.

        The anti-tax crowd is made up of craziest, most irrational, and openly racist people I’ve ever seen.

        • lymer says:

          Then you haven’t seen to many people. Maybe you should leave the rock you live under.

        • RogerX says:

          Mandatory-false-dichotomy. You don’t have to be either a tea-bagger or a commie-hippie to have an opinion. In fact if you aren’t you probably have a more rational opinion.

        • dangermike says:

          Thanks for the most ironic statement of the day. Look in the mirror to find immense bigotry.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          if those people would just donate the poster board and markers they used to make the protest sign to the classroom … sigh

    • shadowhh says:

      That is always the solution for left wing nutjobs.

      Simple fact is public schools are wasting the money they get. they are getting MORE then enough.

      The average private school cost per student is just a bit over half that of a public school.

      • BadgerPudding says:

        Reality is apparently a left-wing nutjob now.

        • shadowhh says:

          Ok, ok, your right. The answer to everything is to through more money at it. Its worked so far.

          Oh Wait, it hasn’t School costs have gone up every year, and grades have gone down….

          • SenorBob says:

            I can see why you’re so down on public education, since it obviously failed you.

            “Ok, ok, your right. The answer to everything is to through more money at it. Its worked so far.
            Oh Wait, it hasn’t School costs have gone up every year, and grades have gone down….”

            It’s YOU’RE, not your; THROW, not through; IT’S not its. Plus, that last sentence doesn’t make any sense at all, but I’ll try parsing it for meaning.

            Are you saying that even though we’re spending more money on education every year, the letter grades students receive have been going down? That makes no sense. You do realize that letter grades are arbitrary value judgments assigned by teachers and have absolutely no relation to the quality of the education, don’t you? It’s not like there’s an international standard for what an A in 5th grade math represents.

      • chocolate1234 says:

        Maybe it’s time you pulled your head out of the sand and faced reality.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        Really? You know that you are making that up, right? Our public schools get far less per pupil than private schools in the area except the schools funded by churches. The school I work at costs $25,000+ a year plus books. All of the better private schools in my area charge upward of $20,000 per student here.

        Public school students get $5500-7500 depending on the school.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Oh sure that’s been working really great for say,,,,never! Did you just land on our planet Mr. Spock?

    • brinks says:

      If we can put our tax dollars to good use, maybe the next generation of Teabaggers will know how to spell.

    • dg says:

      Simple solution: Stop mandating all kinds of pricey crap by the Feds and States – who then conveniently don’t fund it, putting the onus on the local taxpayer. Back to basics. Recognize that not everyone is going to succeed in school or life and stop trying to pretend that they will – let them fail.

      Stop paying teachers mega salaries, stop paying administrators mega salaries. Stop paying insane health insurance and pensions. Let the kids walk to school instead of screwing with busses. Let them walk to a bus stop and get picked up if it’s more than 1.5 miles.

      Stop paying PE teachers $160,000….

      Yeah, this isn’t all school districts, but there’s things that jack up the costs at all of them.

      And if any of this crap was on my kid’s school list – they’d be bringing none of it. It’s not my kid’s responsibility to take care of your building. We pay taxes, you take care of the friggin building… What’s next? Johnny needs to bring toilet paper?

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Show me a public school district where a PE (or any teacher) makes $160,000.

      • CoachTabe says:

        It’s important to note that the “salary” information used to come up with the $100,000+ figure for salaries encompasses salary, coaching jobs, retirement benefits, and other perks. It’s not just straight salary. That’s not to say that a PE teacher should be making $160,000 but their actual teaching salary is, in reality, much lower. When I was teaching a few years back, coaching jobs paid a % of your teaching salary as their stipend (usually 10%). For a teacher making $24K like me, that was a nice boost.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        $100,000 teacher’s salary? Where is this? We are teachers and don’t make big bucks at all. Combined, my husband and I make less than $75,000 a year. This is before our $500 a month insurance premiums, mandatory retirement, and taxes.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        By the way, the measley $5500 a year per kid schools get here is a joke. A good private school costs $20,000-$50,000, plus books, athletic fees, etc.. and they run on a much smaller scale. People expect miracles for their tiny little pooled tax dollars. and complain if you ask them to bring a container of disinfecting wipes.

        If public schools got $20,000 per student per year, things would be a lot different. People would be running in droves to teach due to increased salaries. Class sizes would be far smaller. The quality of education would rise, and no one would have to ask for Clorox wipes.

    • Greely says:

      I

  7. PunditGuy says:

    Real question, not snark: If education standards are set at the state level, why does each district need so much administration? For that matter, why not centralize districts’ functions?

    • Maximus Pectoralis says:

      The same reason why administrators choose to hire friends and family members instead of hiring the best people for the job…

    • RickinStHelen says:

      Now you are at the heart of the matter. Standards used to be set locally, but now states have standards, plus there is the No Child Left Behind issue. So there really are no more local standards. They are more of an extra at this point. Here in Oklahoma we have more school districts than Texas with a smaller population and a much smaller land base. We even have independant school districts that only go to eigth grade, Each district is required to maintain its infrastructure, plus a Superintendant, plus other admin staff. If they consolidated, there would be a tremendous lessening of costs, but parents do not want to give up local control. There needs to be a radical shift in schools. And I say this as the son of an educator who is married to one.

    • thatblackgirl says:

      Talking about school district consolidation in Texas will get you lynched. It derailed more than a few promising political careers the last time it was mentioned (late 1990s). It’s always been considered a sacred cow.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      One reason administrative requirements have gone up is various legal mandates. The apparatus necessary to comply with NCLB, for example, required three new people at my district. (I recall when the law first passed, a few districts declined to participate and therefore declined all federal money, because it would cost more to comply than they would receive in federal money.) The state issued a new FOIA law this year, a good one, but the more onerous requirements require a new half-time person. New laws on school cafeteria offerings require a compliance person if you do the cafeteria stuff in-house; we outsource it partly for this reason. We must perform comprehensive background checks on all employees AND volunteers; we have one person who manages these for employees, a different person for volunteers. We have an entire person who manages our medicare/medicaid compliance (he actually makes money; he has a staff of three and they do medicare/medicaid management for surrounding districts that don’t have their own in-house people, and we get a fee for that; it adds up to more than they cost); another entire person who manages our Title I compliance.

      Some positions are mandated by law; a building must have a principal in my state, unless it has fewer than some low number of students, in which case it can share a principal or have a director working under a different sort of supervisor. The district must have a treasurer and can go no more than seven days without one. The district must have a superintendent. We must have an attorney at board meetings.

      We must provide special ed, and special ed requirements have increased substantially over the years (again, this is generally to the good, but there’s a price). Our special ed includes children with severe and profound mental and physical disabilities; the minimum number of one-on-one aides we can “get away with” is around 250.

      We must update all our buildings to “code” every 10 years in my state. This is called a Health/Life Safety inspection. Your house, if it was built in 1950, it gets to stay to 1950s code unless you want to do huge renovations. Your kid’s school, however, must be brought up to the minimum standards for H/LS every 10 years. We have a special levy that pays just for this, but it’s a substantial expense (and to taxpayers, it doesn’t matter much which bit of the levy pays for what). This is why districts sometimes knock down old, usable schools and build new ones — the H/LS updates would cost more than the new building. And, yes, there are requirements for H/LS inspection compliance!

      That’s just a handful of things.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        Some of this isn’t scalable, I should add — if you have 10,000 students, you’ll need X many teachers, and all of those background checks will have to be processed. The cafeteria thing is partially scalable, which is why we outsource it to a company that does it for a bunch of districts. But medicare/medicaid is only partly scalable, because some of the work is batch stuff for the whole district, but in for other things every single student’s file who receives benefits has to be processed individually.

        Some aspects of administration are scalable, but others are tied to doing Activity X for every single student, teacher, employee, volunteer, or whatever, and that means the more students you have, the more people you have to hire to do Activity X in support.

        • PunditGuy says:

          On the contrary, everything you mentioned is scalable. You have one person doing background checks for volunteers, but if you added up all the people in every district in the state who do background checks on volunteers and put them all in one office in the capitol, I guarantee you that there would be excess capacity. And what would your district lose by centralizing that function?

          In an age where physical presence is less and less important, there have to be more ways for resources to be shared across all districts. Disintermediation needs to be the norm, not the exception.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            “if you added up all the people in every district in the state who do background checks on volunteers and put them all in one office in the capitol, I guarantee you that there would be excess capacity.”

            For small districts, perhaps, but we’re a large enough district that we usually need 120% of a person to process volunteer background checks (the checks are actually done by the cops, it’s the processing and collating and maintenance of files that has to be done in-house), so one person works out right for us. (Also, we’ve currently been waiting nearly six months on a centralized state function that they are required to complete within two weeks. Centralized state functions are SLOW AS MOLASSES IN JANUARY. They have no urgency. It’s not like anyone complains to them if student files get screwed up. There’s no community oversight. We pay a lot less for this particular function being done at the state level, but it doesn’t actually really get done. Ever. Adding layers of state bureaucracy may cost less, but it is virtually always substantially slower.) The state is also currently $10 million behind to us on our general state aid, which is around 8 or 9% of our education budget (non-cap, non-transit). The simple truth is that local functions get done. State functions do not.

            Plus, sending functions like that out of district promote backlash like you wouldn’t BELIEVE. It is much, much easier, politically, to pay someone $70,000/year to do redistricting than to hire an outside company to do it for $50,000. Outsourcing our cafeteria functions saved the district considerable money but led to three months of protests and strikes.

            We still send things out when the finances dictate we do it. But we listen to 60 to 90 minutes of angry public comments at every public meeting, many of which are related to hiring consultants, outside firms, or state bodies, at a considerable savings to the district, because they want to know why we can’t do those functions in-house where (they believe) it would cost less. In smaller districts you’re also denying jobs or firing people you personally know, and in many areas the school district is the largest employer or provides the only middle-class jobs (which is its own problem, but that’s where you are and where public opinion is starting from). You’re also sending local tax dollars out of the district, which will never come back to the district; when you hire someone, many of those dollars stay local. So that’s another frequent argument.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        A few other things we provide, that you may not be aware your local schools provide:

        We provide and/or supervise teachers at all three hospitals in the county, for students who are inpatient. Also for the inpatient psychiatric ward and for the inpatient drug treatment program. Many of these students are special ed and entitled to special ed services.

        We provide what’s called a “safe school” for behaviorally disturbed students. Student:Teacher ratios are around 4:1 and there are a lot of aides. These students are entitled to an education, but cannot be in a normal classroom. Typically they have violence and drug problems. The state provides a grant, but doesn’t fund the entire program. The program is also not large enough for the number of students who need it.

        We provide the only deaf education program for several counties. Out of district students pay tuition to us, which helps, but it is still an expensive program. Many of our deaf students are poor and from rural areas and have had literally no communication until we get them when they are five; their parents cannot afford and do not have access to deaf treatment or education programs. The parents must also be taught, which the state doesn’t pay for, and we have to fund through grants.

        Our state funding is based on student attendance (or, one could say, negatively correlated with the absence and truancy rate). This leads to a funding dilemma — you can either expend significant funds in chasing down students who are absent or truant for various reasons (I’m in a very high-poverty district) and ameliorating those reasons (which is social work, not educational work, but they’re not well-funded either), or you can lose the equally-significant state funding.

        Again, just a few things off the top of my head.

  8. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Perfectly normal here. A ream of paper, a box of pencils, notebook paper, disinfecting wipes, hand soap — all of which go into a classroom pool — and the usual individual stuff. Happy to do it.

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      Forgot to add that is some kid can’t afford it, they still get supplies to use from the pool.

      • Pax says:

        And ostracism for being poor. Don’t forget the wonderful, beautiful world of being a Social Outcast because “you’re too poor to afford toilet paper, HA HA!”

        • Clyde Barrow says:

          No toilet paper? Leaves work great! Obviously you’ve never lived in the country? LOL.

          • trey says:

            that wouldn’t be the country… that would be the Ozarks… cause even in the country there are still stores that sell toilet paper.

    • dg says:

      Sorry, I refuse to participate. Reduce my taxes, and I’ll consider it. Otherwise no.

  9. humphrmi says:

    Here in Skokie Illinois, we’ve got a box of Clorox Wipes and two boxes of facial tissue. Everything else is actual school supplies. On one hand, it is irritating. On the other hand, the school district here has managed to maintain a fine arts program including a state championship band. So if a $4 box of Clorox wipes helps them keep the program going, I’m OK with it.

  10. jeff_the_snake says:

    personal items are nothing new, stuff to clean up their own desk i could understand but trash bags? come on, rework your budget, raise taxes if necessary. there’s no sense in someone buying hefty bags at retail price when the school can pay wholesale and buy in quantity.

    • Rachacha says:

      I thought about that yesterday as we were purchasing our school supplies this weekend. Would it not be more economical to ask for $5/kid so that they can purchase anti-bacterial wipes and trash bags and paper toweling by the case at a significant cost savings? They also would not need to find a place to store 30+ tissue boxes, 20+ cntainers of Clorox wipes etc etc in each classroom and could ensure that the bags they purchase properly fit the trash cans they purchased.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY.

      Also that new prison isn’t going to build itself.

  11. qualityleashdog says:

    If we could only force parents to pay tuition, and be done with that awful public school garbage. We could let the poor have vouchers, sure, but those parents that have $80,000 worth of automobiles in their driveways, a $300,000 house and go on three $5,000 vacations a year? Make those parents pay. I didn’t have kids, they did, and they should have to support them. It can start with the glass cleaner, the tissue, but let’s not let it stop there. I say end public schools and put them in private hands with governmental oversight. They can force every child to attend and have the parents pay, and allow waivers for the poor, but by god, make them prove they can’t pay before waiving the tuition.

    • BadgerPudding says:

      Be done with public school? Ok, Sharon Angle. Shouldn’t you be out hunting down Obama’s birth certificate or shouting across the Mexican border?

      • MarvinMar says:

        BadgerPudding, I think your missing her point.
        I don’t believe she is for getting rid of public schools for the reason you are implying.
        She is just tired of paying for the education of kids that she does not have.

        Now me… We will be homeschooling our children net year. Having just attended a Home School conference in Phoenix AZ, the cost of the materials is pretty high.
        I don’t believe I should have to pay for the public school system AND have to buy everything for the Home School also.
        And for those with their children in some other private or charter school, or without kids at all…It is not right that they also have to pay for services they are not using.

        School systems request more and more money, and provide worse education every year.
        It’s about time we stop throwing money into this money pit and FIX education.

        (Arizonan, SB1070 Supporter, Christian, Soon to be Home Schooling Parent)

        • BadgerPudding says:

          We’re just now digging out of the disaster of No Child Left Behind. Now is not the time to give up on our children.

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            Yes, and now we have to contend with the disaster that will be “Race To The Top.” At least with NCLB we had the tests as a benchmark with which to make improvements. R2T says, “Don’t like the test results? Lower the bar! Then we can close schools and put in more segregated Charters!”

            Less than 80% of the 8th graders in my district “passed” the English state test. Yet, they all graduated to high school? How is that?

        • Tim says:

          I don’t own a car. Should I have to pay the taxes that build and maintain roads? Should I have to pay federal taxes to bail out car makers and provide tax credits for purchasing cars?

          This is a democracy. We, both as a nation and in our individual states, have decided that some things are worth paying taxes for, because they benefit the community as a whole. Do you benefit from free education? I’m almost completely sure you do. Maybe you went to public school. Maybe someone who you’ve learned from (either in an educational setting or some other training) went to public school. Maybe the people you depend on on a daily basis went to public school.

          Maybe a better-educated populous is better for the country as a whole.

          • shadowhh says:

            Your not paying tax on the roads then. The Roads get paid for by tax on Gas.

            • Tim says:

              No, that’s FEDERAL funding of the roads, which pays for a certain percentage of the costs to build and maintain interstate highways (with states paying the remainder). States and municipalities pay to build and maintain all other roads, and though they use gas taxes, that’s far from the only source of funding. Plus, state and local roads are far more numerous than interstate highways.

          • trey says:

            “Maybe a better-educated populous is better for the country as a whole.”

            start with yourself… then you can learn where your taxes go instead of ASSuming.

          • qualityleashdog says:

            You’re still using goods and services that use public roads to get to you. And unless you’re a shut-in, you’re using the roads one way or the other.

        • Marko_Vulvic says:

          I think it’s great your guaranteeing your children have zero exposure to outside ideals or viewpoints.

          Imagine if they met a person who wasn’t a Republican, Christian or White!!

          • MarvinMar says:

            Because there are no Black people or Hispanic, or Asian people who home school?
            Really? IDIOT!

            My nieces were home schooled for years. During that time they were in Karate, Ballet, Piano, and Softball. They obviously had NO social interaction. IDIOT!

            When you home school, people often take their kids into the real world to learn. They often get much more socialization with Adults then other children, and this can be a good thing.
            Home schooled children are usually much more respectful to adults and much smarted than their public schooled friends.

            Often, Home schooling parents will get the kids together at the house of another home schooling family where the parent is knowledgeable in a particular subject. So you go to Sallys house for Calculus class on Wednesdays.

            Please be knowledgeable on a subject before making lame accusations.

            http://school.familyeducation.com/home-schooling/human-relations/56224.html

            • womynist says:

              “Home schooled children are usually much more respectful to adults and much smarted than their public schooled friends.”

              So, you’re saying that your home schooled children will be more respectful than you just were in replying to Marko’s post. Seriously, dude, rather than calling him an IDIOT for disagreeing with you maybe you should have politely enlightened him as to why you think he’s wrong.

              You say you’re a Christian, but so quick to call names.

            • Marko_Vulvic says:

              SB1070 Supporter – Where are your children going to meet “Hispanics”?…. field trip to the local jail?

              • trey says:

                they have Mexican restaurants down there don’t they… some people… always looking at the negative.

              • MarvinMar says:

                My children can meet all kids of Hispanics.
                You are trying to sound all liberal and anti SB1070, then go on to make the case that all “Hispanics” are illegals? Way to go there.
                And you call us racist.

    • wiggie2gone says:

      …..or we could just stop slicing the budget on education.

    • lymer says:

      I was an exchange student in Japan in High School and it’s really common for everyone but the smartest of students to have to pay to go to high school and even Jr. High.

    • Tim says:

      I think you’ve forgotten the purpose of taxes, and really, of government programs.

      The people decide that they want a government program, because it will benefit the community as a whole. So they pay taxes to fund it. This is in stark contrast to paying the government for specific services, such as getting a drivers license. You having a drivers license doesn’t benefit the community as a whole, but an educated populace does.

      By your logic, let’s get rid of the police and charge the people who actually benefit from the service a fee for using it.

      • Tim says:

        Actually, a better example: let’s get rid of publicly-funded roads. Privatize them and make people pay to use them.

    • GirlCat says:

      I don’t have kids either, but I do plan on growing old and possibly sick, and I’m kind of hoping some of these damn kids of today will be well-educated enough to take care of me then (and run the rest of the country, too). The “I don’t have kids, why should I pay” argument is quite possibly the most ignorant one of all for opposing public education.

    • trey says:

      an obvious education was lost on this one…

    • nobomojo says:

      I guess I should thank all of you wealthy people out there for subsidizing my education. I grew up pretty poor in a very wealthy town. My single mom did everything she could to take care of me while putting herself through a PhD program and living on $15,000/year teacher’s assistant salary. She did not own any property, not even a car, so she paid no property tax the whole time I was in school. Now, I have a degree from a pretty good university, am working my way up a company ladder, and hope to contribute something to society one day, if not only continuing to be a good citizen. I agree with many posts on here that say that a sound education for every child makes sure that we have a successful, functioning society.

      • qualityleashdog says:

        You still would have received an education. Your family income could have been scrutinized, and if you were too poor, the tuition waived. Or pay on a sliding scale. But no free rides for the rich that want to dress their children in an $150 pair of pants and $200 shoes, that’s insane to do that and expect me to pay for your child to have a deluxe gym to play basketball in.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      “If we could only force parents to pay tuition?” Are you kidding? If they paid for tuition they would not have any money left over for 40 ouncers, rims, and weed!

    • qualityleashdog says:

      I’d be happy to pay for the actual building, books, some computers, the essentials and the basics. But everytime the schools here yell for more money, it’s because they need a bigger gym for sports, football equipment or something completely unnecessary. Schools have lost focus on academia, they waste money and they have turned into social clubs for these children to perform as fashion models. That is why I am bitter about tax dollars and schools.
      How do these children playing football benefit society? How does a sports complex at a school benefit society? Tax dollars paid for it, yet citizens still have to pay admission in order to watch a game played there? Citizens certainly can’t use the facilities. Kids get too much and anyone who says otherwise is obviously a parent that realizes they are coming out ahead because they share the bill for raising these children with the taxpayers instead of between themselves.

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      $300k house and $80k worth of cars in the driveway is hardly what I’d call “upper class” in most large metropolitan areas. And quite honestly, those who are legitimately upper class raking in the dough are most likely sending their kids to private school AND funding public school education via property taxes. So don’t hate.

  12. mopman64 says:

    This is going to end up being an OSHA matter. The problem is every chemical that is in a school building needs to have an MSDS safety sheet in the MSDS book which is to be kept in the main office. Only profesional chemicals come packed with that sheet. All it takes is one child to have a reaction to some type of cleaning spray or baby wipe that another child brought in and you now have a law suit.

  13. pantheonoutcast says:

    I’ve done this from my first day teaching. You have any idea how filthy a middle school in the Bronx is? Or, for that matter, how filthy a middle schooler is? Oh, there’s graffiti on your desk that YOU put there? Guess what, you’re cleaning it off on your dime. Oh, you want a tissue? Excellent – did you bring in a box like everyone else in the class? No? Guess you’re using your sleeve. Oh you spilled your blue sugar water on the floor, even though you’re not allowed to have soda in my classroom? Break out the paper towels and get busy.

    • qualityleashdog says:

      Are you not being paid to watch these children and nip it in the bud before they spill the soda or draw the graffiti? What are you doing, listening to your ipod and posting on the Consumerist instead of watching your students?

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        It’s summer. I don’t have students. And during the school year, my classroom is used by five classes other than my own and five teachers other than myself – it’s called overcrowding. What they do during their class periods when I’m not in the room is out of my control. Frequently, I will return to my room to find it in disarray – and that’s when the class is halted and we break out the Windex.

        When I am in the room, however, I exert a much different level of control than my counterparts. I don’t tolerate nonsense, insubordination, disrespect or chaos. Infractions are met with swift, appropriate punishment; I never threaten (or promise) without making good on what I’ve said, I alert administration and parents immediately, and I follow the NYC discipline code to the letter. By the second week, no one wants the hassle of dealing with me, so they dare not cross me.

        I bet you thought that was a pretty good response, to my comment, though.

        • qualityleashdog says:

          You said you were making these children take responsibility for their own spills, for their own vandalism, etc. Now you’re saying that it is not your students doing it because you catch everything before it happens, and it is other children leaving these messes. But you are making a completely different child that is not responsible do the cleaning. Isn’t that what the janitor my tax dollars are paying for is supposed to do? I’d have a problem with you if I had a child and you tried to use him as slave labor.

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            I’d have a problem with your child too, if his reading comprehension skills were genetic. Or maybe you’re just not aware of how classrooms are used outside of the happy suburbs, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. In the city, very few teachers get their own classrooms that aren’t shared, at some point in the day, with another class or two. This past year, I was unlucky enough to have five different classes use my room while I wasn’t there. As in, “Not physically present.” However, at some point, usually before the end of the period, I would return to the room. And if it is not in the exact condition it was when I left it, I will stop the teacher in the middle of the lesson and I will make the students clean it.

            Anyone who creates a mess in my classroom, cleans it. That includes teachers. I have a seating chart of every class that uses my room. If I return to my classroom, and there is graffiti on the second desk in the third row, I know who was sitting there. And I will make him / her clean it up.

            And if you, as a parent, have a problem with my decision, then we can all get together and have a frank discussion with the dean of discipline as I draw up the paperwork to have your child suspended for destruction / defacing of school property.

            • qualityleashdog says:

              Five classes you say? That would have left you with about two classes to teach in that room. Guess you oughta call that classroom someone else’s, since you’re not teaching the majority of the classes in that room. You find graffiti on a desk, how are you going to prove it was it was the first, second, third, fourth or fifth class that did it?
              You sound like a bitter, powerless Edna Krabappel whose life has become a race to collect glass cleaner and paper towels, not educate young minds.
              I’d imagine you’re not only disliked by your students, but by your fellow educators as well. I hope the teachers whose lessons are interrupted by you inform the parents and the rest of the school staff that Johnny can’t read because you continually take power trips to force the children to do the janitor’s job. I can see that you a control freak that can’t stand to share the taxpayers’ resources with other teachers, so you attempt to make the other teachers as miserable as possible in an attempt to encourage them to do whatever they can to use a different classroom.

            • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

              I had a teacher using my room two periods a day and she would let her students wreck my room and use my computer, which is a huge no no. I tore her a new one and let her know fast that she should be finding another room.

              My husband teaches at an inner-city high school and his friend had to do the same thing. The teacher cried because he told her that she needed to put on her big girl pants and start controlling her kids.

              I hate sharing a classroom. It sucks because you inevitably get the I don;t care or I wanna be cool teacher in there and they let the kids jack your shit up.

              It’s really not that hard to maintain control in any classroom no matter who the kid is. Be firm and stick to your word. Make examples of the jerks. Inject a bit of humor and be fair and decent. It pretty much works with any kid.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        Have you ever taught? How can a teacher teach a lesson, while writing on a overhead, going through a Power Point, or helping a student at their desk all while watching the other 30-35 kids every move in the classroom? Maybe I should throw you in an inner-city classroom and watch as you hightail it out of there in two minutes because they have chewed you up and spit you out.

        Shit happens. Kids break rules. Good for him for stepping up and making the students responsible. I caught a student drawing on the floor during group reading time. She was holding one part of her book over it to hide that she was drawing. I made her clean it up with Oxyclean and a scrub brush in front of everyone.

        I also had a high school teacher who, if you were caught chewing gum, would make you put yours in a bucket and make you pick a different piece to chew that someone else had chewed.

        Teachers need to go back to being mean old hags so they can keep order in the classroom.

  14. MarvinMar says:

    This is because whenever states or cities get into trouble for spending money on crap they had no business spending it on, the cry “We have to raise taxes or we will be FORCED to cut education!” “Think of the children”

    We need to call BS! Then cut the education then.
    They pulled this crap in AZ and got a 1cent per dollar tax increase.
    They did this because they knew the sheeple like the “Think of the children approach”

    Once they get the money, it’s spending as usual. Nothing changes. Every year some district is begging for more.

    Solution? When times are hard we cut expenses. No more cable, no more eating out, drop a car payment (Sell the extra car)
    Schools need to do this to.
    Reading, Writing, Arithmetic. No more Sports, Band, Art, Computer Lab……..
    Focus on what is important until you can afford the extras.

    Big Government is NOT the solution.

    • BadgerPudding says:

      Big government is not the solution? So government should take a hands-off approach, much like they did with Wall Street and off-shore oil drilling?

      God help us all if this is what people actually believe.

      • MarvinMar says:

        If you think the Government was NOT responsible for the economic collapse we are in now.
        The reason we are in this situation is BECAUSE the Government forced banks to loan to people without proof of being able to pay. Then everyone pretended to be surprised when people failed to pay. Brilliant minds we have in office,

        OIL spill. The one that FEMA never responded to? The one that had an Oil worker also as a Government inspector (And a druggie at that?)
        And BP should have planned for that accidental explosion that triggered this whole mess.

        Then Obama steps in (2 weeks later) and they micromanage everything with red tape such and forbidding cleanup responses until some Government agency can say “Yup, that works” and meanwhile we have to PAY for that agency to give the OK, and Obama can say “Look at all the Jobs I created to clean up this oil spill! I am Great!”

        Gimme a break

        • BadgerPudding says:

          You sound like the crazy guy on Fox News screaming about “MOUNTAIN DEW AND CHEETOS”.

          It would be funny enough if you were not destroying the country.

          • MarvinMar says:

            Liberalism is destroying the country.
            You always want the Government to do everything for you, and provide your health care, and pay you to be on welfare by providing food stamps so you can use your money on beer and cigarettes.

            As America tried to be more and more like the rest of the world, we are going more and more down hill.

            We started our own states for a reason. Stop trying to turn us into a communist nation.

            • ninabi says:

              Is supporting public schools a liberal viewpoint?

              One grave concern I have with homeschooling (disclaimer: my children were briefly home schooled because of frequent military moves/ serious illness in child) is that I am seeing people who are sheltering children from other viewpoints and most concerning- young adults without a strong grasp of math and science. I’m not talking about arithmetic mastery, I mean a solid foundation in chemistry, physics, calculus.

              Students who have those skills are the ones who go onto to inventing, research and development. In other words, they design new products and new techniques that lead to economic growth in this country.

              My daughter was fortunate beyond measure to attend public high school, where, when she ran out of math and science classes to take, they paid for her to attend the local university in the afternoon taking differential equations and organic chemistry. I would not have had the skills to take her to that point- we often reflect on what fine teachers she had in public school, who knew so well how to teach calculus and chemistry and had a passion for the subjects.

              And that is why I do not begrudge the taxes or the toilet paper.

              • MarvinMar says:

                I do not disagree that there are subjects that I or my wife are not qualified to teach.
                This is where the other parents teaching can com in, also, since my Kids are only 4 (Twins) and were are just gearing up for next year (With the alphabet and counting already begun) one of the programs we saw the the Home School Conference was the Abeka Academy.
                This gets your child teaching from professors in each subject, via online or DVD.
                Who knows what will be available for my kids when the time comes.

                Out of the 100 or so booths at the conference, I would say there were at least 10 each dedicated solely to Math or Science.

                • FaustianSlip says:

                  I do not disagree that there are subjects that I or my wife are not qualified to teach.

                  Like basic grammar and reading comprehension, evidently.

            • BadgerPudding says:

              Dude, don’t you have a mosque you should be protesting?

            • nobomojo says:

              Not trying to be rude or anything, as I do value your opinion, but please don’t throw around the word “communism” incorrectly. Google “communism” for a definition, and you will see that it’s not the correct word to be used. Socialist Democracy, maybe, but not communist.

            • AstroPig7 says:

              You clearly have no idea what liberalism and communism are. Please do some critical research before you pass on your ideas. I’m not saying this as a personal attack, I’m saying it because our political discourse is already mired in blatant falsehoods and unsupported nonsense, and passing these ideas to the next generation will only make things worse. Also, your grammar is seriously distorting your message, because you don’t make it obvious when you switch between references to the poster, society at general, and some vague straw man who happens to fit your assumptions.

        • rooben says:

          If you think that any previous/possible immediate future administrations would do anything different, you have another thing coming. Republicrats and Democrians are two sides to the same party, all about big business and distracting you long enough to make sure that the money goes to the right people (the top 2% rich in our country).
          If you believe anything else, do your research. This is nothing new. Its all about complacency.

        • ncboxer says:

          Economic crisis? Uh, I think that is greedy people. Greedy people who work for corporations. Corporate cultures that reward risky behavior. The government relaxed regulations that allowed that crap to happen. Oh, we need less regulations, right? The corporations will decide what’s best to do? Corporations are in business to make money and some will do whatever it takes to do that.

          Oil spill? Oh yeah that’s definitely Obama’s fault . BP got us into this mess. Did the government compound it- yes! Was the government much better during Hurricane Katrina- no. There are a crap load of agencies that all have to have a hand in things. Much red tape to wipe their a**. Could Obama have done more- of course, but don’t blame him for the oil spill or not having it stopped in time. Should we have more government experts to anticipate bad things that happen or should we rely on corporations to pay for their own experts? BP screwed things up royally- we just helped them do it.

          That said, I’m more of a libertarian. I believe less government is better. I do believe in public schools, but I also believe in school vouchers. Everybody should get a voucher and decide where they want that money to go- public or private. I also think public is better than homeschool. More opportunities. A lot of homeschool kids I know (not all) have been ill adjusted to to move to onto college and enter the work force. They have to go to community colleges and strengthen their skills, then move on to college.

        • ARP says:

          “Government forced banks to loan to people without proof of being able to pay”

          Cite Please (FYI- Your Beck and Bachman is showing). The Community Reinvestment Act didn’t force anyone to lend money anyone. It said you could not use the location of the home as the basis on whether to loan money or not. Banks were using home location as a proxy for race. If the house is worth less because its in that neighborhood, that’s already worked out in the value of the home.

          Nobody “forced” anyone to lend money. Interest rates were at almost nothing and Fannie and Freddie were backing many of these mortgages. So the big banks decided they couldn’t lose and loaned money to people without proper checks.

          • pinkbunnyslippers says:

            They didn’t force, but they “heavily suggested”. All started with Carter and the Community Reinvestment Act back in ’77.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      “No more Sports, Band, Art, Computer Lab……..”

      Those subjects are just as important as the core subjects. It has been proven time and again that schools that offer co-curricular or extra-curricular activities produce more successful and motivated students.

      • BadgerPudding says:

        Also, I think computer education isn’t optional anymore unless we are intentionally trying to destroy America.

      • Jedana says:

        We live in a school zone that is currently struggling–grades, financing, everything you can think of. The students at my daughter’s high school can be classified in one of two groups: punks/troublemakers/wannabe hos, or school involved. Without the football program, the band program, the drama department, these kids would have more time to get into the trouble the punks get into. We parents pay extra to allow our students to do these things; that pays for uniform cleanings, bus transportation, equipment purchasing/repair, etc. So not all the burden is falling on the taxpayers.

        However, there is a lack of funding. The band teacher from last year left because his position was being downsized (or “surplused” as they call it here) and left the band and guard in a hole. The new principal interviewed around, found a guy who graduated from Rutgers who would be willing to work 25 hours a week teaching band, plus 10-15 hours in marching rehearsals. But, he isn’t in yet, school starts next Monday and the first football game is next Friday.

        And one other thing to think about. Lose that exposure to music, drama, sports, etc starting in elementary school, it cascades on down the line. Next, there is no flag team or jazz band in middle school. Then no marching or concert band or football team in high school. That creates a lack in college of experienced football players or marching band students, so there go your college team sports and shows. And then, a lack of players for the NFL or Symphony orchestra.

        Plus you have a lot of people who rely on those scholarships for football or band (my daughter is one such child, since her father has since developed a terminal illness that has eaten away at our financial situation). Those scholarships dry up and those kids don’t get to go to college and gain a career.

    • ninabi says:

      You noticed the price of homeschooling materials. Books and supplies aren’t cheap- for either public schools or homeschoolers. Some costs can be trimmed (administration expense is one area that comes to mind) but public schools aren’t just there for the cream of the crop- they have to educate the children with autism, behavior disorders, learning disabilities, etc plus all the children whose parents don’t give a darn along with everyone else. Oh, and the gifted, as well.

      I’ve seen some private high schools here in southern Arizona charge more for their elite programs than it cost our daughter to attend one year of public university. The private high school I am thinking about takes the cream of the crop- the ones that are a joy to teach. I’m going to continue to support public schools because there are a lot of hardworking parents who DO care about the education of their children and cannot afford to quit work to home school their children nor pay private school tuition. Homeschooling and private schools have their merits, but public school, like public highways, still remain the best way to get the population from point A to point B.

      Are public schools perfect? No. Are there some excellent ones out there? Absolutely.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      In other words, you want to cut every extra-curricular activity that keeps students occupied outside of school. How do you want to fund the police department when they have to deal with increased mischief and vandalism by bored teenagers? How do you want to educate students who are bound for music programmes in college? Your idea of an education is sorely limited, and it will only hurt students who want something more than the basics. By the way, the shibboleth “sheeple” doesn’t automatically invalidate your argument, but it makes you sound like a nutjob.

    • howie_in_az says:

      Reading, Writing, Arithmetic. No more Sports, Band, Art, Computer Lab……..

      … or have a private donor sponsor the sports team, band, art classes, and/or computer lab.

      Once we allow private advertising in classrooms, teachers will start getting paid what they’re worth and the public school system will be drowning in money. That time will come, I’m sure of it. It will also be the time I move my as-yet-to-be-conceived children into a private, ad-free school.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      You’re home-schooling with a non-enriched curriculum? I think you need to do more reading on educational theory.

  15. bblawson says:

    My daughter’s first year of public school – first grade – our list had toilet paper on it. Yes, toilet paper. Not for any particular project that we ever saw. Oh, and she is only in 8th grade now so it wasn’t that long ago.

  16. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    That’s been going on here for a few years now. Pathetic, really, that we’re too cheap as a society to put toilet tissue in schools.

    • DanRydell says:

      Woah woah woah – the average cost of educating a child is somewhere around $7k per year I believe – and that includes all of the shitty southern states that don’t care about education. We’re all paying taxes to cover that, whether we have 4 kids of 0 kids. And it’s a good thing too, because for many poor people the cost to educate their kids is more than the parents make in a year. But if the school asks the parents for a $5 pack of toilet paper, we’re being cheap? Come on now. The burden that is shouldered by parents is ever so slightly higher than non-parents.

  17. soldstatic says:

    no, no. we need more lemon pledge.

  18. Starfury says:

    Each year in grade school my kids come home with the “supplies” list that includes baby wipes, crayons, paper, Kleenex, and other stuff that’s not directly education related. We stopped bringing in everything after seeing how much excess from the previous year was there.

    The teachers also have “wish lists” for printer ink, printer paper, and other teaching supplies. Truly sad that they have to beg parents for this.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      This is news to me but I don’t have kids. I would explode if an admin wrote me from my “kids” school asking me for cleaning supplies. Can anyone request to see the balance statments? Financial reports? Compare outlays to receipts and see where the money is going too? This is insane. I knew our schools were broke but asking for cleaning supplies?

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Believe me, I would love it if a parent would exercise the level of interest you describe in your response. Our PTA (which conveniently leaves out the “T” during their meetings) had exactly 7 members last year. They do not care.

        Take away their kid’s $300 iPod, and suddenly they’re all up in your face, however.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        It is all FOIA-able and if you were in my district I would help you set up a meeting with our comptroller so you could go through the budget line by line if you wanted to. I typically learn a lot from those types of citizen question sessions.

        One sort-of sad, sort-of eyerolling case occurred when one of our schools that has unique special ed programs ran out of paper super-early — because they had to print IEPs for every special ed student, and IEPs are LONG. (And must be printed.) We had to rustle up paper donations from the community.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        Wow. Way to be a team player and contribute favorably to your child’s education and create a positive learning environment and good example for your child.

        As a teacher, I bought hundreds of dollars in supplies each year, myself, with no reimbursement of any kind. I guarantee that most teachers still do that, even while getting the supplies on the list. Have you ever seen those cute, painted classrooms that the teachers go out of their way to make a pleasant environment for your kid? It’s all on their own dime. All of it.

        If a teacher asks for my time, or supplies, I’m there in a second giving what they need. I want for my child’s school to be a pleasant place. I want my child to see that parents care and help in the school.

        I’m glad I’m not that obnoxious A-hole parent who just wants to make life more difficult for everyone out of shear douchy-ness.

  19. grumpskeez says:

    I think I’m going to have to go with pantheonoutcast on this. Tax the parents a monthly rate per child. This would deter future wanna be Duggar families and give the parents a vested interest in their children’s academic performance.

    • MarvinMar says:

      The Duggar family is a horrible example.
      The Duggar family does not use public schools, they Home School.
      The Duggar family pays taxes to a school system they do NOT use, then pay for all their own school supplies. Check out the cost of home schooling some time…It is NOT CHEAP.

      Your argument was lame. Please pick a better example next time, Such as Jon & Kate plus 8.
      (Which is stupid too because you can’t fault them for having 6 at once.)

      I know, stop paying the government for doing a crappy job. Find a school that does a GOOD Job educating your kids, and pay them.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        I’ll give you a hundred examples of NYC families that have 6+ kids all enrolled in the public school system – families who are all on Section 8 and do not pay a dime of property tax.

        “I know, stop paying the government for doing a crappy job. Find a school that does a GOOD Job educating your kids, and pay them.”

        The NYC schools would do an excellent job if they did three things:

        1) Raise the teacher certification standards
        2) Eliminate 50% of the administrative overhead
        3) Force parents to either volunteer their time or their money towards the school. Can’t afford my proposed $50 a month? (Bullshit – they all can) Fine, then you are coming in once a week after / during school to do paperwork, chaperone an after school activity, or some other menial, yet highly needed task.

        A school is successful when all parties involved are invested in that success.

        • MarvinMar says:

          pantheonoutcast
          On the NYC topic, I don’t know about their system but those ideas sound fine by me.

        • hotdogsunrise says:

          I like you. A lot. Even when I disagree with you, I still like you.

        • Rachacha says:

          Re #3, At the private school my kids attend, they have “mandatory volunteer” hours (They changed the name this year …I just can’t remember what they called it) where parents must assist in the school for various programs, events or fundraisers. The advantage it offers is you get parental involvement in the school and therefore involvement in the child’s education. Thinking back to when I was in public school, the students whose parents were involved in certain activities at school generally performed better in school because the parents were involved in their education and helped them study, reviewed their homework etc. Parents that we never saw, at any school events typically performed worse because the parents treated school like “Free Childcare”.

          I don’t care whether you are in the most affluent school district in the country or the worst school district in the country, unless the parents are involved in the education process, the kids do not perform as well.

          • Willow16 says:

            Our private school has something like this – anyone receiving an academic scholarship or any financial aid is required to be on a committee. Those include Parents’, Arts or Athletics. This ensures some parent participation.

      • dangermike says:

        You completely *CAN* fault them. She has polycystic ovary syndrome and would not have had much hope of having any children without the very proactive decision of fertility treatment. Not just once (the twins) but twice (the litter). And with that many implanted fetuses, the doctors would also have a recommended selective reduction which clearly was not performed.

      • grumpskeez says:

        Ok you’ve obviously done more Duggar stalking than I have. According to your research they are a bad example but the point is still there. The more children you have the more investment (time and money) you should be prepared to give towards properly educating them.

    • Dr. Rosebud says:

      My husband and I made the conscious decision to buy a home in a better school district. More expensive house and higher school taxes, but our kids are worth it.

    • denisem says:

      I’ve thought for years this would be a good idea. Parents need to help pay the cost of educating children they made the choice to bring into the world.

  20. macoan says:

    My kids school has done stuff similar for years – well every year, every class is suppose to bring in a box of tissues. But usually each class with have something unique like “low-oder dry erase markers” – which of course is for the teachers to use… spread throughout the school. Another class is hand disinfection stuff… another class is paper towels….. So each student/parent has usually 1 item for “general” use that is on the school list

  21. macoan says:

    My kids school has done stuff similar for years – well every year, every class is suppose to bring in a box of tissues. But usually each class with have something unique like “low-oder dry erase markers” – which of course is for the teachers to use… spread throughout the school. Another class is hand disinfection stuff… another class is paper towels….. So each student/parent has usually 1 item for “general” use that is on the school list

  22. lockdog says:

    I wonder how much this benefits retailers and manufacturers. After all the markup on a pallet load of institutional toilet paper has got to be a lot less than that same pallet broken up into 10-packs w/ retail pricing. Also, like another commenter noticed, I wonder how the schools manage to keep the appropriate MSDS forms on file for 100 different variants of windex.

    • haggis for the soul says:

      I wonder about this too. Would it be cheaper for everyone to charge each student $20 and pool the money and buy in bulk?

  23. PanCake BuTT says:

    Do you want me to supply the teachers and chalk too ? Let me know, because I can, if that is what is needed !!!!

    • cupcake_ninja says:

      Actually, that’s requested on some schools supplies lists. Teachers requests students to supply them with dry erase markers (specific colors so parents have to buy multiple packs to get the correct amount of the right color…fun times.) But hey, our education system isn’t failing and we have enough money going into our schools…

  24. grapedog says:

    The problem is not the fucking property taxes, the problem is the fucking towns diverting money earmarked for the schools into other things.

    Everytime you see programs being cut from your school, it’s most likely NOT because of less taxes coming in, it’s because they are pushing that money into other stupid bullshit that they think is more important than your childs education.

    Vote those fucking assholes out of office…

  25. sheldonmoon69 says:

    Certainly a sad state of affairs compared to 20-30 years ago.

    One of my kids’ schools tried to pull that extra-credit for supplies thing until I confronted the principal.

    AND I even had an art teacher send my kid (a 3rd grader at the time) back home with the watercolors I’d bought for him. Apparently, they weren’t the right kind… ????

  26. Judah says:

    Non-issue.

    In other countries, like Japan, the students are actually expected to clean their own classrooms! What a novel idea, huh?

  27. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    yep, my workplace ended a drive on friday to collect school supplies for the two counties that most of the employees live in. in addition to personal supplies for underprivileged kids the list included kleenex, clorox wipes, printer paper and general classroom supplies because the schools have been asking the parents for these items for years and even the underprivileged kids are expected to bring them in.

  28. meg99 says:

    My nephew is going into 7th grade this year—his NY public schools have sent out these long supply lists since he was in Prekindergarten—there isn’t anything new in this.

  29. shadowhh says:

    Yep, Lets cut the supplies to the classroom, while we keep giving those nice new cars to the School Admins each year.

  30. RogerX says:

    Not only is this ridiculous on principle for pubic schools (paid for by tax dollars), what really chafes is where the money is actually being spent. Friends who are young and early in their teaching career, and friends who are long-time administrators, tell the same tales of bureaucratic superintendents who make big six-figure incomes to contribute very little value, combined with “lifers” who are skating by on the minimum amount of effort with their seniority-inflated paychecks and union protection. The union and the school board have our money, and when we refuse to re-up the levies, they just pass the buck along to us and make our kids the suppliers of basic needs. That right there is some serious bull-puckey.

  31. TabrisLee says:

    Why not? It’ll teach ‘em to clean up their own mess. I think it’s a great idea and maybe it’ll rub off on the little suckers when they get home.

  32. RogerX says:

    The general level of discourse in this thread makes me weep for America. Apparently there are no grey levels, alternative solutions, or discussion pints on the spectrum between:

    1)Raise everyone’s taxes and throw more money and government at the problem, and
    2) Make all schools private and return everyone’s tax money.

    Everyone on Team 1 thinks everyone on Team 2 is a racist rich snob wackjob teabagger; Everyone on Team 2 thinks everyone on Team 1 is a granola-eating commie nanny stater.

    Why don’t people ever consider the wide array of pros and cons, risks and benefits in an array of solution, instead of repeating what the idiot talking head on their favorite radio or TV news program told then they should think?

    • ninabi says:

      Agreed. One change I would think would be of benefit is to offer quality vocational training for those students who have no interest/ability in traditional studying. There are so many bright kids who would do well in a trade but have no patience for sitting at a desk writing an essay.

      There is waste in public schools, bloated administration costs, kids who are disruptive and parents who don’t care. But there are wonderful public schools where parents show up to volunteer and the curriculum is amazing. I wonder if the real issue is not taxation, but the fact that society and children have changed- that people are angry that tax dollars are being wasted on schools full of children who don’t behave, whose parents do not support the teachers, who do not honor learning nor respect the educators.

      I’ve experienced many school districts around the country, good, bad, indifferent. I saw expectations pitifully low in one district, but I can also recall teachers and staff in the same district pitching in to help a single working father get the electricity turned back on- his sons smelled because they had no hot water. In winter. The guy was trying hard (no cable in the house) but the cost of living was sky high in that city. Kids were coming to school not ready to learn and cold.

      We have such a wide range of beliefs, cultures, income levels in this country that public school must be many things to many people. What should we pay for and what should we expect for our tax dollars? Much to think about and I am afraid television personalities are modeling poor behavior for appropriate discussions, with shouting and name calling.

      • Kibit says:

        I do think they should promote vocational training more. And let kids and parents know that you can still go to college if you graduate from a vocational training school.

  33. OnePumpChump says:

    Don’t worry, kids, when you get to prison, all of that will be supplied for you.

  34. cupcake_ninja says:

    This is new? I remember having to bring in spray cleaners, paper towels and sponges when I was in elementary school in the 80s.

    I now have children of my own and have to supply things like sponges and baby wipes. Kids get dirty, and it’s a lot easier for the teacher to hand them a wipe to clean themselves and their work area up. I’ve brought tissues and other cleaning supplies to clean my work area in the office as well. It’s really not that big of a deal. I don’t go up to my boss and demand that he/she supply me with Clorox wipes when I need to wipe my desk off after I’ve had a snack or whatever there.

    • FaustianSlip says:

      It’s not new. They were doing it when I was in school. This gets brought up every year when school starts and some parent writes a letter to the editor complaining about how when he was a student, they just had to show up and they were given everything from crappy newsprint to write on to pencils to that box of eight crayons from Crayola. Then some local news outlet discovers this bit of “news” and starts reporting.

      I will concede that these policies may be more widespread/asking for more items from kids and parents because so many school budgets have been completely decimated in the last year or two. Of course, my mother’s a teacher in a low-income school district and has been shelling out money from her own pockets (on a small salary, BTW- I don’t know where this idea that teachers are raking money hand over fist comes from) since she started out. I think the real difference is that with salary cuts and freezes and jobs disappearing, teachers are being forced to scrimp as much as anyone else, and they can’t necessarily afford to go out and buy all their own dry erase markers or tissues or whatever.

  35. evnmorlo says:

    WTH? My local district is buying ipads for students.

  36. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    School Kid to School Board: “Okay, I got my cleaning supplies. How would you like to pay for that? Cash, check, tax cut…?”

  37. Dr. Rosebud says:

    I’ve been doing this for four years now, ever since my daughter started kindergarten. I have no problem sending in supplies for the classroom. It helps the teacher do his/her job more effectively and it’s going to benefit my children.

  38. Wolfie XIII says:

    Fire one useless administrator per school and take the salery saving and use it for supplies. problem solved.

    As a parent I am very miserly with supplies, I provide them throughout the year as needed and I hold my children’s teaches accountable for actully teaching. To date, I’ve gotten 3 teachers fired, and one vice principle for incompitance, I hope to add a few more heads to my collection. More parents need to get involved and demand higher standards.

  39. brinks says:

    Slightly (bot not greatly) off topic here, but can someone explain to me why half of the school supply lists I’ve seen have extremely specific, name brand stuff on them? I don’t have kids, but I spent a couple of years in the office supply business during back to school and I was appalled at how many things parents were supposed to buy at full price.

    Your notebook has to be Mead. Your glue needs to be Elmers. You need one black wide Sharpie marker (that only actually comes in a 4-pack). You need 4×4 Post-its. There are store brand options available for all these things, but the teachers are demanding name brands? And WTF…I got through school just fine without ever having used Post-Its in my studies.

    • brinks says:

      *but* (second word in).

      Maybe I did need those Post-Its?

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      I was going to post about this too. I say hell-to-the-no to that shizznit. I’m way supportive of our school, I help out when the teachers run out of stuff mid-year, I’ve spent hundreds of hours volunteering both in the classroom and holding office in the PTO for three years–but I say, “Bite me!” when the teachers get demanding and specific with the name brands. As long as I’m signing the Visa receipt I’m going to get the best value for my money; if they’re going to buy it, they’re welcome to choose whatever brand they want.

      I might be a little more open to suggestion if the teachers would write a nice note saying, “We know budgets are tight and we always appreciate your support in providing classroom supplies, but there are a couple of items where the brand really makes a difference in XXX way….” and thus ASK NICELY. Just italicizing & bolding Crayola, Elmer’s and Mead on the supply list just makes them sound like entitled asses.

      One of my pet peeves!

      • Mercutio_Jones says:

        (teacher here) my supply list suggests certain brands because I have noticed differences in quality. For example, colored pencils: crayola pencils are far superior to rose art and other brands, most of which have leads that fall out or break easily. Other than that, I’m not too picky. Mostly I’m happy that they have something to write with and some sort of paper.

    • grumpskeez says:

      Can’t teachers have their stock in name brand suppliers in peace? If you point out the kickback system to the rest of the world it ruins it. GOSH

  40. davidc says:

    The problem is Teach Unions. Once upon a time, we had no labor laws and big bad employers … unions were born to stop employers from victimizing employees. Now we have a bazillion labor laws which negates the needs for Unions at all.

    So if we have a bazillon labor laws, what is the function of labor unions? Oh yea … Corporate Terrorism. Basically that is the sole function of a Union now .. to Terrorize Employers. Get rid of Unions and things like schools and government might actually get back on track again. Maybe being able to fire bad teachers or bad government workers? Introduce a little competition into those environments? I don’t know, call me crazy, but I think being able to fire bad employees might be a good idea.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      Labor laws don’t cover educational or school policy, something that is decided during collective bargaining agreements with the Teacher’s Unions and the state / city education departments. For instance, NYS labor law doesn’t address the length of the workday for teachers, the school year, the number of classes a teacher has to teach in a day, or in a row, or things of that nature. These issues are specific to the profession, and as such, must be addressed by specific unions.

    • wildgift says:

      @david c. – don’t get out much do you? Have you ever had a job with a bad employer?

      The reason why education seems so inflexible has little to do with unions. The main reason is because you have this thing called school, and there are 30 kids in the classroom, and one hour to teach. It’s like a factory.

      The unions are a side effect of the educational system being operated like a factory.

      The unions are tiny today. Our manufacturing base is relatively smaller too. Coincidence?

  41. sopmodm14 says:

    later in the future when i have kids and if the state budget becomes like NY’s, i’d buy these required items, then write a few letters to the county, state, federal agencies asking to fix up the budget

    if i saw these items on the school supply list, i’d ask or REQUIRE every parent in the PTA or from every enrolled student to write a letter

    and the un-sung heroes, the teachers, don’t get paid enough for what they do….sooner or later, they’ll be so broke that they’d have to include donations for shoes and socks

    have a few sets of each supply, every kid gets their fair share…..if you need a blue crayon, and i have a red marker, we’d better smarten up to develop communication skills to barter or develop another way to make ends meet. it’ll teach us not to be wasteful either

    • BridgetPentheus says:

      Oh whatever, those teachers that keep complaining about their salaries, everyone of them is the highest paid out of the people I know, cry me a river, but if you can’t live on 50,000, 60,000 a year a couple of years into teaching then you shouldn’t be teaching young minds. Cut their salaries and buy the kids some supplies

  42. jstlookinground says:

    Man I hated things like this, canned food drives, etc. We never had enough to go around at our own home, much less enough to give away. Seeing my friends bring in sacks and sacks of stuff, and them seeing me with my package of paper and can of creamed corn was the worst.

  43. stampadhesive says:

    How do the schools know what cleaner caused a student allergy if they are collecting ton a different products to be used all over the place? Shouldn’t schools be using industrial quality cleaners like hotels?

  44. ArmyCats says:

    Just fire the janitor and have the students clean their own environment like all Asian schools do…

    • wildgift says:

      I like that idea. The kids should get out the mops once a day. But they should not be buying supplies – the school should provide that.

      Cleaning makes you appreciate the facilities more and brings you closer together.

  45. Jedana says:

    My son (elementary school) needed hand soap, hand sanitizer, tissues and lysol or clorax wipes. Last year it was not the wipes, but the 2 of printing paper that was requested that made me go “wuh?”.

    I won’t have what the high schooler needs until she starts; the classes tend to have a wide range of what they want.

  46. DorsalRootGanglion says:

    It’s traditional for Japanese students to help clean the classrooms. Why not do the same here?

  47. pegasi says:

    What gets me is that when they send out these “supply” lists, they so conveniently neglect to tell parents that the supplies are “pool” supplies and will be taken and not returned if not used.

    Meaning that if your child doesn’t need to use the 2 dozen pencils you sent, you’re donating the extras to supply for those who didn’t send any, etc. If you sent more than one pack of crayons, your child gets one, and the other is taken for ” classroom supplies”. The scissors you sent for YOUR child get often taken for convenience and put in the “classroom scissors” bin, and you end up not getting them back at the end of the year. The rare exception is if your child is a lefty and you buy special “lefty” scissors for them.

    I hate that the school board administration has a budget for furniture etc every year, for items that could easily last multiple years, or not need replacing when staff changes, yet they needlessly spend money to replace these items just because someone else takes over the office. Paint offices plain white, use gender neutral desks and chairs, and don’t replace items if they are not broken. There’s nothing wrong with some signs of use on objects. There should be a rule that an item must have a minimum 5 year useful life unless broken before it can be replaced.

  48. JollyJumjuck says:

    I wonder when the students will be required to bring their own classroom and teacher?

  49. Dre' says:

    A friend of mine has 4 children & her kids school supplies ended up at over $100.

  50. Red_Eye says:

    New? WTH my kids school has been doing this for 4+ years.

  51. koali says:

    I was in elementary school about 15 years ago and we still had to bring in all that stuff. Tissues, paper towels, etc. They give you a list on the first day.

  52. mandy_Reeves says:

    um hell to the no! what am I paying taxes for???? come on now…do we have to start furnishing our own desks too?

  53. BoredOOMM says:

    Cut the sports budgets and you solve most budget woes.

  54. Intheknow says:

    MY daughter has been offered “upgrading” in her classes in high school for bringing in Kleenex and cleaning supplies too. How many boxes of Kleenex for an A? That’s the way to motivate kids to do well in school – Slack off all semester and then bring in $50 worth of supplies to make the grade!

  55. mbemom says:

    It’s not new this year to me, baby wipes have been on my list for as long as I can remember. No actual cleaning supplies yet but I have had teachers ask for extra bottles of spray cleaners to clean desks and wipes for that purpose. I am on the PTO board at my school and have even heard of a school who asked their PTO board to pay for construction paper for the year! Seriously, at an elementary school? ! What the hell are they spending their money on if they can’t buy paper?

  56. Pentagoon says:

    I was disgusted to find out that our local High School now charges a “locker rental fee”. When we were in school, the school itself was responsible for making sure that every kid had their own locker, just bring your own lock. If the teachers themselves are responsible for cleaning their own rooms I can understand parents donating some basic supplies so it doesn’t have to come out of pocket from the teacher. Bleach wipes are especially handy in an elementary classroom….. sooooo….. muuuuuuch…. snottttttttt….

  57. sopmodm14 says:

    i’d save tehe receipts and as for a tax reduction or reimbursement from my state’s board of education

  58. sopmodm14 says:

    i’d save tehe receipts and as for a tax reduction or reimbursement from my state’s board of education, or any politician that didn’t sign off on education bills

  59. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Well, in Japan, they don’t even hire custodial staffs. Students and staff (administrators too) are responsible for cleaning the schools. It certainly encourages them from making fewer messes.

    I am okay with kids bringing cleaning supplies and the students and staff cleaning the school. This would be a good way to cut the budget and instill some hard work and responsibility into students.

  60. GreySoul says:

    When I was in school (84-97) it was always considered part of our back-to-school stuff to bring some form of consumable “cleaning” item, usually towels, TP, kleenex, windex…

    That was in 3 school districts, and one private school….

    Back then I don’t think it was as much about budget as it was about community and responsibility (waste not want not)

    When kids have to buy their own desks…that’s gonna be a problem