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Teacher strikes and do we need a tax on kids?

Posted by mr. neptune 
Teacher strikes and do we need a tax on kids?
April 29, 2018
I have been reading the news lately about the teachers not making enough money to live on, especially in the southern states and wonder, are some parents breeding but do not want to pay for it? I almost wonder if we need a system where everyone pays a base tax rate, but parents pay more since they created the kids and the need for schools. I know it would never happen, but there has to be some way to pay teachers enough and have acceptable buildings, materials, supplies, etc. Also, why wasn't there a problem like this in the past, like in the 50's?

The other thing I wonder about is that many of the teachers, they know they are going into a low pay career, but they all have families themselves, why breed if you can't afford it. I mean no offence as there are teachers here, but just trying to find everyone's opinion.
Re: Teacher strikes and do we need a tax on kids?
April 29, 2018
Teacher here. There are plenty of reasons why I didn't have kids, but the low pay of my chosen career is one of them, I guess. (I also refuse to come home and work a second shift, but that's another story). Some people go into it knowing the have a spouse with a more substantial paycheck, and do fine. A lot of teachers simply live very frugally--lots of my colleagues drive older cars, forego spendier vacations, and budget very carefully.

"The 50s" wasn't an era of perfect education (US never had one of those in my own opinion). Schools from that era look good in retrospect, but part of that is because expectations were different...and often not in a good way.

Schools were cheaper to run for a few reasons:
1. student transportation/school buses weren't as widespread, and were non-existent prior to WW2. Walking a few miles to school was considered normal. So no buses to pay for.
2. overtly screwing over students of color was considered a normal practice. Schools for black kids were a joke. The money went to white schools. This was exacerbated when the suburbs were designed (look up black/red line neighborhoods sometime...suburbs were designed to keep brown people out).
3. students who weren't achieving were encouraged to drop out of school (even if they were younger than 16), and lots of poor families that moved a lot simply didn't send their kids to school. Data on student achievement were not tracked or analyzed, so schools didn't have too many hard numbers on how their students were really doing over all.
4. special ed as we know it didn't really exist. There were no laws requiring schools to serve students with disabilities of any sort (those laws didn't come along until 1976). SpEd services are fuckin' expensive.
5. in some states (such as CA), the definition of "public education" means that the parents don't have to lift a finger financially. Schools provide EVERTHING, right down to pencils and paper. Schools cannot require parents to contribute in any way to their kids' education. So that's more money.
6. there were a ton of schools built in the 50s for sure, because of all the baby boomers flowing into the system. (the demand for teachers was so huge that in some cases you could teach elementary school with only an associates degree, which meant there were 19 year olds teaching in some cases!) A lot of the buildings built back then are simply aging out and have had band-aid maintenance for decades. Schools also have to be larger now, because of all those intervention and SpEd programs. So, more structure to maintain.
7. Staffing a building was simpler. Teachers, principal, secretary, some custodians. Slightly larger staff for specialized classes in high school. But no counselors, school psychs, reading/math intervention teachers, SpEd teachers, instructional coaches, speech therapists, occupational therapists, etc. Fewer people to pay.

So there's some food for thought.

As for the tax idea...I don't know enough about it to say one way or the other. I do think parents need a wake-up call about how much work goes into educating a kid, and that they need bear more responsibility. I'd love it if public schools could charge sliding-scale tuition (and that $$$ would have to be shifted around, because schools serving poor neighborhoods would have very little coming in). There also needs to be a cultural shift in how kids are raised...kids are coming in more and more underparented every year and less and less able to deal with life.

Unfortunately, a lot of the problems with parents come down to people breeding who shouldn't. The end.

TL;DR: Good old days weren't always good (with apologies to Billy Joel). Expectations of what schools are expected to do has kept expanding, but budgets have not kept up.
Re: Teacher strikes and do we need a tax on kids?
April 30, 2018
That explains some of my question, thanks. But I also wonder if back in the 50's, it seems like every other woman had to be pregnant and somehow, no one objected to the cost of all those buildings back then. But you re right, education has to cost more now per student. But I think if people had to bear some of the cost of schooling their kids, there might be fewer kids.
Re: Teacher strikes and do we need a tax on kids?
April 30, 2018
My observation about schooling in the US is that it is a total crapshoot, that depends very much on where you live. I think the money should be spread around more. It is ridiculous that some schools give all students iPads, while in others they struggle to even buy books. (And there is never any point for students to be given iPads: students need to learn to use technology that is in widespread use in offices, they don't need to learn fads.)

I don't like kids and I don't like paying for child-related services, but I don't want an uneducated adult population turning to criminality due to lack of opportunities. Plus, there's a high correlation between female education and lower reproductive rates. So if I can't get people to stop breeding, I figure society is better off for having an education system paid for with taxes.

But I think it's a waste of money to offer specialized education programs. Put the same amount of money in the smart kids and you might get something. Put that money into the dumb kids, and you don't even get mediocrity. It seems like money down the drain to me, given limited resources.
Re: Teacher strikes and do we need a tax on kids?
April 30, 2018
Quote
yurble
Put the same amount of money in the smart kids and you might get something. Put that money into the dumb kids, and you don't even get mediocrity. It seems like money down the drain to me, given limited resources.

Another teacher here (former, though,) and I wholeheartedly agree with your entire post, but as I see it, the fundamental problem with public eduation is summarized in your above quote. Thanks to IDEA and special ed law, school districts in the US are forced to spend mightily on these low end kids with little return. Said spending fuels special ed staff budgets, and kids get a tremendous amount of scaffolding to achieve their annual IEP goals (which are written by the same special ed department that works with the identified kids, so it's not that difficult to show "improvement" and the "need for even more support services.") Of course, all this extra assistance comes to screeching halt at age 21 (or graduation with a special diploma) where the individuals are thrown into the meat grinder of entry level employment, with few coping skills and no understanding that an employer is in business to make a profit. I remember sitting through one particularly awful teacher staff development day, where a special ed parent advocate lectured us about how schools don't go above and beyond for these kids...they do the same things that employers do. Having worked in the private sector before becoming a teacher, I knew she was dead wrong, but she seemed convinced that some benevolent employer (and she wasn't talking about a sheltered workshop, either) would offer lifetime employment just because.
Re: Teacher strikes and do we need a tax on kids?
April 30, 2018
Mods, put this in the living room if you like, I want to hear from more teachers here, I think we need a tax on kids!
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