School Budget Waste – A Teacher’s Perspective


Schools consistently cry that they never have enough money.  So, every year they introduce new tax hikes claiming they are necessary to meet the demands of an evolving society of which students must learn to adapt to have successful futures. The risk of students having no future at all doesn’t seem to be relevant to schools and policy makers.

One of the few times schools actually are somewhat honest is that the money is going to invest in new programs and resources to update the learning environment according the to latest research. I say somewhat honest because we all know that most of the money is going to teacher salaries and pensions, but some of it does get invested in student resources. Barely any gets invested in school safety measures for most schools.

If the student resources were to be useful, practical, necessary, and used for more than just the month its trending that would be great, but they aren’t. Like the children they teach, school policy makers are the biggest consumers of the latest trends.  That’s all these resources are –-trends. Achieve3000, Read180, i-Ready, Passports to Social Studies, MyON, Response Survey Technology, NewsELA (just to name a few bought in my district in the past year), and more are all just very expensive trends that cost millions today and will be worth nothing tomorrow. The money that gets poured into these useless programs that not to mention undermine the authority and ability of the teacher is inconceivable. The program is already outdated, according to the famed researchers, pretty much at the time it’s bought. I used Achieve3000 once in my classroom. Literally for one month that’s all the administration talked about and then I never used it again.

So when school policy makers argue that there’s no room in the budget for safety measures such as metal detectors, door alarms, and armed guards, I think what they mean is “We’ve already wasted our money buying programs to make us look good so your children will have to continue risking their lives so they can come to school and use i-Ready. Don’t worry, even if they don’t have a future because of our ignorance of their protection, their future will be bright, and they will be prepared.”

If schools actually cared about the future of our children, why isn’t their safety and protection the top priority? The millions being poured into the latest learning tools could easily be designated for safety measures. If schools claim to be so concerned with preparing students for their future, why don’t they ensure they actually have one?

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