Monday, February 27, 2006

Athletics and Schools

The big-government types, with an insatiable appetite for more of the public's money, have cast their greedy eyes on school expenditures on athletics.

I taught middle school for 13 years. It is my position that the people who want to make community schools into centrally controlled education factories do not understand how to relate to adolescent children. Ultimately, they view adolescents as nothing more than complicated machines. Hit the right inputs, and the right outputs mechanically appear. It is a soulless, and loveless, approach to adolescent education.

The study said that spending on sports averaged $190 per pupil. The number was widely panned as too low. Monticello has a broad, inclusive program and also makes great pains to include every expense. Their figure is closer to $656 a student. That is a substantial chunk of the $5,400 minimum per student that a district gets from the state.

The superintendent of Monticello "gets it". As high as his reported expenses were, he knows the value of having school sports teams.

While many complained that the schools did not report all expenses associated with athletics, I suspect they failed on the OTHER SIDE. For example, my step-brother is a widely acclaimed football coach at AAA near-powerhouse Pea Ridge. He says gate receipts cover all the expenses of the football program. They are measuring the "costs", but do these reports measure revenues as well? I think not.

It also seems that they are counting the entire salary of each coach as an expense of the sports program. This is wrong. They should count only the stipend. My step-brother is a History teacher most of the day, and a great one. His passion was teaching history. While in college, he only got his coaching certificate so as to increase his employment prospects. Since then he has been named AA coach of the year for the state, an All-Star coach another year, and conference coach of the year many times. But at heart, he is still a teacher. A lot of coaches are like that.

Schools should be an extension of the home and the best part of the community in which they serve, not soulless education factories. The greedy educrats need to look elsewhere for more dollars to plunder- like their own salaries.

To put this athletics for children vs. money for educrats thing in perspective, ACT 98 of 05 allotted $107 million to give raises to ADE educrats and add more of them to administer our bloated new program of taking local control from schools. Compare that $107 million with $85 million spent on every public school athletic program in the state last year.

14 Comments:

Anonymous harvey Edwards said...

Good article Mark. It brings up a lot of concerns that I have any time there is anything ran using Government beauracracy. Schools need intervention. We all know there are great schools and even greater teachers out there. Too many of the best get disillusioned by the Standards they are held to. Most times it is pure and simple expected mediocrity. Like the students themselves this kind of system fails everyone by not promoting real learnin. Then you say , that is why we have all these high paid superintendents and you can see why low standards are acceptable. It is their job to manage. Many find it just too comfortable to manage poorly and not hold their teachers up to the challenge. A consulting firm that has no relation to the Government system should be formed to impartially investigate the public schools and make recommendations to the Governor. Their breath would be wasted taking it to the legislators since theres too much political smoozing going on using our tax dollars, I welcome hate mail.

8:48 PM, February 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harvey, Does your disdain for state government extend to refusing to file a campaign contribution report, or have you not raised more than $500? Anything to the rumor that Benny Petrus put you in the race just so he would have an excuse to raise money from lobbyists?

9:11 AM, February 28, 2006  
Blogger Harvey Edwards said...

Hello anonymous. I Love you too. No I havent made a red cent. I dont want a red cent if it gets you what Petrus has, I do my work with my service connected disability check. and if you can find fault with me not having a good feeling about the folks whose number one concern is about the money then I wouldnt want your vote either. Politics has gone astray, Tell me one person you know that will spend his last dime for others benefit. I sure aint no Martyr. Whether I win or not if I can get the folks to realize they have a choice and that they should use their God given right to elect someone who is on their side , well then I'M their Man. Laugh all you want.

12:22 PM, February 28, 2006  
Blogger Harvey Edwards said...

I dont have disdain for the Government. I spent my whole adult life in the Service of our Country. I have seen firsthand who gets that precious raise and those special favors. It is never the folks that the politicians are sworn to defend. It is beginning to be history repeating itself, Not since the Boston tea party have we had so much taxation without representation. Pork Barrel spending and the good old buddy system is not what we need. It is average folks who have and will continue to defend the Constitution of the United States.And folks this doesnt cost a dime.
Mark I hope I havent hijacked your article but I do get hot when anonymous mealy mouth folks use inuendos and the rumor mill to try and make their point. I still welcome all debate. I also hope that I am not overstepping and using this blog for self promoting. I believe however that you must use every informational resourse available to make a point.

1:21 PM, February 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harvey,

What are you thinking? You have to have money in order to win! Are you just bored? Maybe a part time job would make less of a fool out of you.

Seriously Harvey, the rumor mill is going and the odd stares and snickers behind your back will eventually catch up with you. Don't drop out of the race, because I like you. I like what you say. All you should do, is RAISE MONEY!!!

7:58 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Harvey Edwards said...

I may be slow or something but.... Do you think i am so Vain that I worry about rumors/gossip or that it will catch up with me . As a Navy Chief (look up definition)such trivial vanity problems dont exist, however I thank you for your being so protective of my sensitivities. My constituents do not need money to elect me therefore I dont need money to represent them. Just look at the current office sitter and see for yourself what you get for the highest bid. I dont follow others, I lead.

10:50 AM, March 01, 2006  
Anonymous The Insider said...

Harvey,

Let me get this out in the open. Do you know about the recent poll that was taken in your district?

It wasn't to see who was in the lead. It measured name recoginition. Harvey, I am sure you know that you have very little. Please listen to me when I say you need to raise money so you can have professional supplies.

Stop making excuses because you haven't tried.

For crying out loud, your campaign poster is simply your business card scanned, enlarged, and then updated in Microsoft Paint.

Your website is filled with incorrect grammar and graphics do not load properly.

Harvey, I am not trying to be mean, but your campaign is not professional.

I will help you, free of charge.

Contact me.

the_insider@sbcglobal.net

11:07 AM, March 01, 2006  
Blogger Harvey Edwards said...

I was just thinking to myself before I read the Note from Insider. First let me say, Insider thanks for your generous offer. I know that my website is lousy. I had it together since I backed Vernon Humphrey for Congress and I learned from his website that they need professionalism. I will contact you soon and discuss it. I have the support of the black folks , the working poor, Those who are disillusioned by our current representation. I dont however list too much personal experiences since they are a bit more complex than I wish to let on. My Degree is in workforce education and I worked as a computer curriculum specialist. That doesnt mean I can go it alone. Yes, I am needing some assistance.

4:13 PM, March 01, 2006  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The study said that spending on sports averaged $190 per pupil. The number was widely panned as too low. Monticello has a broad, inclusive program and also makes great pains to include every expense. Their figure is closer to $656 a student. That is a substantial chunk of the $5,400 minimum per student that a district gets from the state."

I applaud Monticello schools for at least attempting to be honest with their costs. One school said it spent zero on athletics, claimed it was a “clerical error.”

"The superintendent of Monticello "gets it". As high as his reported expenses were, he knows the value of having school sports teams."

And that is? What is the value of having a sports team? All this time I thought schools were about education. Math, Science, English. How to write a letter, balance a check or do the Pythagorean formula. How about the value of having educated children? Yea, yea, downplay the testing of NCLB. Monticello is in distress, and they are worried about sports.

" He says gate receipts cover all the expenses of the football program."

Betcha that’s just a guess on his part. There are many hidden costs. Equipment, building, electric costs, coaches, extra tutors because athletes need studying time. If gate receipts covered the costs, then why do we as taxpayers have to fight to see the numbers?

"It also seems that they are counting the entire salary of each coach as an expense of the sports program. This is wrong. They should count only the stipend."

What if they teach football or such? Or basketball? That’s a class. Counts as P.E. Class.

In real simple terms, I see children being produced in the Arkansas system. They are not ready for college; they cannot compete with other states. Our colleges, our very best and brightest, have a remediation rate of over 50%. Half of our college students need remediation in Math or English. I resent my tax money being spent for that Multi activity building at Monticello High. Don’t get me started on the Billie Blue track. Spend on teachers’ salary? Awesome, we are woefully behind many states. More books? Great. Better computers? If you insist. Science lab? Right on. More football helmets? No, like my mother used to say “first your schoolwork, then you can go and play.”

4:22 PM, September 05, 2007  

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