Arthur Schlotzsky 
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Re: “Fred DuVal Throws Down The Gauntlet On School Funding

The decision would increase the per pupil funding to $3,560 from $3,373 per year, in total Arizona spends $7,848 per student, among the lowest in the nation, though of course cost of living varies between the states and this accounts for perhaps a small portion of the discrepancy. A teacher in New York is paid a lot more, for example, than a teacher in Arizona.

For a 28 student classroom, you're looking at an extra $5,236 per year, but about half of that goes to central administration, 1010, in TUSD, so it's an extra $2,618 per classroom per year. Not couch change, but also not earth-shattering in terms of impact.

Per student it is an extra $187 per year, times 49,000 students, that is an extra $9.2 million a year, but as TUSD losses about 5,000 students in the next ten years, that will ramp up to a loss of $16.9 million a year for TUSD. No matter which way you look at it, 1010 needs to be drastically cut, even as more TUSD schools will need to be closed in the coming years.

Simply put, TUSD doesn't (or won't) have the revenue base to support a large administration. It is important to remember that students are being squeezed by both the state and TUSD's administrative costs.

8 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Arthur Schlotzsky on 07/14/2014 at 10:20 PM

Re: “The American Federation of Teachers (Almost) Calls For Arne Duncan's Resignation

I think that basically the AFT is saying that Duncan follow their plan or else they will ask him to resign. The timing is interesting, assuming that Duncan doesn't change his worldwide view of education and his game plan, will AFT present their request for a resignation right before the midterms?

Teachers deserve more pay and training, not to be attacked!

Obama doesn't like to admit fault, or ask for higher ups in his administration to resign, so I doubt Obama will do anything before the midterm elections. Especially as Duncan resigning might look like an admission that his, and Duncan's, game plan for education is flawed.

The Obama administration is focused on getting Obamacare to work, downsizing US's global presence, immigration, and a relatively small number of social issues that the President has taken a stand on, immigration, and addressing the shortcomings like the VA crisis. Doubt he'll risk dabbling with education, might as well support Duncan as that would appease independents.

Posted by Arthur Schlotzsky on 07/14/2014 at 7:15 PM

Re: “Ruling Gives More Funding To Arizona Schools

It won't affect TUSD's future very much, might even hurt education in some respect if the money increases going primarily to central administration and it delays needed cuts at TUSD's 1010.

TUSD spends much more on administration than other schools districts, and this is a huge problem that is going to get worse as TUSD's student population is expected to shrink. Currently, 49,000 students attend TUSD schools, 66% of the 74,000 school age kids in TUSD's boundaries, expected to fall to 44,000 students in a decade. The percentage drop is worst for TUSD's middle schools.

Sanchez wants to talk about increasing the size of elementary schools, even though small school size is helpful for students, especially elementary school age kids.

TUSD needs to drastically cut 1010's budget, forget about promoting highly controversial and divisive programs, as the Grijalvas have for decades, and focus on high quality small elementary schools to win over parents, and improving the quality of middle schools. Building bigger elementary schools is just eyed by 1010 as a way of preserving the bureaucrats budgets at all costs.

I think that Adelita made a mistake by planting solar panels all over TUSD schools on the playgrounds, they'll only pay for themselves in 20 years (at which point solar tech will be advanced), and they are a nuisance for kids on the playground given the sharp edge of the I-beams, though they do provide some shade, trees look a whole lot better. Why aren't they over the parking lots? The solar panels are expected to save TUSD just 1.5% of energy costs.

The most important vote I'll ever make will be this November to vote Adelita out of office, don't much care who I vote for as long as it's not her. It's time to end decades of the Grijalvas using TUSD as their personal political football.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Arthur Schlotzsky on 07/14/2014 at 11:41 AM

Re: “Education Leaders And Top Democrats Part Company

It's a very good article, frankly I'm surprised that Obama has apparently antagonized his democratic base, which includes the teachers and their union, by supporting Arne Duncan. Then again, it may remnants of Obama's attempt to "triangulate" to the political center and not assume the position of the more liberal democrats and unions on every occasion.

I'm not so sure that high stakes testing and "blaming schools" is not the generic liberal position. Generally, liberals like to use the power of government to address various issues affecting the common good, such as protecting people from air pollution. I'm all for the EPA cracking down on polluting companies, but if I was a teacher, I'd probably want "big government" out of my classroom.

There's social, biological, and other factors for why some students succeed. For example, if both your parents are mathematicians, you might well have a genetic advantage when it comes to mathematical ability, studies have shown that math skill are to a degree heritable. Of course there are environmental factors as well, and the child of recently arrived immigrants who work menial jobs could well become the next Einstein, their genetic background might well be favorable to achieving high success in mathematics, but their family might never had such opportunities.

In certain neighborhoods in Tucson, you've got a lot of high achieving folks, lawyers, and other professionals, who earn more, but the reasons why are many, and I don't think it makes sense to charge such neighborhoods with "violating the laws of mediocrity", and then asking schools to make sure everyone is homogenized when it comes to test results, or suggesting that the schools are somehow the cause.

Probably the best thing for all students is to make sure that everybody has opportunities for extracurriculars and a safe learning environment free from hostility and gangs and such. I don't think it makes sense to attack teachers.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Arthur Schlotzsky on 07/14/2014 at 10:58 AM

Re: “H.T. Sanchez: "Let's Build TUSD, Not Close It Down."

In the Gibson report, there is a recommendation to close 9 elementary schools and 2 high schools to save $30 million in five years, so there will probably be more closings down the line, maybe not next year, but probably in 2-3 years. A decade-ago TUSD got 80% of the school-age kids within their boundaries, now it is at 66%, and it will drop to 60% in a decade, so the loss of about 4,500 students over a decade.

More than just some poor decisions being made by central administration, there's been gross mismanagement for many years, and an excessive percentage of dollars spent on central administration vs. the classroom. Realistically, from an emotional/psychological standpoint, given the recent closures and money wasted on the top-heavy bureaucracy, most of the community probably isn't in a the frame of mind to give TUSD the benefit of the doubt.

For TUSD to gain students back, they'd need to cut the central administration budget and put more money into the classroom, and adopt a 21st century curriculum. If they cut central administration's budget, they could easily decrease classroom size and give every student a laptop and iPad and bring technological innovation into the classroom.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Arthur Schlotzsky on 06/05/2014 at 11:40 AM

Re: “H.T. Sanchez: "Let's Build TUSD, Not Close It Down."

In an effort to continue the discussion, the Arizona Daily Star reported that Sanchez will add two new administrators to central administration, with a combined salary cost for the two between $190,000 and $205,000. One to oversees student services, and one to oversee the curriculum. Sanchez says that he doesn’t “expect” that the new positions will cost TUSD money, but they haven’t announced what positions will be axed.

TUSD spends more per student on administration than probably any other school district in Arizona, and if TUSD spent what other schools districts spent, it would save something $9-$11 million per year, remember that TUSD just closed a lot of schools to save $5 million per year.

I just think that TUSD’s central administration is not doing as much belt tightening as they should be required to do.

Supposedly, TUSD will cut class sizes to a maximum of 27 students per teacher, but I’m skeptical.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Arthur Schlotzsky on 06/03/2014 at 3:43 PM

Re: “H.T. Sanchez: "Let's Build TUSD, Not Close It Down."

I apologize if my posts were too long, or tangential for some. I was born in Tucson, went to TUSD, have kids in TUSD, volunteered at TUSD elementary schools in the past, have kids in the summer program at TUSD right now, and have first hand experience with the effect of past controversial programs at TUSD on the morale of all students, so of course I’m a “stakeholder” regarding what happens with TUSD now and in the future.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Arthur Schlotzsky on 06/03/2014 at 10:25 AM

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