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TheHalcyonYear
2010-Mar-04, 06:12 PM
So apparently this is education awareness day through the U.S. Here in California teachers and students at all levels, K-12 to colleges and universities, are out demanding that budgets for education be protected from budget cuts.

While I approve of this in concept, I am not sure that there is much reality in this protest. The California constitution required that the state produce a balanced budget. In addition, Proposition 13, which is now law, requires that any modification of the tax structure be approved by a 2/3 majority of the state legislature. So, the state of California now faces a $20 billion budget deficit. Since the budget must be balanced, drastic cuts are being implemented across the board. This has required every sector of the state infrastructure to take drastic budget cuts because the funding is not there and the state cannot borrow to meet its obligations.

If teachers and students were out today demanding that the state raise the additional funds required to maintain the educational system, I would be on the streets at their side in support. However, they demand is that the educational system be exempt from the budget cuts while at the same time they are silent on the question of where the funds are to come from. I am in full agreement with the argument that education must be a top priority. However if the residents of California are not willing raise the funds to pay for it, I don't see what protesting the lack of funding will actually achieve.

I don't mean to start a political thread here, I am looking to discuss the economics of the situation.

mugaliens
2010-Mar-08, 12:03 PM
I volunteered last year at a middle school, and was astounded at the incredible array of expensive high-tech equiment used to replace chalk and board. And you know what? I didn't much difference in either the efficiency or effectiveness of the system compared to what we had in middle school in the 70s (acetate, overhead projector). Now it just costs ten times as much.

I did like the fact he could save the touch-sensitive dry-erase board to file and post it on the school's website for the kids to review at home. However, I think taking proper notes would be more helpful.

peteshimmon
2010-Mar-08, 12:22 PM
Here is a craft idea to inspire the new kids
every September that will not cost much. We
supply schools with all sorts of coloured
film from sweets, wrapping etc. And fronts
and backs of Cornflakes packets. A special
south or west facing window at the school is
fitted with a grid.

An image is chosen from a website set up for
this. Fortytwo patterns are then printed onto
fortytwo packet sides. Safe stenciling
machines are used to cut the pattern in each
cardboard piece. Then sellotape is used to
put the right coloured film over each opening.
The kids will have fun. Then the completed
pieces are collected and hung on the grid.
The kids will be enchanted at the big
bright image of the lastest pop star, sports
hero, what have you.

A project for education to try and inspire.

And all that nice coloured wrapping will not
be wasted anymore!