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Friday, August 21, 2009

School meeting and boy flying kite

Okay, so the first thing that I am going to go on about is the academic committee meeting that I went to at my daughters elementary school last night. I have a 19-year-old son who is done with school and I hate to admit that I was not involved as much as I probably should have been, but I tried and now have the opportunity to be involved since I do not work full time outside of the home. Anyway, the first thing that struck me was that there were 10 teachers and only 3 parents (that were not employed by the school anyway) there. My understanding is that they rarely have parents involved with the academic performance committee. I also got the first impression that the teachers that were there, some of them anyway, did not really want to be there. I also kinda got the opinion that parents were not really "welcomed". Opinions were not really listened to much and there were a few teachers that were rolling there eyes while another parent there in attendance was talking about some concerns he had heard in the community about the education at the school. Am I wrong or is that why parents are suppose to be a part of the process. Not a very welcoming atmosphere.

As the meeting progressed, the issue of monies came up, of course! I came to find out that my daughters elementary school has only a $44,000 operating budget! That of course is after salaries, utilities and those kinda things. The library only gets around $1000 and technology only $3000. The books in the library are soooo old and outdated. Our library had a book published in 1973 that gave instructions to boys on how to be well groomed! That is an example of what they have to work with. Over 3000 of the 7000 books in this library are out of date and need to be replaced to meet modern learning and reading standards. This saddens my heart as a "book worm" and a parent that has really encouraged reading and has incorporated it into an integral part of family life.

Another sad thing is the technology part of this. We are fast becoming a total computer society! The school does have some nice looking computers, but not enough for all students to have access and they are in desperate need of "smart classrooms" to enhance and make the most of the learning experience. The school building is only 5 years old and I didn't understand why the technology upgrades were not built in. There have been a few new schools built in the county I live in over the past few years and I thought all of them were designed with smart classrooms, well I was wrong because ours was not. When I asked about this, I found out it was because we did not have the money for it. See, our school is the part of the county that is not "financially prosperous". We are the middle class of education, not poor enough to be considered in need and not rich enough to have what we need. Other schools in the district are getting 2-1/2 times or more money to operated on. Teachers here are buying supplies for there classrooms from their own pockets. I find this sad!

I plan on blogging on this issue often to bring awareness of the need of public education. Our children our suffering because of this and not enough is being done. Is throwing money the answer, no it is not. As I do think the schools need money, I think that we need to take a look at where our education dollars are going. This is something that I am going to be looking into and keeping tabs on and I encourage every parent out there to do the same! I will be researching this over the weekend as the schools budgets are suppose to be public record. Will keep updates right here on a regular basis! PTA meeting also coming up in a week so will try to find out more!

Now for an update on a project that I am currently working on. It is a cross stitch picture of a boy flying a kite. It seems like it is taking me forever to finish this. I keep coming up with new ideas for things or get request for things and this stitching keeps getting put off. I will finish it one of these days, I hope. It is really cute and will make a nice framed item for a boys room or nursery. Hopefully will be able to finish it by the end of September.
Well, I guess that is all for now. Until next time!