Children! Can any of you spell “compassion”? Can any of you spell “understanding”? Will any of you tell us the meaning of these words?
–Caroline, Little House on the Prairie
California Schools’ Reliance on State Dollars Contributed to the Spending Gap
California schools, on the whole, rely on the state budget for a majority of their dollars. Moreover, the largest share of state General Fund spending supports K-12 education. The Legislature reduced overall General Fund spending from $103.0 billion in 2007-08 to $87.3 billion in 2009-10 – a drop of 15.3 percent – as policymakers responded to the dramatic decline in revenues caused by the most severe economic downturn since the 1930s.
As a parent I am tongue-tied that the LAUSD would ask us to find ways to save money. As my son is entering Middle School next year the need to find a good school is difficult. We looked at private schools costing in the thousands in contrast to those schools in very bad gang districts. This is the truth and the reality we face right now. We also looked at charter schools and magnet programs. This is what middle to low-income families are faced with. I was thrilled to find Enadia Way Elementary School two years ago. I think that Enadia Way Elementary School is a well-run and thrifty school as it is. I cannot image ways that they have not already thought of when achieving the goal of saving money.
After some reflection and with what I feel is thinking outside the box I have come up with one solution to save some money. I think if we integrate simplicity with modern technology LAUSD would shave lots of money.
If one goes back to the stories of Little House on the Prairie one can see that life was not easy then either. Money was tight. Items for school were simple yet effective. Here one would see baskets, mini-chalk boards and journals being used in the classroom.
Now we have the help of modern technology as a great source for learning in the classroom. What we have now is the internet and there are many wonderful learning sources that can be applied in the students’ curriculum to save money. If families cannot afford computers at home, all libraries have computers now and in most classrooms.
Using simplicity and modern technology is a great place to start the process of saving money for LAUSD.
1. Instead of using so much paper in the classroom. Have children purchase small usable chalk boards and chalk for math and writing when learning the basics. Thus replacing work books and the endless trail of paper worksheets. I know for a fact the books are a lot of money as well as the workbooks. That would save LAUSD lots of money.
2. A writing journal for students to use throughout the year. Students would use their journals for writing down their spelling, grammar and essays. A student then could process the things learned over the year.
4. Teachers could have the main lesson book. From Here all lessons could be copied on the board, on a mini-chalk board and/ or shared on the internet and printed out at home or at the library.
5. Recycle all used homework and or excess paper through a shredder for art projects. Paper Mache projects are creative and fun.
6. Help schools to become network savvy for teachers and the students to communicate. This includes lessons, emails and blogging.
These are just some ideas of simplicity with modern technology that can be applied for the time is now!!