School projects, the money pit of public education. Ever since teaching standards have changed projects have became more grandiose ever since I left the K-12 system as a student thirteen years ago. Due to the declining state of public education, schools have been demanding more out of the parents when even the parent’s pocket book is just as barren or strained as the school district budget.
When school districts are so strained where they ask parents to bring tissues and toilet paper you know something is wrong. Budgets are so constrained that both parents and teachers are expected to pay what was not funded. I remember back in the mid 80s when I was in first grade that crayons, paper and other needed materials were provided and all we had to do was come as we were to class.
Where is this missing money?
Also, teachers should be required to provide options to parents for school projects so parents do not need to feel compelled to spend forty to one hundred dollars on a school project. Parents are also fiscally strained as the teachers who feel compelled to spend ten percent or more of their salary for the school supplies that students come in unequipped and to furnish their classrooms so they would be welcoming spaces.
When I was in sixth grade we never had to do a school project on the Egyptians or make a castle for the history of Europe. Of course we had the California missions project in fourth grade and a state report in the fifth grade, but many things we not tacked on as a yearly money drain to the parents. Let us give parents options so their children would have choices in how they want to complete the assignment. If the parents want to help their kids complete a James Cameron-like California Mission or Egyptian Pyramid then so be it, if the children’s parents are broke then maybe draw a poster with facts and pictures with a short 2 page paper would sound sufficient.
People are being unemployed right now, people are not being employed to their fullest wage earning potential as well where parents are being strained just as much as the educators that are currently educating our students in the schools.
What would solve the unfunded mandate of public education? One solution is to kick out the undocumented residents out of our schools, maybe if the federal government would not give us money to compensate for the mandate that requires schools to educate the illegal immigrants. The other solution is to revise Proposition 13, but even if we raised taxes to give the school districts more revenue the school districts will quickly get in debt and then beg for more money. It’s a complicated problem, and there is more questions than answers for the situation.