Sunday, February 6, 2011

Confusing article on education funding

On a "Start a new post," aparent wrote:


How does the line go? Something like explaing it to me as though I am a 4th grader? Too much reporting on education leaves the door open to either spend a lot of time speculating or cause the reader to toss up his hands and move on to the magazine section. Can anyone help explain what to expect based on the thoughts in the article above? Same amount of money but with different/new restrictions on how to spend it? Might that be a good guess?"


Questioner said...

Agreed! What are the real implications of the budget changes being discussed for PPS? For other nearby school districts?

Anonymous said...

Could this mean that PPS won't be able to add a deputy chief of staff or does the funding for that position come from a grant?

Anonymous said...

They're cutting that amount from the state budget because THIS year they get a special amount of federal money that can pay for it.

However, once it's out of the state budget, I imagine it's extremely unlikely to go back in again. So next year, there will be a $300+M hole in funding. But they won't have to specifically cut anything next year to do it, so they won't get "blamed."

I think.

Anonymous said...

the traditional regular school(s) are not all structure like PPS one thing they don't have the budget like PPS more less to hire a deputy chief and also they really don't get grant money even for extra student support or services PPS gets more monies than any other school dist. in Western Pa. meaning PPS just likes to show off their money they get and throw around to learn anything from other dist. is how they MANAGE their money might learn something

aparent said...

Anonymous 11:16 thanks. The hole to likely exist next year was not something I gave any thought to, though. Just awful. Perhaps that money is already being thought of as the pot for vouchers.

In all the talk about vouchers you never hear anything about the schools expected to take the students who qualify. Will the students on vouchers be tested using the PSSA? Will the schools with voucher students be required to follow the same reporting requirements as traditional public and charter schools, such as the numbers for the safe schools report? Will schools who do not want to accept voucher students have the right of refusal?

It should be an exciting time in state government.

Anonymous said...

I thought Private schools could provide scholarships & receive federal funding for kids with IEP's or qualified for free or reduced lunch. Is this all done through private donations? Do private schools not accept children that have special needs?

Stephanie Tecza said...

To Anonymous February 9, 2011 11:27 PM you asked the question,

"Do private schools not accept children that have special needs?"
The answer is no, private schools do not have to accept students with IEP's some do and some don't. The ones that do, do not have to give them IEP's. They do not have to follow state or federal laws on special education either. But your questions make me think. If the govenor does put vouchers into place, will that change or make private schools have to accept all kids? GREAT thinking and we will have to keep an eye on this? Charter schools have to follow federal special ed laws (IDEA) and they have to follow chapter 711 which is the state laws for special education relating to charters. hummmmm?

aparent said...

Local radio talk shows are devoting airtime more and more to education issues including public education, teachers, vouchers, safety, etc. It is an easy topic and one that they do not have to do much research on in some cases because they let the listeners direct the conversation. Recently it seems that the VOUCHER! word has gotten more play as a result of Senate Bill 1. Unfortunately many seem to have heard the word and not the income levels for qualification. None of the detail items Stephanie noted are covered in the bill. Implementation is tricky business and it is likely to be a really big department created in Harrisburg to manage the voucher operation.

Anonymous said...

Without an income limit, there's a secondary problem with vouchers. I know of several Catholic schools that told parents years ago (when vouchers first came up), that they would just raise tuition by the amount of the voucher -- effectively keeping the students they had (but getting voucher money for them) and still keeping a tuition price that had kept out kids before that point.

Even charter schools, which are public, do a very effective job of keeping out students with IEPs and students that "don't fit." It's easy to say you take everyone, but earnestly telling parents that they don't have the best services available for their child and that their child is unlikely to do well there. It's hard to legislate/regulate for that too.