07 June 2010

Happy Meal High School

Browsing the 'web and came across an interesting site designed to answer public school patron concerns at a district in upstate New York. (link; scroll way down to find excerpt)

"Comment:
I have two children in school and support their education, but school taxes are out of control. How do you expect people to keep paying more and more?

Response:
No one likes paying taxes. You could think of it as the cost to send your children to school. (LOL You mean public education isn't FREE? Someone pays for it?? Ok, sorry to interrupt. You may continue.)

Think about it this way: a home assessed at $200,000 pays approximately $6,000 in taxes. Students are in school for 180 days. This amounts to $33 per day. If you have two children attending school you are paying $16.50 per child per day. If they are in middle school, they are picked up at roughly 8 a.m. and dropped off at 4 p.m. That means that you are paying $2 an hour for each child. This doesn't take into account the fact that they may stay later for extracurriculars, extra help or sports. When you think about it, it costs more to take a child to a movie or buy a happy meal."

Done laughing? Ok.

Now, I'm sure we ALL ordinarily take our children to the movies and buy them Happy Meals (tm) several times a day, and if it weren't for the nice people at the Shenenenenendehoahah School District taking the kids off our hands occasionally and exercising them, they'd need a $6,000 motorized scooter to hang out with the other kids at the mall. Those mall rats, racing their Larks (tm), waving their canes about and smoking their Winstons in the food court... they cause trouble. But thankfully, the schools have an indoor pool to prevent this travesty. In UPPER New York State, where the average temperature is -500 degrees, I'm sure that "swimming" is a skill these kids will use long after graduation. But, the website tells us, that's a way better use of money than that-thar "air conditioning." It only gets hot enough to use THAT a few days out of every year!

WOW.

Can YOU afford an extra $6,000 a year? JUST on school taxes alone? Not even counting your mega New York sales tax, hospital tax, police, fire, local mafia and special highway taxes? Every road out there is a toll road, you know, and you either have to pay something like $50 a day to use the state highways or use a discombobulated system of half-patched and dog-legging dirt roads for two hours just to get across town. And you'd better know your way because they change the names of the streets, many of which have similar names. Really. So after shelling out all the kind of money it costs to live in that part of the country, I'm pretty sure no one would have any money to homeschool their kids, let alone feed 'em Happy Meal (tm) burgers several times each day. Good grief!

Mind you, I do feel it's reasonable that if you have a child in public school that you pay your fair share of the expense of educating your own kid. I also know we have this outstanding agreement that we all pay for the roads, even if we don't use them, and the ambulance services and etc. etc. yeah yeah blah blah blah. I really do get that the money we pay out does not necessarily have to equal the "benefit" we get individually from the system. And I also know that the cost of educating a kiddo like Woodjie is going to be ohhh, about equal to my husband's take-home salary each year if Woodj stays in school full-time and keeps having his own aide and the special class and the special bus and the special aide on the bus etc.

But $6,000. Um, my parents lived in this SAME TOWN while I was in college and I will bet you they paid more like $12,000. God bless 'em, but I think I'd have lived in a tipi before I'd give anyone the satisfaction of taking $12,000 of my own money away. Here's a link to a house on the same street... my folks had a place with more bedrooms and stuff like that. Corner lot, too.

But since they moved there while I was in college, I never made any friends. I'd just come "home" and work at the mall as a janitor or McDonald's worker. It was an odd foray into the life of the lower middle class. I discovered that I am not smart enough to run a register and keep an order straight. No. That is not false modesty. I cannot remember verbal directions. I very nearly flunked out of PE and several other classes in which teachers SPOKE instead of WROTE on the board. If it isn't written down and I can't read the list... I honestly can't do it. I wouldn't say it's quite a disability because see? I have two arms and legs. I just don't put myself into positions where the spoken word must be relied upon to convey information if I can possibly help it. If it's unavoidable, I'm shouting, "WAIT! LET ME WRITE THAT DOWN A SECOND." Months later, I get complimented for my uncanny memory. LOL, I really just look up everything in a binder. I write things and keep them in binders. True. All I have to do is remember which binder I need to look in for a given piece of information. And no, it's not easier just to remember the information. That would make too much sense.

Well... I don't miss Clifton Park. My little (six ft, 4 in tall, bald with BIG TATTOOS) brother finished out his education there and married his high school sweetheart. They are living nearby, though in less fancy digs, with their three children. I couldn't imagine spending $12,000 a year on public schools each year in property taxes alone... in ten years, that tax money could BUY you a decent-sized house out here outright. How many Happy Meals (tm) do you think I could get for $120,000?

2 comments:

  1. Another argument that public education bureaucrats and teachers hate goes something like this:

    Well, parochial schools spend a fraction of what public schools spend in per pupil spending and produce better educated kids.

    And of course it's true. Where we live, we get PSA's via recorded phone calls telling us to "watch out for amoebas" and keep our kids safe this summer. During standardized test season, we get the same type calls reminding us to make sure our kids get enough sleep and "eat a good breakfast" so they can do well on the test. As if they only need to be properly cared for during testing season!

    Oh, and the voice on the line when you pick up the phone is the Superintendent of schools for the district. (And you have to pick up even if you have caller ID because if you don't the system keeps attempting to make the call in 1-hour intervals until someone picks up.)

    My point is that it costs so much to run a school system that produces so little because they stick their fat noses in where they don't belong, and they provide services that they shouldn't, and they have to pay for that sophistictes but awful PSA communications system that calls right when you're trying to have family dinner.

    But maybe, since they have reckoned themselves the surrogate parents, and they think dinner should be at 7 and not 6, they don't realize that there are a few of us who 1)eat dinner as a family in the first place, and 2) eat dinner at 6. That's my rant.

    By the way, I need lists and notebooks to remember things, too. And I'm still smart ;).

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  2. I think the "it costs less to educate a private school student" argument is a little unfair. Public schools have to take in kids with all kinds of disabilities like Woodjie and no WAY you local private school will charge me $5,000 and provide my kid his own aide, change his diapers, do specialized therapies with him, etc. etc. They also, when they see a kid struggling or having a problem controlling his behaviour, are within their rights to give him the boot. Public schools have to spend a LOT of money on administrators to babysit kids like this, really.

    That's not a defense of $6,000 in property taxes ALONE on a $200,000 house. If you think about it... they also get sales tax money and money from the state that New Yorkers pay in income taxes.

    ANNNND... yeah. Who says the school has to feed the child? Even if we were to get to the point where we'd all agree it must "educate" him (a nebulous term at best), where did that one come from?

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