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Old 04-20-2018, 07:30 PM
 
2,782 posts, read 999,221 times
Reputation: 3679

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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Are they keeping the buildings open to preserve (unionized) teacher jobs? Just a (cynical) thought.
That might be a part of it. In my 4 town district if we closed 2 of the 4 elementary schools we wouldn't need to add any teachers in the two that remain open. All of the staff at the two that are closed could be made redundant. In a nearby 2 town district in a neighboring county the high school is going to close and the students go to one of two nearby high schools. Those high schools won't have to hire any staff to accommodate the influx of students. Virtually the entire State has this kind of excess capacity, and it is why property taxes are as high as they are. In my county there are 7 high schools. 3 could be closed with little impact on the remaining 4. Even then the remaining 4 would be carrying substantial excess capacity.
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Old 04-21-2018, 05:45 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,334 posts, read 450,816 times
Reputation: 2002
And in my town, people adamantly refused to consider consolidation, so we are keeping an elementary school open for 100 kids at the cost of $3million+ to 'retain local control.' I guess the irony is lost on them that there IS no real local control: everything they do and many costs incurred are driven by the teachers' union, the State, the agency of education (or whatever it's called) and the Supervisory Union. Rumor has it that the new/amended budget (we voted the first one down) is likely not to pass either, since they could only trim enough to save $100 on the proposed $1000 increase (you read that right, a $1000 increase per year on a $250K home!!). They cannot grasp the concept of 'unsustainable.' And the school is actually kinda falling apart. So, no doubt, if this keeps up, they will want more money for renovations, additions, whatever. Hopefully I will be gone by them, or moved to another town. I'd rather move out of state entirely.
Another issue with our increase was that the head of the supervisory union "forgot" / "neglected" to communicate a fairly high increase in the cost of sending our high school students to the neighboring towns school (because we only have the elementary school) so we have to absorb that as well. He 'apologized' so all is forgiven, apparently. You can't make this stuff up! It's insane.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,753 posts, read 53,902,796 times
Reputation: 30022
Consolidation is happening all around the country. Two nice elementary schools near me in Alabama closed recently. There is no good answer. What will eventually happen is a shift to either charter or church schools, or abandonment of rural America.

As a society, perhaps we need to reconsider subsidizing large families to the extent we do. We are pressuring the environment with too many souls, and yet it is poor form to criticize parents with eight or more kids. There is a cognitive dissonance there.
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:35 AM
 
2,782 posts, read 999,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Consolidation is happening all around the country. Two nice elementary schools near me in Alabama closed recently. There is no good answer. What will eventually happen is a shift to either charter or church schools, or abandonment of rural America.

As a society, perhaps we need to reconsider subsidizing large families to the extent we do. We are pressuring the environment with too many souls, and yet it is poor form to criticize parents with eight or more kids. There is a cognitive dissonance there.
The problem isn't too many children but rather too few. Our property taxes are supporting a physical school infrastructure (and staffing) that harks back to a time when those schools educated more than twice as many kids as they educate now. Student enrollments have been dropping year on year for a very long time. The elementary school in my town is spending about $21,000 per kid per year. You could double the number of kids in the school without adding any more teachers or having crowded classrooms. This is why property taxes are so high.
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:25 AM
 
809 posts, read 672,796 times
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The top-rated school system in the world spends 30% less than the US does. Maybe we should look at adapting their system to our needs. Of course, this would mean reform starting from the bottom up rather than the top down, which is anathema.
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:32 PM
 
4,084 posts, read 1,983,237 times
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NH has many of these same problems. This is what happens when a state gets infected by the liberal mindset.
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:44 PM
 
Location: IN
20,788 posts, read 35,832,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illtaketwoplease View Post
NH has many of these same problems. This is what happens when a state gets infected by the liberal mindset.
That is a simplistic response. Many of the conservative areas of the state have the same issues with declining enrollments as the more democratic areas of the state. The main issue of the high property taxes is that younger people starting out have a harder time finding more reasonably priced real estate that doesn't have very high property taxes. In the case of NH, due to high in-state tuition- due to the lack of an income or sales tax, many students attend college or university out of state. Many of those don't return upon graduating. NH has an aging population with one of the highest median ages of any state in the US, after Florida, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. In the case of consolidation, that has to do with strong local town and city governments, keeping things local. The census bureau terminology for the Northeast and the Upper Midwest is a "strong minor-civil division states." In the areas of the US that were developed at later time periods, county level government is by far more prominent- therefore consolidation is handled differently as school districts are structured differently in those areas.

Last edited by GraniteStater; 04-22-2018 at 06:19 PM..
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Old 04-22-2018, 06:10 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,936 posts, read 22,211,257 times
Reputation: 9020
Part of the problem is parents and the community used to be a lot more involved with the schools. Now we hire outside help and "experts." My great grandfather was director of the schools in his town for several years in the late 19th century. If he was paid it was a token amount that didn't amount to anything (perhaps a little bit to cover the cost of paper, ink, or such). Today we have professional administrators earning over $100K a piece doing that job. Now granted we may need those experts in big school districts, but we have all these little rural districts where the old way of having volunteers or minimally paid help from the community would work fine. We already use that model for running the towns with selectboards. My great uncle's journals document many instances of him and others doing work on the school house, whether it was painting or other repairs. Today everything will go out to bid to contractors who don't work cheap. While the old one room schools may be a bit small, does every school district with a dozen or two dozen students or whatever in the lower grades need to have a big brand new school building at the cost of several million? We can dump all the money we want into salaries for administrators and buildings but it doesn't mean the educational outcome will be good.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,334 posts, read 450,816 times
Reputation: 2002
Keeping things 'local,' again, is a misconception. Maybe the day to day activities of the school, or how the principal runs the school is 'local,' but much of what happens with education in Vermont is outside of local control, from what I can see.
Someone made a good point though about how much the supervisory unions rake in!! And our supervisor failed to communicate a huge increase in the tuition for high school students who must attend a neighboring school. I guess you can't expect much for $100K a year. An embarrassment and a disgrace. And no one seems to give a flip about the taxpayer. Those with kids in school simply refuse to think outside their box, which is: Whatever amount of money it takes is what we need to educate our children (and they get to decide what they think 'it takes.') It will eventually come crashing down on them, especially when people start moving out of town, as they are doing now, and the people left (provided high income families don't take the place of those leaving) will assume more of the $$ responsibility. It's a house of cards.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:54 AM
 
68 posts, read 59,314 times
Reputation: 232
Property taxes are different than out west that I've lived in (Boulder, CO and Sand Diego, CA) because of the tax structure that the east coast states use. Out west, a lot of tax money comes from big box store corporations. Here on the east cost, some comes from corporations, but most comes from the people. Since we are a sparse state in population, people demand a lot from a little state. Hence there is no money when you live out in the rural area's because there is no big box stores. Just small mom and pop businesses trying to make a living. People who want and living in Burlington, Shelbourne, South Burlington, and north along the lake support most of the state because it's rural and poor.

With taxes, you get what you pay for. Pay the high price to live in a great state (which I don't mind on my $50,000 salary) that is clean, takes care of it's roads (comparatively), little regulation (comparatively), not politically polarized like Colorado, and understands it's role as a state, I'm fine with that. Many are not.

There's not a day that I read or hear someone talking about taxes. Which goes to say, that is what this side of the country has always talked about since it's beginning of it's creation. Frankly, I'm getting tired of it.
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