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: Full-Day Kindergarten Snuck in Budget Without Advance Public Notice  ( 80263 )
red
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« #60 : February 01, 2011, 06:56:21 AM »

I think we all want the same thing in the long run. We should not make this topic personal. Times are hard and money is tight for a a lot of families.  Just because something works in another place does not mean it will work everywhere.
cedarman
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« #61 : February 01, 2011, 09:28:16 AM »

"Scare tactics" are present on both sides.  Calling full day kindergarten "full day child care" is no less of a scare tactic / falsehood than some claims on the pro full day side.

Focusing on unstructured bus time, and disruptive transitions doesn't hold a lot of weight as a supportive arguement either.  As pointed out, Many kids are going from school to a daycare whether it is at noon, or 3 pm.  The same additional transition exist, as well as unstructured bussing time.

Now, focusing on elimination of additional bus runs in the middle fo the day as a cost savings, that's a good arguement (assuming the existing afternoon run has the capacity to carry the kids without having to add additional buses).

Also, you could argue the amount of time spent on the bus per day verses in the classroom.  Full day offers MORE class / school time for the same amount of bus time.  Kind of like working 4 ten hour days - more work time per time spent traveling.

The point about teachers and schools having to teach skills that should be taught at home is a very valid arguement (in my opinion).  It does take away from academic instructional time.

As pointed out already, for many families, both parents work to support the family.  Those kids are going to some sort of daycare after school.  The lucky ones may go to a relatives after school.  With this in mind, the arguement that full day kindergarten takes away from family time carries little weight, but the plea for parents to spend more time with their kids is always good to repeat.

Kids are pushed harder these days in many aspects of life.  So are many adults.  Until we change our society AND the world to recognize the benefits of slowing down, we will continue to be in an increasingly competitive world.  A world in which some students are going to school 6 days a week to learn more, and gain an edge over other students/citizens to lift themselves and their society/culture to the top of the world order.  Like it or not, that is the way our society is pushing all of us.  If we (as a country) would like to continue to be a global leader, the best thing we can do is provide our kids the best opportunities to learn as much as they can.  Many kids do NOT receive those opportunities at home, so I believe many kids will benefit more from additional classroom time.

Education is expensive, but the cost of ignorance (non-education) is immeasurably higher.
cedarman
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« #62 : February 01, 2011, 09:31:40 AM »

those who rent shouldn't get to vote on school budgets???

Unless in a fixed rent rate unit, the cost of property to the landlord if passed along to the tenant in the form of higher rent.

(I don't rent, but my parents always did when i was growing up - annual rent increases were common, along with moves to more affordable housing)
Counselor
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« #63 : February 01, 2011, 10:14:16 AM »

“Focusing on unstructured bus time, and disruptive transitions doesn't hold a lot of weight as a supportive argument either.  As pointed out, Many kids are going from school to a daycare whether it is at noon, or 3 pm.  The same additional transition exist, as well as unstructured bussing time.”

Just to clarify here, I simply meant, I would prefer not to have this transition happen in the middle of the day, if it can happen at the end of the day. The more stuctured classtime, the better.

“Education is expensive, but the cost of ignorance (non-education) is immeasurably higher.”

I could not agree more. I have attempted to point this out throughout this discussion, just not as succinctly as you.
rod anode
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« #64 : February 01, 2011, 02:56:48 PM »

cedar a lot of the people that rent get government subsudies and really dont pay what you are saying but have a lot of kids going to daycare i mean school
slpott
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« #65 : February 01, 2011, 08:00:24 PM »

I say let the teachers teach and give them what they need. It would appear that we do have a lot of less than fortunate situations with kids and as a parent I have no problem paying taxes to help them. Teachers are asked to deal with a lot of crap when all they want to do is teach. I think the most important thing to think about is this. How hard is it to play catch up in the 1st grade. These kids are coming with all sorts of issues and they are expected to "meet standards". I have the upmost respect for teachers especially the ones we have here. BFA teachers as a whole are wonderful. If you have a problem paying for schools than you have more problems that just that. Let the teachers teach and let the kids learn. If they need more time to learn give it to them. We are talking about kids. Not the adults that make bad decisions that require us to raise their kids (including potty training, hygiene, feeding and clothing) That problem is ours before they get to kindergarten. If we can help, lets help. Not just put a dollar amount to it and turn it into a political mess. The teachers need our support and so do the kids. If you have a problem with letting the professionals make these decisions for us than get involved. I have the upmost respect for teachers and would never want to be one. I choose to stay in my box and help when I can. I vote that that is one job that requires a pay raise and 4 months paid vacation. Vote YES Ed. You will be a better man for it.
rod anode
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meathead,: dead from the neck up!


« #66 : February 02, 2011, 04:21:16 AM »

your wacked shellie ,pay raise ?4 months vacation? higher taxes? im tellin thor
slpott
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« #67 : February 02, 2011, 07:31:56 AM »

Thor would give his eye and teeth for some of those teachers we talk of and the kids. It is the parents he could do without. He uses a very simple minded mans theory. Always do the right thing regardless of who is watching. The right thing would be for all of us to stay in our box and let the teachers teach for criminey sakes. That is one profession where it is obvious they give a ____ about the kids otherwise no one in their right mind would take on all those challenges and their parents. For each child you have 2 parents with opinions. No way Ed. That scares me just thinking about it.
ohhman
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« #68 : February 02, 2011, 09:36:51 AM »

Most teachers do get a decent salary, especially when you figure in the benefits, & the actual hours they work.  Not all people get a "liveable wage" Shelly, nor do they get 3 mos vacation @ their job. Check with daycare providers either on their own or working @ a center.... they care for & teach children ALL day for long days with no breaks or "specials" we have for school kids.   I'm not sure of what others feel, & yes we have SOME great teachers, but my pockets simply are not that deep;  I have not had a pay raise in 3 or more years, BUT all my expenses have gone up & I still feel very lucky to have a job!  So again I say NO to the budget, NO to increase taxes @ this stage of the game!  I just wonder what was removed from the budget in order to let full - K go in;  seems there are always cutbacks.....unless a certain elite few want something passed & know the angles to "sneak" something in!
cedarman
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« #69 : February 02, 2011, 09:48:38 AM »

I have a minor in education.  I was one class away from a major, and a 2ndary education teaching career.  I loved teaching.  I heard over and over how the students are easier to work with than the parents.  Fortunately, I was never in a position as a temp/substitute/assistant to have to deal with parents much.

Ed, I haven't seen the stats on Fletcher, but Fairfax averages $10K-20K (depending on the stats being used) over the VT average household income.  I would be surprised if rent subsidies are prevalent here in Fairfax.

I've been doing some research on schools through VT Department of Education. The expenditure per student for BFA is over $3000  BELOW the VT state average, while the schools Reading, Science, Math, and Writing testing scores are ABOVE the VT state averages (keep in mind the VT public schools have consistently ranked in the top 5 in the US for the last several years).  

It looks to me like the staff (administration and Teachers) are doing their jobs WELL.
suze
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« #70 : February 02, 2011, 11:15:14 AM »

When you consider a teacher's day, please consider the hours spent at home grading papers and preparing lessons for the next day.  Most of the teachers I know spend hours each night and some time on the weekends getting ready to deliver a quality education to their students. 
rod anode
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meathead,: dead from the neck up!


« #71 : February 02, 2011, 12:00:24 PM »

cedar,i can say with confidence there are quit a few in town and just remember these are high turnover properties so they vote to jack up the taxes then they move out a few years later
slpott
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« #72 : February 02, 2011, 02:30:25 PM »

3plusk. You do know that was a joke right. I am not saying give teachers a raise this year or 4 months off. I am saying leave them alone. After they buy the cloths, supplies, food, etc for these kids and complete their necessary classed and prepare their rooms and order their supplies and yada yada yada, They may have a couple of weeks to themselves if they are lucky. Not to mention the hearache they carry at all times. Teaching is not a bowl of cherries like some think. It is a very demanding job and obviously under judgment by everyone all the time to defend their pay check. What would we do without them? Say they got tired of all the bull and went on strike. Then what. All I am saying is I have the upmost respect and can only trust that what they are asking for is needed to accomplish "meeting expectations" with the projected numbers which include "children with disabilities" If you have 5 challenging children in your class you may not be able to teach 20 kids and get through to them all. Maybe you need to cut numbers by 3. I am talking out of my box now so I will shut up but you get the idea.
Counselor
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« #73 : February 02, 2011, 09:18:39 PM »

Where would any of us be if we had not been inspired by a teacher in some small way? Do we quibble vociferously  when the teams we love, the writers we love, or the concert hall/ musicians we love raise their salaries and pass the increase in personal demands onto us, the consumer? We still buy the music, the cable channel (NESN, MSG, ESPN etc), we buy the NFL Package, NHL Package and anything else that brings us closer to the team we love. We keep buying and thus supporting the artists and their needs. Teachers in any district across this great country of ours are not making anywhere close to comparable salaries. Yet we vehemently and often blindly rail against them when they politely ask for more money to simply do their jobs. They are not entertaining us or even enthralling us with their feats of athletic prowess. They are simply and humbly teaching our children. They do not play guitar, sing, write books, shoot a puck, pass a ball, throw a devastating curve ball,  tackle a defenseless quarterback or even conduct the Boston Pops. They teach our kids! Perhaps the next great passer, conductor, or writer will be be in one of these classes. Perhaps the next orator, astronaut, President or CEO will emerge from humble Fairfax.

If teachers really wanted, they could hold us all accountable and ask for comparable salaries. What would we say then? If we could calculate down to the minute the amount of time a teacher spends with our children I would ask you, what is the true hourly wage of a teacher? Is it even close to what a baseball pitcher makes per inning? or even pitch? We pay the athlete what they demand without question,  but not the teacher. Where is the sense in that? However, they do not ask to be paid the same. They just ask for a reasonable, livable wage and enough money to teach our kids. Not just the smart ones, the talented ones, the athletic ones, the ones who sing like angels or the one who come from the broken home and makes our hearts bleed when we hear their story. They teach EVERY kid!

If you want an easy target to bash willy-nilly, turn your attention to the B or the NY on the hat sitting on your head. Paying someone 250 MILLION dollars to hit a ball? Where is the logic in that? Sure its fun to watch and infinitely more exciting than watching someone teach math, but think of what our schools could do with just a tenth of that money!  What is this nations overall defense budget? Why do we consistently cut funding for educational programs that are designed to protect our children and move our country to land on mars and into the next century? What could they do in education with just a fraction of this money?

Teachers, teach, not for the money. They teach for that “Fiat Lux” moment. The moment they see the light go on in their students eyes. That “Ah-Ha” moment. They are not greedy and selfish. Ask a teacher for a moment of their time and they will give you an hour. Be it before school, after school or over the summer, if a student needs help or has a question, they are there. They are kind and considerate well meaning individuals. Even though their community speaks out against them, they are back at school every day, every year, teaching the children, no matter what anyone says about them. Can we all say that about ourselves?

Teachers do not ask for respect. Teachers work hard for our children and us as parents to earn that respect. Knowledge, like respect, is earned. Is it not time we showed our teachers a bit of respect? Teachers cannot instill knowledge, they can only lead us to the threshold and launch us, to explore, to delve deeper on our own. Instilling the enthusiasm and zest for learning that will sustain us for a lifetime. Can we, should we, even try to quantify that? Is this not as valuable a life skill as hitting a ball? I would argue it is infinitely even more valuable!

I urge those who would blindly implore others to follow them into voting down the school budget to walk a mile in the shoes of a teacher. Any teacher. Could we do the same job if we put ourselves in their shoes? Experience a classroom. Teach science through Four Winds. Volunteer to help with a reading group. Observe. Learn. Open new and exciting doors. Ignite a passion. Walk a child to the office so they can take a bath and put on clean clothes. Buy the paper, markers, pencils, batteries for calculators etc out of your own pocket because the budget is not deep enough. Be the pariah in your community at budget time. Walk a mile in a teachers shoes. Then feel free to try and make that same “No” vote.

Any hard working professional deserves the opportunity to earn our respect. We should not blindly disrespect any profession. I sincerely ask, that our community respect and trust the teachers we send our children to every day. They have done nothing to any of us that would demonstrate otherwise.
vtgoober
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« #74 : February 02, 2011, 10:05:09 PM »

I am feeling terribly sad that Counselor may actually perceive parents and providers as he/she presented them in his/her January 31st post, especially since Counselor appears to be an educator in our school. 

What is striking me throughout these posts is the use of broad-based statements by pro-full day advocates about looking at the big picture and their avoidance of the details; the devil is in the details and the lack of any lasting impact is in the research. 

Pro-full day advocates always claimed that research was the reason to go to full-day, but when faced with opposing research then we needed to call a stalemate.  Then we needed to focus on the additional time teachers would gain with each student by moving to a full-day like our non-comparable ½ day counterparts did, but when faced with minute analysis then it is arbitrary.   

Now the implication seems to be we must move to full days because teachers are the only caring adults and the only ones competent and skilled enough to make positive impacts in most children’s lives. Underlying this is that if we don’t say yes to full-day kindergarten then we are not being supportive of our school and our teachers who are the ones dedicated to our children.  By adding the 4th classroom and reducing class size, we already provided the additional space and time for teachers and children.  Teachers make more of an impact on individual students when class size is reduced.  With the small group based intervention program, we have provided the extra support some children may need for any number of reasons. With the addition of full-day kindergarten, this cost and time effective program will dissolve and the children specifically identified as needing more time will consequently receive less time for direct instruction.  Counselor stated, “What may be enough for one child is not enough for another.”  The intervention program addresses this concern already.

We do live in a culture that has more and more working parents.  However, we need to look at our community.  In Fairfax, there is a large percentage of stay-at-home parents as well as working parents who stagger their work schedules so one parent is there with the children during non-school hours.   A large number of our kindergarten students do go home at noon.  Those who do not go home go to caring and capable childcare providers who provide them with love, lunch and snack, rest, kisses and hugs, read them stories, play games with them, talk to them, and otherwise provide structured and unstructured opportunities to enrich their lives on a daily basis while they await their parent’s arrival.  The research does state that children need one adult who truly cares about them; it doesn’t say teacher. 

The cost of the noon bus run was already removed to get the $22,539 figure presented at the 1/10/11 meeting and used in my calculations. 

The current noon bus run is only comprised of kindergarteners who are not picked up split between 3 and 4 buses depending on the year.  The afternoon bus run, which currently lasts an hour for some, carries students on it from the kindergarten intervention program through grade 12 that do not have other transportation.  Adding additional kindergarten bodies to this afternoon run would impact the length of the bus ride.  If the length of the bus ride is a concern, the shorter one is at noon. 

This board and administration are asking the community of Fairfax to permanently increase the school budget for a full-day kindergarten program in these economic times without even telling us about its inclusion.  Even in good economic times, this is reason enough to vote NO to the school budget.

This board and administration are asking the community of Fairfax to give raises to certain kindergarten teachers and para-educators at the same time some staff are losing their jobs, some staff are having their pay cut, students are having time with other teachers in the school building cut, and programs that benefited our children have been cut or eliminated.  This is reason enough to vote NO to the school budget.

This board and administration are asking the community of Fairfax to permanently raise school taxes to pay for a full-day program that research clearly states has NO lasting impact and will increase class size in order to gain 1.42 minutes of direct teacher time per day per student.  This is reason enough to vote NO to the school budget.

By the way, I am a teacher so I have walked several miles in a teacher’s shoes.  This discussion is not about the nobility of the teaching profession; it is about full-day kindergarten. 
I will be voting NO. 
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