Stimulus money is here!

Georgia’s public schools are getting their first batch of stimulus money.

The State Board of Education approved doling out about $660 million for IDEA (special education) and Title I, programs to support students from low-income homes.

While the state has provided suggestions on how to spend the money, the decision rests with local leaders.

Some have said they want to provide more training for teachers, offer classes on Saturday for struggling students and purchase some equipment.

How do you think schools should spend this money?

37 comments Add your comment

Ernest

April 28th, 2009
10:34 am

I’d look to spend the money in two area, instruction and technology.

It is said that having a highly qualified teacher can have the greatest impact on student achievement/performance. I’d utilize some of the money to retain teachers that perhaps would have been laid off. The emphasis would be in Title 1 schools.

I don’t expect our budget situation to get any better going into next school year. School districts will look to possibly streamline staffs once again. Investing in technology to help with day to day operations ‘could’ make it easier to absorb possible layoffs next school year. Training would have to be a part of technology procurement and implementation, in order to realize a return on this investment.

V for Vendetta

April 28th, 2009
11:17 am

IDEA gets $660 million!? How much did Gifted education receive. Oh, that’s right . . . .

Reality

April 28th, 2009
12:24 pm

V – I agree completely. The special ed and title I (read not-as-smart) schools get all of this money. The average and the gifted get nothing. How is this fair at all?

When our Country needs the ideas, the intelligence, the innovative thinking to come up with solutions (to the economy, to swine flu, etc), who do they go to? Well, it ain’t the special ed folks, that’s for sure! And, it ain’t the not-as-smart folks either!

We need to get our priorities in line, and fast!!!!!

Lisa B.

April 28th, 2009
1:22 pm

I agree with Ernest’s above comments. Additionally, I’d like to see the money used to save jobs to avoid piling 32 students in each class.

HavingMySay

April 28th, 2009
1:25 pm

As a parent of a student in the Gifted Program, I’m not disappointed that the money is going to Title 1 schools or special education. I’ve been in those schools and have seen the shortages/disadvantages for myself.

The problem with the Gited Program is not a lack of money, but the overall program itself and the teachers. The program is just an accelerated version of everyday curriculumn, with nothing new or exciting. The program offers more educational field trips and a few more class projects.

If you revamp the Gifted Program, then I might ask for more money. Otherwise, it would just be a waste of time and money.

Reality2

April 28th, 2009
1:40 pm

It’s refreshing to read comments from an enlightened parent like HavingMySay. It’s so sad to – but I’ve gotten so used to it – read such ignorant and mean-sprited comments coming from those who claimed to be educators.

jim d

April 28th, 2009
1:40 pm

Reality,

If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are. Little will change.

FultonTeacher

April 28th, 2009
2:35 pm

I was about to say what many of you have already stated – what about the gifted students?! I have a child in the gifted program and rarely are his needs even considered outside of the gifted class which he attends once a week. It’s unfair that money is poured into special education (although in my opinion, gifted students do require “special” education). In regards to Title I schools, my child’s school is a Title I school that has been deemed distinguised for 10 years. They have repeatedly made AYP. We were actually told that the school would no longer qualify as Title I, we’ll see what happens next year. I can assure you that principals spend money as they please anyway. I have worked in Title I schools and many times the money was never used for what it was intended.

Tiffany

April 28th, 2009
2:49 pm

I have to agree with HavingMySay. I am still completing my student teaching and during the first semester I was shocked everyday at the lack of resources that these children have. I talk to my classmates that are teaching at various schools around the Metro Atlanta area and they can’t believe that my classroom is lacking BASIC supplies.

As a high school student I graduated with honors from a Georgia high school. I am currently working on my masters, for my bachelors I went to NYU and definitely do not feel like my honors or AP classes made me more prepared than the rest of the students there. Many of them were from the tri-state area and were completing my “honors” course work in their regular classes. Money is not what the gifted programs need, they need a complete overhaul.

JustJoy7

April 28th, 2009
2:50 pm

First, the money should be used to retain the teachers. Laying off teachers and piling too many kids in a class is a setup for failure…of the teachers and the students. My child was at a Title I school, Russell Elementary in Cobb County and had a dynamite 5th grade teacher named Mrs. Goines. I’d like all my children have a teacher like her. By all means, keep the good teachers!!! Keep the classes smaller, otherwise, education becomes an exercise in futility.

Virginia

April 28th, 2009
3:43 pm

I am the mother of three gifted children, and I am a special education teacher. My biological children have been blessed with native intelligence that, with a little bit of effort, should take them far in this world. My students are not similarly blessed. We can either do our best to educate them now or we can financially support them for the rest of their lives.

Tiffany

April 28th, 2009
3:50 pm

Reality-Title 1 does not mean stupid

MrLiberty

April 28th, 2009
4:01 pm

I think they should give the money back. More money has never been shown to deliver better results as far as education is concerned. This is not “government money.” Government has no money except that which it takes from the productive sector of society or prints out of thin air. This “worthless” money will only further devalue the money in our pockets and savings. The folks in Washington are just laying the groundwork for the next great depression and they are following Hoovers and FDR’s playbooks to the letter.

Send the money back, tell Washington to get an economics education before they destroy the world’s economy and tell them to burn the money so as not to add to the ridiculous inflation they have already caused.

Go to http://www.mises.org and get yourselves an economics education so you will not be deceived by the lies.

Gwinnett Parent

April 28th, 2009
4:07 pm

Who is paying for the stimulus? Will it be the parents or the residents zoned in the Title 1 schools? Of course not! Funds should be allocated according to who is replenishing the bank. This is another way of punishing families that work hard and pay taxes. The families that contribute the most get the least. On top of it all, funds that could be going a kid which might broker world peace or cure cancer are given to the kid that has a small chance of functioning in society.
Then we hear how we are not globally competitive. If the cure for cancer comes from another country, we know why.

jim d

April 28th, 2009
4:29 pm

Mr. Liberty,

I agree it will make little or no difference how they spend it—-but spend it they will!

xnxnxnx

April 28th, 2009
4:45 pm

money well spent

V for Vendetta

April 28th, 2009
5:06 pm

HavingMySay, “If your revamp the Gifted program, then I might ask for more money.” Well, what we have here is a chicken/egg problem. Can we revamp the Gifted program for free? I think not. You also state that Gifted is “just an accelerated version of everyday curriculumn [sic], with nothing new or exciting.” Though I don’t doubt that Gifted is reduced to such a status at some schools, it is a far more holistic and productive program at many other schools–not to mention the only way out for intelligent students at some of the lower performing schools. Do I think more money would help Gifted education? Absolutely. Do I think IDEA is a monster that needs to be slain? Absolutely. The best and the brightest rarely get their say in public education; they’re shouted down by the advocates for everyone else.

unknown71

April 28th, 2009
10:28 pm

Spend it they will. We have no say so. No matter how much training we give these teachers if they dont have the right attitude to teach, it makes no never mind. Give the kids real text books and go back to when teachers were 50 and firm.

steven

April 29th, 2009
12:30 am

Dear Reality, I am quite sure that you realize how ignorant your comments are and were just trying to make a point, but your point is so riduculously off point that it pains me to read. Your absolutely idiotic reference to Title 1 schools as “Not so Smart” is both insulting and idiotic. Something tells me that you have no idea what Title 1 means, nor do you have the intellectual capacity to find out. Title 1 is not a measure of intelligence, it is a measure of the income level of the kids in that school. Research has shown repeatedly that kids who come from very low income homes have a harder time keeping up. Not has much parental help, lack of nutritious foods, etc. all have an impact on their development. Long story short, I am the parent of not one, but two children who have made perfect scores on the CRCT. They are both served in gifted services in their school. I have NO PROBLEM with extra money going to children who need that extra bit of help. I teach at a Title 1 School and our school has always scored in the top tier for any measure by which you would like to measure a school. I have had the opportunity to see many children who are loving, caring, hard-working, honest, dependable, AND SMART. So you may, will all due respect (which is not much), may take your “Not-so-Smart” attitude and stay away from my beloved Title 1 School. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

John D.

April 29th, 2009
6:07 am

This is a purely academic discussion. The reality is while the state has very little say in how the money is spent, these dollars are heavily regulated and the accountability for districts is almost overwhelming. The biggest problem in my humble opinion is the federal DOE…it has got to go! One of the worst things Carter did to us in his tenure!

Educator

April 29th, 2009
7:38 am

In this ecomony some of this money needs to be invested in the CTAE programs (career, technical, ag education). Today’s student’s are tomorrow’s workers and if they can get a good foundation in a a CTAE class then that will just make them a better / more employable employee when they graduate. Give sp ed some funds, give title 1 schools some funds, do away w/ gifted (talk about labeling and tracking children this is a PRIME example of that), reduce layoff, keep classroom sizes manageable, and give CTAE some funds. That way you “spread the wealth” and invest on the future at the same time.

Joe Biden

April 29th, 2009
7:54 am

I’m giving mine back to my boss so he can fly to Iowa to plant another tree or have AirForce 1 fly over New York for another “photo op” to the tune of $300000…

Parent of 2

April 29th, 2009
7:55 am

Can we please buy some books for the “regular” classes? My first grader has a math book and a social studies book. The rest of her education consists of worksheet, after worksheet printed from free websites as well as CRCT practice tests. She is bored out of her mind!

I feel like I send my children to the “free” public daycare and homeschool when I get home from work.

Corey

April 29th, 2009
8:03 am

Gwinnett Parent, did you know that one of the world’s most gifted pediatric neurosurgeons and the youngest ever to hold the post of chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins is the product of one of those”Title I” schools? Are you also aware that the first black female to hold the position of Dean of any American Medical School is a product of one of those “Title I” schools. She is Dianna Ross’s sister. I’ll provided you with a towel when you are ready to wipe the egg off your face. Ever herad of astronaut Charles Bolden? Product of one of those “Title I” schools.

Clayton County Teacher

April 29th, 2009
8:07 am

Unknown71 you do not have to be “50″ to be a firm, good teacher! I’m 29 and a very firm, excellent teacher. I think that No Child Left Behind is a BIG joke! I’m sill trying to understand how a child that fuctions on a 1st grade level, but is in the fifth grade because of age, can pass a fifth grade test. I agree with MrLiberty, they can throw all the money they want at education but when parents will not take an active role in their childs education all the money in the world wouldn’t make a difference. Good education starts at home, great education is a combination of home and school education!

Teacher

April 29th, 2009
8:33 am

Please define what you all consider to be a good teacher. These must measurable things, not just “I like her, she is nice, etc…”

Where are the books?

April 29th, 2009
7:54 pm

I agree with Parent of 2! The schools need textbooks.

involvedparent

April 30th, 2009
1:50 am

Thou shalt not steal. This is nothing but fiat money printed up by the banksters over at the Fed. Send it back! The free market has declared public school a failure. Otherwise, it would not lack funding. Parent’s, get off your recliners and teach your own kids. DON’T MAKE ME PAY FOR YOURS TOO!
Exactly what is the success rate of these fine institutions? It’s graduates have allowed our nation to be DESTROYED by indebtedness. Put on your surgical mask and WAKE UP before the swine gets you!

grammar patrol

April 30th, 2009
4:23 pm

Involvedparent,
Before you bash the public schools, be sure your writing is flawless. Seems you need to review the rules for apostrophe useage.

involvedparent

May 1st, 2009
11:50 pm

LOL! Grammar patrol, I am a public school grad. It’s taken years to overcome my poor instruction. Just to make you feel better, I believe I meant to type “Parents”.

Now, why don’t you make an intelligent comment on the subject at hand. Please tell me where the “Obama Bucks” are coming from. Why should our grandchildren be put in debt so that the present government schools can squander their inheritance?

grammar patrol

May 2nd, 2009
3:12 pm

No, I did not mean to type “parents.” My comment was directed at someone using the name “Involvedparent.” Singular, not plural.
Sorry, you can’t blame the public schools for poor instruction. Apostrophe useage is taught beginning in first grade. I’m afraid you weren’t paying attention.

involvedparent

May 3rd, 2009
1:14 am

My correction was correct.You are hopeless. Why don’t you take spelling lessons from Jim D, yes? Now, why don’t you make an intelligent comment on the subject at hand. Please tell me where the “Obama Bucks” are coming from. Why should our grandchildren be put in debt so that the present government schools can squander their inheritance?

sosgrammarpatrol

May 3rd, 2009
1:41 am

S.O.S. GRAMMAR PATROL S.O.S. GRAMMAR PATROL S.O.S. GRAMMAR PATROL

YOUR HELP IS BADLY NEEDED ON THE “PROBATION FOR CLAYTON SCHOOLS” BLOG PAGE!
HURRY, OR SACS MIGHT CHANGE ITS DECISION.

chinalert

May 3rd, 2009
10:04 pm

CHINALERT! CHINALERT!

Involved parent was right on! China has taken its money and run. They know our dollars are worthless and have cut up our U.S. credit card. The treasury market is about to tank. Only the Fed is left to print up our worthless dollars.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i4estRSYeFBIII9kezxnP4jgoGZQ

Reality Check

May 4th, 2009
12:05 am

I have a special needs child. I am very involved. I tell my son’s new teachers ever year that there are two options. Educate my child and I will be your best friend. If you need anything, let me know. I’ll advocate for it and protect you. Or don’t attempt to educate my child and I’ll be your worse enemy. My son is very high functioning autism and has been mainstreamed since Pre-K. Fourth grade and at grade level in almost everything but reading. Reading back toward end of 3rd grade. When it gets to the point of having to toss a copy of Autism for Dummies on the IEP table, I get frustrated with them. Still waiting for the meeting when I pull up their salaries from opengeorgia.gov and hand them around the room and ask them to justify their ridiculous high salary.

lm4k

May 5th, 2009
12:07 am

reality check
Here’s a website you might find helpful:
http://www.aboutautismlaw.com/full_article.html#1

Lori

May 5th, 2009
7:38 am

I hate to sound so cold, but a majority of students are not handicapped (IDEA) It isnt fair that handicapped students get more that 10 times the money, resources, and time that so called “normal” students receive. A majority of tax payer money comes from parents of average and above average students. I know that I am going to anger a lot of people, but usually these students in these special classes also never really succeed and get good jobs to pay back into the system. If gifted students were receiving the same funding as the IDEA students, WOW!! what our students could accomplish. Why do we insist on throwing so much money at the bottom of the class, just trying to keep them afloat? Usually the problems are the students home life and has nothing to do with education. Again, I know I sound cold, but I am just trying to get it out there.