Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chapter 9 - Financing and Governing America's Schools

As a teacher, one might wonder why it is important to know how their school is being financed.  A teacher's concerns should involve only classroom concerns.  Is this true? As teachers, we must be aware of every area of our school.  How can we make a difference if we don't know everything about what we are trying to change?  Most of America's public schools are funded by local communities.  This poses a problem to low income families that live in poverty stricken areas.  The schools in their communities will not have as much funding as a school in a wealthier area.  This is a very unfair fact for students.  Why should the quality of education differ according to communities?  This only continues the cycle of poverty in these areas since it is proven that when people are educated, they usually strive for a better quality of life for themselves and their loved ones.  A school's performance also impacts funding.  Schools that have received an F rating usually receive less funding, and are usually closed if they do not show any academic improvement.  
Superintendents and school boards have an impact on both school and curriculum development.  They develop policies that they feel are appropriate to manage schools.  Boards of Education develop policies that serve the interests of their entire community.  They can also act as trustee representatives, giving them the opportunity to fight for local rights.  One must also remember that as a teacher we have an influence as well in curriculum development and in some school decisions.  If we want to make more of a difference, we need to make ourselves heard, and the everyone needs to hear us.  We know where most of the change needs to happen since we witness it first hand.  Before we can change things in our school, whether they be financial or not, we must educate ourselves on our schools personal situations.  

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