Think Before You Comment: Teachers Are Teaching Edition

2 thoughts on “Think Before You Comment: Teachers Are Teaching Edition”

  1. I’m a reporter. I cover a school district which spent $100,000-plus to replace the computers Ed Rendell bought them because Windows XP is now a virus magnet. I also talked to a custodian who offered me free chalk. They can’t use it AT ALL because the dust breaks modern digital whiteboards. People need to think before they comment …

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  2. Weird fixation to choose in the post about the many issues with the attitude presented in the inciting comment, but what strikes me is… Is $100,000 supposed to sound expensive? Because if you know budgets, it’s not actually very impressive.

    Since you’re talking about replacing computers from the Rendell administration, that means machines from 2010 at the latest, which apparently lasted till… 2015? Meaning the amortized lifetime cost for all those machines being replaced would be about $20,000/year. For a school *district*.

    Just to ballpark that in meaningful terms, I’ll take the Wellsboro school district. In 2012, Wellsboro had a population of about 12,000, a bit over fifteen hundred children 5-17 (school age) in it — the numbers I have are a little old, but we’re covering a few years and there will be some variance, we’re just spitballing for scale. Wellsboro’s total *annual* budget 2013-2014 was about $23 million. That’s per-pupil spending on the order of $15,000/year (in 2010-11 it was $22mm/$14k p-ps, so it seems reasonable to stay in that neighborhood).

    So, with all that context, amortized over the potential lifetime of the computers and spread among the pupils being served, that big $100,000-plus number turns into… $13-plus per student per year. So you’re talking about 0.087% of the per-pupil spending. It’s a drop in the bucket, spent to ensure students have access to something any white collar job will require them to be proficient in, if not expert with.

    This is, ultimately, the hardest problem with getting into these debates. People fixate on things they find flashy that actually amount to only a minor financial impact, rather than seeking deeper for more meaningful solutions, and since the budget for a district of twelve thousand people is vastly different from the budget for a household, ALL the numbers sound big, out of context.

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