Category Archives: Schools K-12

Some States Allow School Districts to Charge Parents for School Bus Transportation or to Advertise in or on School Buses to Raise Additional Revenue

Source: Florida Legislature, Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, Report No. 11-24, December 2011

From the summary:
Some states allow school districts to raise additional revenues to supplement the funds they receive from traditional state and local student transportation sources. For example, 12 states allow and 1 state mandates districts to charge parents fees to transport their children to and from school. In addition, 13 states allow school districts to advertise on the inside and/or outside of school buses. In general, states give school districts considerable decision-making authority to determine how to implement such policies.

State Expenditure Report 2010

Source: Brian Sigritz, National Association of State Budget Officers, December 2011

From the summary:
This annual report examines spending in the functional areas of state budgets: elementary and secondary education, higher education, public assistance, Medicaid, corrections, transportation, and all other. It also includes data on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and on revenue sources in state general funds.

State expenditures have been severely impacted by the national recession and downturn that began in December 2007. The economic downturn created a unique and in some ways unprecedented fiscal situation for states. Spending from state funds (general funds and other state funds combined) declined in both fiscal 2009 and in fiscal 2010, marking the first occurrences of outright spending declines in the 24-year history of the State Expenditure Report. The reduction in spending from state funds was due to a rapid decline in state revenue. During the two-year period from fiscal 2008-2010 state general fund revenues decreased nearly 12 percent, or by $78 billion.

Not all components of state expenditures declined during the recent downturn. Spending from federal funds increased sharply in both fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010. Due to the influx of these additional federal dollars, total state expenditures grew modestly in both fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010. It is estimated that in fiscal 2011 total state expenditures will once again experience moderate growth. In addition to continued growth in federal funds, both general funds and state revenue are estimated to have increased in fiscal 2011 for the first time since fiscal 2008. However, even after this growth, general funds and state revenue remain well below prerecession levels.

State Collective Bargaining Policies for Teachers

Source: Emily Workman, Education Commission of the States, Teaching Quality/ Employment, Unions/ Collective Bargaining, December 2011

Collective bargaining, if a state allows it, always occurs at the school district level. State policy, however, influences the process in a number of ways, from prohibiting strikes to dictating the terms of arbitration. This ECS StateNote addresses the fol lowing areas of collective bargaining state policy:
• State Policy
• Coverage/Exclusions
• Scope Of Bargaining
• Right To Work
• Bargaining Impasse Procedures
• Strikes

Toward a New Grand Bargain: Collaborative Approaches to Labor-Management Reform in Massachusetts

Source: Barry Bluestone, Thomas A. Kochan, The Boston Foundation, October 2011

In the face of continuing fiscal crisis, the governors of some states including Wisconsin, Ohio, and New Jersey have taken to attacking public sector unions using new legislation to undermine the collective bargaining rights of state and municipal employees. The reaction has been widespread protest and a growing rift between political leaders and civil servants. We believe this painful struggle can not only be avoided in Massachusetts, but that the continuing fiscal crisis facing the Commonwealth and its municipalities can provide the motivation for forging a fundamental change in public sector labor relations that not only could lead to more efficient and effective government service, but in the case of our teachers’ unions, could play a critical role in improving public education and closing the achievement gap.

The approach we put forward in this report is developed on the basis of “interest-based collective bargaining” plus the empowerment of teachers, staff, and principals in the schools where they work. Instead of seeing unions as a barrier to fiscal prudence and better schools, we believe a new collective bargaining framework in the Commonwealth can lead to a “win-win-win” outcome for teachers, students, and taxpayers. The same approach generally can be used for all public sector labor-management relations.

Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2008-09 (Fiscal Year 2009)

Source: Stephen Q. Cornman, Amber M. Noel, U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, NCES 2012313, November 2011

From the summary:
This brief publication contains basic revenue and expenditure data, by district, for public elementary and secondary education for school year 2008-2009. It contains district-level data on revenues by source and expenditures by function, including expenditures per pupil.

The State of America’s Children 2011

Source: Children’s Defense Fund, July 18, 2011

From the abstract:
CDF’s new report The State of America’s Children 2011 finds children have fallen further behind in many of the leading indicators over the past year as the country slowly climbs out of the recession. This is a comprehensive compilation and analysis of the most recent and reliable national and state-by-state data on population, poverty, family structure, family income, health, nutrition, early childhood development, education, child welfare, juvenile justice, and gun violence. The report provides key child data showing alarming numbers of children at risk: children are the poorest age group with 15.5 million children–one in every five children in America–living in poverty, and more than 60 percent of fourth, eighth and 12th grade public school students are reading or doing math below grade level.

District outsources to the machines

Source: Cleaning and Maintenance Management Online, August 9, 2011

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA — The Upper Merion Area School District recently acquired a second Gen X – Duo Bot robotic floor scrubber from Intellibot, according to a press release.

Due to tightening budgets and decreased staffing, the robotic scrubbers have become an integral part of the custodial operation at Upper Merion, the release stated.
See also:
(page 12)
Board of School Directors of the Upper Merion Area School District meeting May 2, 2011

Emergency Decree Cuts Wages for Detroit School Workers

Source: Jane Slaughter, Labor Notes, August 2, 2011

Public sector unions predicted Michigan’s emergency manager law would be used to savage their contracts–and now their warnings are proving accurate.

The Detroit school district’s emergency manager, Roy Roberts, is using the near-dictatorial powers granted to him by the March bill to impose a 10 percent wage cut on all 10,000 employees and make them pay more for their health care.

Roberts thoughtfully included his own $250,000 salary in those to be cut….According to Newbold, if Roberts applies the cut to lunch aides, they will drop below minimum wage.