Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category


07 Oct

1. Where does the money come from?
Surprisingly I had never really considered where the funding for schools came from until I decided to become a teacher. I went to a private school up until my college years so my parents paid a tuition fee because of this I never really thought about how public schools got funded. On a local level public schools get most of their money from local property taxes. “The property tax is the main source of revenue for local school districts, accounting for 77 percent of local funding nationwide” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 237). They also receive  funding from personal income tax, special taxes and user fees and also product rights (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 238). Schools are also starting to use exclusive product rights to help raise money for their school district. An example of exclusive product rights is when a “school signs an exclusive product contract with a soft drink company to allow that particular brand to be sold on school property in exchange for a set fee” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 239). I thought this was an interesting idea for schools to take advantage of. At the state level public schools receive funding from sales tax, other taxes: excise taxes, severance taxes and lotteries (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 238). From the federal level public schools receive funding from the U.S. Treasury. The U.S. Treasury “distributes funding to states primarily for designated purposes, such as reading improvement and special education. Current No Child Left Behind regulations require states for show adequate yearly progress in student achievement and provision of highly qualified teachers in every district” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 238). Many schools also use fundraising as a way to get more money for their school. Even though I want to ultimately work in a private school, which will most likely get most of it’s funding from tuition, any school can use exclusive product rights to help raise money and any school can come up with fundraising idea. I greatly look forward to working with my peers, students, and the school board to come up with creative fundraising ideas.

2. Why is there so much concern over funding public schools in the United States today?
There is concern over public funding because as a nation we want be sure the money is going to good use. We want to  make sure our students are getting an adequate education. Which is a bit hard to believe when a 2009 study found that the United Stated ranked 25th in math and 17th in science out of 34 countries (Zhao, 2012). People are worried that the money that is going to education isn’t being used properly making people even more concerned about giving education more money. With our country being in a recession people are even more concerned about their money and what their tax money is being used for. People want to see results and that’s hard to see when we have schools with leaking roofs, out of date tools and textbooks and low test scores.  Also, parents want to make sure that their children are getting an education that is going to make them a successful person in society someday. Many parents also become nervous that the money that is being used to fund schools isn’t being used properly. Parents begin to wonder if there is a better use for the money. They wonder why schools don’t have the necessary supplies or they become frustrated when books and other supplies are out of date.

3. Is the financial voice of a teacher (or other decision makers) always, often, or rarely the voice for children?
I like to believe that the financial voice of a teacher is mostly the financial voice for children. Teachers are aware of what students need on a daily basis in the classroom.
They also know what is needed to help improve the learning environment of the child. So I believe when a teacher brings up financial issues that are affecting their school they are thinking about what is best for their students. I think almost all people who go into the teaching profession are aware of the financial situation so when the bring up financial issues, and equipment that they need in their classroom they are doing it because they are looking for ways to improve their students’ learning experience and not bringing up the issues for their own personal gain.

4. Why are there different funding configurations among states?
There are many factors that add to the wealth of a state for example: the number of people living in the state, the concentration of people in a specific area and the annual yearly salary of the population. If you take two states and compare them based on their population the 2 states are going to have different funding configurations. A state such as California, which is the highest populated state in the nation, with a population of 36,756,666 people is going to have a very different funding configuration than the state of Wyoming which has a population of only 532,668 people (“Worldatlas.com,” 2012). These 2 states, because of their populations, are going to collect different amounts of money from their sales taxes and their personal income taxes; and it’s through these 2 taxes that states get 47 percent of their funding for public education (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 240). That alone shows a reason why states are going to have different funding configurations.

Sources:
I found this to be a really interesting and informative article as well. It shows where the United States stands in education as compared to the rest of the world.
1. Zhao, E. (2012, July 23). U.s. students still lag behind foreign peers, schools make little progress in improving achievement. . Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/23/us-students-still-lag-beh_n_1695516.html

2.Worldatlas.com. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/populations/usapops.htm

3. Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U., & Gutek, G.L. (2011). Foundations of education (11th ed.).      Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

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