I absolutely love education. I love to read, I love to teach, and I love learning. At the same time, I strongly believe America has to do be better! Citizen’s of America, we are behind other countries in education and that should not be. Many of the foreign students come to the United States and they are far more advanced than our students.
I believe it is safe to say, when someone hears the word embezzlement, they automatically think of stealing from a company, or scamming the innocent. We all have heard of Madoff, Barry Hunt, or the so-called Dr.Gerald Barnes. Each of these men were plagued by greed and selfishness. As hard as it is to get a job that pays more for your experience, these men, took their talents and decided they would make life easier by skipping integrity.
Embezzlement is defined as: theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one’s trust or belonging to one’s employer. The 2nd definition is: to take (property entrusted to one’s care) dishonestly for one’s own use. So how does this play into education? Give me a few more minutes and I will tell you how.
I like the 2nd definition because it says to take property (our kids) entrusted to one’s care (our teachers) dishonestly for one’s own use. This is tight but right. Our kids go to school everyday being prepared for the future. They are told they are the future of tomorrow. Many people are not aware that for every child that has an I-9, the school gets funding.
Each state gets a different amount per pupil. Sadly, all of this money does not go directly to the school for students. Let’s take a look at these facts: One of the most frequent critiques of public education is that more money needs to be spent in order to achieve better results. In Tennessee, the average spent per pupil is $9,123, however as of 2012 the new figure is $10,088 per student. Less than 54 percent of the total spending is not directed at classroom instruction, teachers, textbooks and supplies (beacontn, 2014). Citizens of America this is academic embezzlement. As a parent, I am tired of buying school supplies that are going to be put into a box and all can grab, including the teachers. Tell me upfront that it is for those who are unable to purchase school supplies. I will gladly donate. But, do not come up with another reason to get me to bring supplies, this is embezzlement. Since when does a student need to buy chalk, toilet paper, dry eraser boards and dry eraser markers? Since when does a student need to buy Windex and cleaning solution?
The Department of Education generally cites total operating expenditures (including those named above) of $8,229,189,860 for the fiscal year ending in 2012. However, this is only a partial figure and does not represent the true cost of public education in Tennessee. PPE (which is Per Pupil Expenditures) and ADA (Average Daily Attendance) is the calculation used to estimate the amount needed from the taxpayers to pay for education. The amount did change again on another report . The total was $9,100,216,241 for the fiscal year ending in 2013. This more precise figure indicates that taxpayers spend an average of $10,080 per student instead of the reported $9,123,or 10.6 percent more than is officially reported. What does that mean? school systems are under reporting and concealing the necessary information for fear that the funding will be cut, i.e., their pay.
I could on and on about the other financial variances in Tennessee related to education, but I will save that for later. I will tell you that Education reform is needed in more ways than one. I do not think spending money for Education reform is a harmful thing to our children. It is necessary for us to go back to the drawing board on how to spend the funding released. The building of Charter schools and or transformation to Charter schools would be an effective way to spend the per pupil funds.
Sound off, tell me what do you think? Is this academic embezzlement? Are charter schools necessary? Should taxpayers demand reports showing how the money is allocated for each school district?
Retrieved from: http://www.beacontn.org/wp-content/uploads/Following-the-Money.pdf (2014).