In a recent opinion piece (“Huppenthal’s money plea off base,” AFN, Feb. 17) a writer chastises Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal for not seeking additional funding on top of what Huppenthal is already requesting. The writer feels that even more money should flow into Kyrene so parents “don’t have to donate reams of paper to their schools.”

Kyrene schools are very well funded. If there is no paper in the schools as the writer states he should direct his disdain towards the school district’s administration. Kyrene receives more money per student than many elementary school districts in Arizona. Consequently, Kyrene residents spend more on education per $100 of their home’s assessed value in property taxes than many homeowners outside of the district. And I’m good with that. It’s one of the reasons why we have great elementary and middle schools. Resourcing them is important. But at some point enough is enough. They must work with what they have. And I believe they are doing that. The writer seems to disagree. He appears to want an endless flow of cash to our public schools. Fortunately for many of us in Ahwatukee, Huppenthal seems unwilling to allow that to happen.

Chad Blostone

(4) comments

educateAZ
educateAZ

I must challenge the author's facts in this response. Kyrene, though an outstanding district, is not funding at a much higher level than other districts. You are right in that property taxes are higher in the district than others, but those monies are channeled into the state general fund. Voters have not renewed monies needed to consider KSD or TUHSD to be funded much more than other districts, despite paying a bigger share in property taxes.

You challenge the district administration if supplies aren't available - but fail to challenge the state administration?

Monies in schools have been diverted from schools in different forms - one is the zeroing-out of the building renewal fund (which Mr. Huppenthal had a hand in eliminating as a legislator) which diverted MILLIONS of dollars to fix necessities such as AC units and roofs. So yes, administrators have had to make decisions prioritizing student comfort over building supplies, as they should.

The big picture here is that bureaucrats such as Mr. Huppenthal need to stop telling educators what we need - and start asking educators what we need. You might start by calling the public schools the Huppenthal daughters attended, and asking those schools for tips.

afnanalog
afnanalog

Despite tying worldwide for top spending on education, the US ranks pathetically low in education quality. Even the left-wing-leaning Huffington Post chastises our educational performance.... http://tinyurl.com/c2k96xc

Educators need to STOP telling us to spend more money on education and start delivering the goods... or be fired.

educateAZ
educateAZ

@afnanalog - As an educator, I agree that spending doesn't always equate to better results, and accountability is important.

Common Core Standards are here, and a new wave of reform is very real and happening to improve education.

LearningEveryDay
LearningEveryDay

afnanalog: US spending on schools and AZ spending on schools are 2 very different things. Arizona's funding per pupil is now LOWER than it was in the 1980s. !!! The average funding per student in the US has increased, but AZ schools have LESS than they did 3 decades ago.
**** Since the 1980s spending per student has risen in the US (on avg. but not for AZ) even after adjusting for inflation. The 2 main reasons are to pay for special needs students, and quality of life. As our quality of life improves, we need students to learn what it takes to be the workforce in that world with the better quality of life. Our world uses cell phones and pace-makers now, whereas in the past we used rotary-dial phones and people died without a pace-maker. We are educating students to be prepared for the inventions of tomorrow, and that takes more time, effort, and technology than it did 3 decades ago. Arizona, meanwhile, is not keeping up. If you want your future doctor to know the best way to keep you healthy, you might want to start learning about what's really going on in AZ education, rather than apply generalities about the US to Arizona. The rest of the US could learn a lot from Arizona about cost cutting. But Arizona needs some (not a lot) more funding to be able to prepare students to be the workforce we need tomorrow.

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