Monday night Vice-President Joe Biden made a conference call to approximately 200,000 educators across the United States. In that call the Vice-President contextualized President Obama’s “Jobs” plan and what the funding allocation means for education.
The first priority is to hire back 208,000 teachers, therapists, nurses, librarians, custodians, and other related positions.
VP Biden spoke about the enormous amount of money spent on energy bills. Therefore, $25 billion will be spent on school modernization. Of this, $15 billion will go to States to allocate half to local districts in need and set aside the other half for district application. $10 billion will go to the top one hundred largest, high need school districts according to Title I designation and $5 billion is slated for community colleges.
All of the initiatives outlined by VP Biden made sense. He even mentioned that there would be “stronger restrictions” attached to spending. Unfortunately, very little was said about accountability.
It may be a given that, as federal funds trickle down to local government, the elected officials at that level will make the best possible use of the money they receive to benefit their communities. Unfortunately, what may be a given is not necessarily a fact. The “plan” that our elected officials have for our schools holds little benefit for our community or our children. Should the RCSD receive any of this “Jobs” allocation funding, will they continue to waste money on retro-fitting schools to include 7th and 8th grades, moving buildings in and out of each other, and changing the “look” of Central Office?
Should we choose to support the President’s plan we, as citizens, must also make sure that the money received by this district is spent to benefit our children. Every classroom, teacher, and student in every school must be equipped with and have access to the same up-to-date resources in order to insure an equitable learning environment. This must be the priority of our superintendent and our Board. This must be the “bar” to which we hold our elected officials accountable.
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