Feeling Better on the Public’s Dime

With 30 – 38 children in each classroom, paper being rationed in some schools, and band instruments no longer being repaired, why is PWCS spending money to produce videos designed to demonstrate the value of the World-Class education it provides?

At the October 17 2012 school board meeting Superintendent Walts announced that PWCS would be posting a series of public service announcements called “Look at Us Now!” which will profile graduates of PWCS and the success they’ve had in their careers.  The intent of the videos is to demonstrate just how much a World-Class education really matters.

Really?  So, we need videos, produced at taxpayer expense, to demonstrate the greatness of our school system? Shouldn’t our test scores demonstrate that?

All I’ve heard this fall is how tight budgets are – how little money the school division and county has.  Taxpayers are facing 3 – 4% tax increases each year over the next few years to maintain county services.  Our class sizes have been pushed to the state maximum.  Paper is rationed at some area schools.  Classrooms crammed with kids are being kept at 78 degrees to save on cooling costs.

But we have the money to produce videos profiling graduates to make us feel better?

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5 Responses to “Feeling Better on the Public’s Dime”

  1. Our Schools Says:

    That is 4% a year.

    The question is when will PWC Schools stop spending on the non-essentials? The 12th High School the biggest example of misspending and waste (in my opinion). The projected cost are $100,000,000, yes that is 100 million dollars. It is being built in an area that does not require immediate relief. It is going to have a performing arts specialty school and will have an indoor pool, a dance studio and a black room for theater productions. While I am not opposed to having the best of everything, I would prefer that we start with the quality of education before the swimming pool. No paper to write on or make copies but the kids can swim? No fans in classrooms and subpar temperatures to save energy but PWCS can run the filters for the pool? Where does it stop?

  2. Ann Says:

    I buy my own airfilters for my classroom, they only get replaced every 3 months. I buy my own paper when necessary. Why do we need a $100,000,000 school? Does it need a pool? What will be the energy costs be to maintain it? Really, the county is going to say no to teachers having a coffee makers in their room? No fans….. my room is so hot as the KLC controls the temps now. Hmmm… no microwaves or refrig for our personal use. It is insane. We need new laptops, updated smart boards, quality materials for kids. I am give $150 to buy supplies for my classroom for the year. I have 28 students. That means the county provides roughly 5$ per child for me to order construction papers, crayons, markers, or anything I might need to last for 180 school days. Priorities need to be looked at. The electronic signs for the new schools cost $80,000 …. that is almost enough to hire 2 more teachers.

  3. Phil Kavits, PWCS COmmunications Director Says:

    Concern for the use of PWCS resources is certainly understandable. But keep in mind that the videos referenced are being produced to inspire our students with homegrown examples of what can be acheived when they build on the educational foundation our schools provide. As teachers know, such examples can be a powerful motivators. The videos are produced by PWCS staff who are also responsible for everything from running our educational station and telecasting our Board Meetings to developing videos for classroom use. Consequently, the cost is extremely low.

    • pwceducationreform Says:

      Mr Kavits – how many children are actually seeing these videos? Are we forcing them to watch them during instructional time at school with discussions about the content? What empirical evidence do you have that indicates videos such as these actually do inspire children and improve educational outcomes?

      Just because they’re being produced in house doesn’t mean they’re low cost, especially when you factor in the personnel costs associated with producing, editing, and maintaining these videos. Even more to the point, though, is whether these videos are an effective use of taxpayer money. Many of our schools are rationing paper. Our middle schools can no longer afford to repair broken band equipment. In lieu of these realities, is spending even a dime to produce feel good videos really an effective use of taxpayer money?

  4. T.L. Says:

    These expenses remind me of my childhood when families in subsidized housing (where I lived) were on food stamps but drove Cadillacs. It is all about creating an image. That saddens me. We shouldn’t need to look good on the outside, we should be doing all it takes to be solid, quality, effective schools throughout. We need the roof to be fixed at BDHS, expansions at other middle and high schools, and upgrades to out-of-date schools. I bet that could all be funded just by building a more modest new building and re-appropriating that money. And videos to toot our own horn? Totally unnecessary! If we need powerful motivators for current students, perhaps dedicating time and materials to them on a daily basis would be more effective.


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