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Lodi Unified School District parents pitch in with paper, pens, more

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Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2009 10:00 pm

Leo Alvarez recently sent reams of paper with his daughter to Lakewood Elementary School. Her teacher had apparently told the girl there was no money for paper, and the class really needed both the lined and graph variety.

Lodi Unified School District administrators have indeed looked at places to trim the district's budget as they continue to struggle with a multi-million-dollar shortfall despite voting to lay off personnel, close one school and prohibit out-of-town travel without superintendent approval.

Galt Joint Union High School District is looking at making a 5 percent across-the-board cut to its supplies for the next school year. According to a report, that would equal $4,000 at the administrative level, $2,000 for maintenance and $15,000 for school sites.

LUSD Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer has said that personnel has generally been responsive to curtailing its supply use in both the administrative office and the classroom.

But with the economy hitting schools, it's a situation playing out at districts across the country.

The Columbia (Mo.) Public School Board voted to reduce school supply purchases by 10 percent, while a Manchester, N.H. newspaper is calling on its local schools to trade advertisement with local companies to pay for such neccessities as pens and pencils.

And, in Yuma, Ariz., one school district has put its request for supplies on a campus marquee. Simply, it reads, "No money, please donate supplies."

Basic school supplies

  • Glue sticks (at least three for the year)
  • Scissors (blunt end for younger kids, pointy for older ones)
  • Ballpoint pens
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Colored pencils
  • Pencil sharpener (hand held with a top to collect shavings)
  • Large pink eraser
  • Water-based markers
  • 4-oz. bottle of white glue
  • Highlighters
  • Notebooks
  • Three-ring binder
  • Loose-leaf notebook paper
  • Pocket folders
  • A ruler with English and metric measurements
  • Scotch tape
  • Stapler
  • Facial tissue

    Additional supplies for children in elementary school

  • Box of crayons
  • Water color paints
  • Drawing paper
  • Construction paper
  • School box (for storing supplies)
  • Small bottle of hand sanitizer

    Additional items for middle-school and high school students

  • A calendar for time-management and for scheduling assignments
  • Two combination locks (one for a hall locker, one for a gym locker)
  • Binder dividers (the kinds with pockets are good for loose papers)
  • Several three-ring binders (some teachers will require a binder to be used exclusively for their class)
  • Folders to fit into binders
  • A small notebook to record assignments
  • Pencil case to fit into binder
  • Red ink pens (some teachers have students do peer editing)
  • Index cards, ruled and unruled
  • Calculator (Check with the math teacher first before investing in an expensive calculator. Graphing calculators, for example, are required in some middle school and many high school math classes.)

    Source: GreatSchools.net

But as the local districts are tightening their budget belts, is it fair to turn to parents who are also feeling the pinch as both unemployment and foreclosure figures are at a historic high?

Nichols-Washer says no.

"We have free and public education. That's the state law," she said, adding that requesting parents to pitch in is not fair for a family who can't afford it.

"(Asking for donations) is just something we can't do. That's what parent-teacher associations are for."

The California PTA has reported that nearly two-thirds of its 500 groups have been asked by schools this year to provide more money for basic supplies, including pencils and books, or speciality programs like the arts.

But in Galt, elementary Superintendent Karen Schauer said the district has always supplied the basic classroom supplies.

"In addition, teachers provide lists of additional supplies such as felt pens, glue sticks and colored pencils," Shauer said.

"Parents have been supportive with these voluntary requests and at times, purchase materials that serve more than the needs of their own child. This proves even more important in challenging economic times."

Instead, the Lodi district has frozen most purchase orders and is looking at new ways of buying, perhaps through a centralized location to get the best price. And, yes, adminstrators are asking teachers to recycle paper.

"Turn it over and use the back. Use what you have on-hand first," Nichols-Washer said.

"We're not saying you can't have supplies. We're saying, 'What do you need? What is essential?'"

Payroll vs. pens

The district's current budget issue is cash flow, and Nichols-Washer said last week that she would rather conserve supplies than have to issue I.O.U.s for payroll.

"That's really the bottom line," she added of cutting back on the non-essentials. "It's nothing different than what you would do in your own household when money is tight."

Still, some parents like Alvarez and Shari Manza have gone ahead and picked up supplies for their children's classrooms after hearing from teachers what was lacking.

Manza estimates that she has spent about $325 since November on cases of copier paper, graph paper, "thousands" of pencils, and tissue to guard against passing influenza germs among students, a supply especially close to her heart since her son suffers from asthma.

"I know I'm not the only parent," she said. "I make sure both of my children have extra (supplies) in case someone doesn't have any."

Manza didn't see this problem in Washington, where her family lived up until three years ago.

"I'm not going to have my children's education affected because the district can't get supplies. I think they're cutting in all the wrong places," she said of Lodi Unified. "Why not ask for what you need?"

That's exactly what Oak View Union School District Superintendent Michael Scully is doing. He recently went before the parent club and asked for donations since the $200 annual stipend for each the school's 19 teachers will drastically be reduced next school year. He estimates that he's already received 10 cases of copier paper.

"We're not asking for hundreds of dollars, just pens, Kleenex … there's already parents that are doing that," Scully said.

"I've never seen this," he added of donations. "One guy pulled up and just started unloading paper - and I hadn't even talked to him. He just knew schools use a lot of copier paper."

Scully, who has spent 21 years in education including service as a teacher and former principal in the Galt elementary district, said that this is by far the worst budget year.

"Teachers are being very careful about what they're using. They know what's going on, so they're willing to do what needs to be done," he said.

"That's nice when parents step up."

'Down to the bare bones'

Back in Lodi, Alvarez' son, a senior at Lodi High, told him that students are no longer allowed to print from computers at school, and none of the machines are stocked with paper.

"It seems as if even basic needs like paper are in very short supply throughout LUSD," said Alvarez, a Sacramento elementary principal, before pointing out that there are still a few months left in the school year.

Nichols-Washer agreed. "Schools are probably down to the bare bones at this point."

At Lodi High, English and journalism teacher Jerry Pike has not personally been affected by frozen purchase orders resulting in no new board pens or staplers. "No doubt it will be felt in August when we start school again," he said.

"I already spend a lot of my (own) money on school supplies and will probably have to spend even more."

Pike said the school is definitely feeling the pinch of paper rationing. "We have not been told, per se, to cut down on copying, but we now have to ask a secretary or the mailroom clerk for paper every time we make copies, which is annoying but probably necessary.

"I don't see a lot of waste here on campus, but conserving paper is always a good idea."

While he too hasn't yet noticed much difference, fellow teacher Jeff Palmquist also rates conservation high, and has his students put multiple assignments on one paper. That includes doing homework on the same sheet upon which they took notes.

Pike has posted some assignments on his class Web site for students to download and print at home, while he said some teachers offer bonus points for bringing paper. Another is reportedly charging students for supplies that are on-hand.

"I guess this is what it has come down to," Pike said.

In Galt, high school teacher Alex Bauer said that the district has not yet reached that stage, although some teachers are requesting that students bring in supplies such as paper. Instead, the school board is considering increasing student fees for sports, transportation and a variety of lab classes to help balance its budget.

While some Lodi Unified teachers are hesitate to complain about what supplies they do have, others, including Tokay High science teacher Susan Heberle, have spoken publicly about buying their own instructional materials while others are just getting by.

"We don't have tissue," Julia Morgan teacher Anne Swehla Garcia told school board members at a recent meeting. "It's kindergarten; it's messy in there."

Contact Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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56 comments:

  • posted at 7:54 am on Mon, Mar 30, 2009.

    Posts:

    The school's job is to provide materials, as long as parents are "guilted" into doing it, the "school" will get away with it, come on, wake up people smell the coffee...

     
  • posted at 2:30 am on Mon, Mar 30, 2009.

    Posts:

    RU4REAL....as for your poop thoughts...Like most of us, we don't need to smell $%#^ a second time to know it was $%#^ the first time. No doubt, something smells at crook-central. Perhaps the paper would be kind enough to help everyone differentiate between what the District would like us to believe from the truth.As they say on TV..."Cheap cover-ups don't hide bad odors."

     
  • posted at 2:22 am on Mon, Mar 30, 2009.

    Posts:

    RU4REAL....I guess not. My take, you are a paid apologist for the District or you are attached to the Lodi News-Sentinel. Then again on second thought, the District and "their paper" may not be mutually exclusive.Not much time to play today, I will be brief. First, I am not a professional journalist that's what I pay LNS to do on my behalf (I am a subscriber). I know that LNS is not the New York Times, however, they should be the one's doing the legwork, they should be the one gathering the facts, they should be the one's who get the "whole story" not just re-print the District's transparent propaganda, yes?All I am asking for is some investigative reporting regarding the "really real reality" of who's being fired? How many teachers? How many administrators? How many important educational programs will be flushed? Is this assignment really too difficult for LNS to handle? I don't think so.Heretofore, your spelling, grammar, syntax and writing style has been very "academic". You use many words to say next to nothing. Come on, who are your trying to fool.

     
  • posted at 4:09 pm on Sun, Mar 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Hi, Jerry.Boy, you sure put a lot of reqests on to the LNS these days. Why not try to do a little leg work yourself, and get the info 1st hand. With the excetpion of personnel issues, everything is public record, for those willing to spend a little time and do the research. Surly, a person of your abilities should have no problem at all establishing solid background information on all the charges you've leveled at just about evey administrator? Hell, this could even be the promo for a new citizen's action detective series. Maybe call it "We snoop for the poop", in recogonition of Jerry's believe that poop does contain a clean end and a dirty end. Perhaps one day he'll be kind enough to explian which is which. In the meantime, we'll wait for elusive proof he claims is out there, but just can't seem to put his hands on the hard evidence to back up his claims. Inciting votors with fictitious claims seems to be Jerry's forte.

     
  • posted at 6:48 am on Sat, Mar 28, 2009.

    Posts:

    To: Lodi News-SentinelCould you please investigate and report to us: The exact number of teachers that are losing their jobs; The exact number of administrators losing their jobs as well as the exact number of important pedogogical programs that are going to be cut.There seems to be considerable confusion regarding these numbers because the District has been deliberately vague and intentionally obfuscating with "the facts" in these important matters.I am fearful, as are many others, although the teachers will be shot out of a cannon, the administrators "may find a way" to get reassigned to another "administrative position" very quietly somewhere else in the District.Please keep in mind that you (LNS) have reported, at various times and places, that we would loose, 200 teachers, 340 teachers, 390 teachers and 397 teachers. Your last estimate, spoon fed to you by the District, is we will only loose half the number of teachers previously slated for exit.What about "Administor" golden parachutes; any AIG bonuses in their futures. Again, undertake a independent investigation; don't just reprint the District's press releases.

     
  • posted at 6:30 am on Sat, Mar 28, 2009.

    Posts:

    DRIVER3 wrote below on March 27th 2009, 7:59.... was making a good faith effort to correct my typo and/or my grammar. However, I am going to give you only half credit but thank you nevertheless. First, when I said: Has cast the dye for their children "DYE" is used correctly. Dye is a noun and means to "import visible color to something." Whereas, Die (your suggestion) means "not living." However, you are absolutely correct when you said [or inferred]that I have mistaken Lazyness for "Layziness." I guess I was too lazy to proof read my own missive.P.S. You might consider the use of "Oh, my" in the future. Strictly speaking, "Oh" is properly used (by way of proper syntax) to express emotion. And the word "my" literally [almost always] means "it relates to me or myself." I don't think this sitution merits too much emotion. Again, I am going to offer you half credit, however, I promise to be less lazy with how I spell Laziness in the future. I write a lot about lazy administrators...I should spell it correctly.Thanks.

     
  • posted at 4:03 pm on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.

    Posts:

    I'm a former middle-school teacher, an indian, not a chief. My complaint is too many people at the District office, doing what? Making rules and decisions that I, not they, have to make workable. Too many hurdles to effective discipline of repeat offenders, too much record keeping, too many meetings that are generally a waste of valuable time. Student contact minutes dropped considerably when year round went to modified traditional with staff development every 3rd week.

     
  • posted at 10:15 am on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.

    Posts:

    Science8cYou are a former middle school administrator right? So when you are referencing how many administrators are left, are you referring to the 4 that each high school has and the 2 or three that each Middle School has or are you referring to the District Office? With the Curriculum Coordinators positions gone...there really wouldn't be too many left at the District Office.

     
  • posted at 9:59 am on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.

    Posts:

    It's not how many they did away with, it's how many are left that apparently have little to do with educating the kids. Empire building refers to success being measured by how many people you supervise, not what you accomplish. That appears to be the unstated goal of too many administrators .

     
  • posted at 9:31 am on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.

    Posts:

    While reading the blogs from start to finish...so many people are complaining that LUSD needs to cut at the top. The BOE has already voted to cut 6 Curriculum Coordinators, the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education and the Director of Elementary Education; all making 90,000-115,000. Wouldn't you say that is cutting at the top?

     
  • posted at 5:20 am on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.

    Posts:

    Jerry wrote on Mar 26, 2009 7:29 PM:Sometimes the best things that happen in a child's life happens at school, yes. "or when CPS takes the child, and they are put with responsibile, loving parents, and the deadbeat goes to jail.

     
  • posted at 5:15 am on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.

    Posts:

    Actually, a study that I just heard about recently, showed that there was a growing trend in the lessening of the student work ethic. I read a report where a school said the student would get a least a 50% if they turned in no work, and thinking that the work they did turn in would boost the percentage. The result was the majority turned in no work and took the 50% F.Many of the students that don't have paper or pencils by the time they get to class, were given these items by their parents. Problem is they take no responsibility in these "perceived" free items, and lose them or loan them to friends not bothering to get them back. It is all a prt of It is basically pointless for one of the few parents, whose kids have a good work ethic attacking the messenger. There are schools where this irresponsibility happens a lot, others where it isn't much of a problem. It is usually a problem where a school has high transitioning of students. A problem of Entitlement thinking.

     
  • posted at 4:22 am on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.

    Posts:

    I don't mean to "beat a dead horse" about note taking, but I believe that reading information, then writing it accurately is an essential skill. Whether it is algebra or class notes, accuracy is vital to understanding. Too many students are careless with information and we owe it to them to correct mental laziness that will impact them thoughout their lives.

     
  • posted at 2:59 am on Fri, Mar 27, 2009.

    Posts:

    Jerry wrote on Mar 26, 2009 7:29 PM:" Last thought on note taking and college. Please keep in mind that we know that 25% will never make it to college; 25% will never receive a high school diploma, right? What we need to keep in mind, those of us who are professional educators anyway..."too many of these kids are on their own." We have too many irresponsible parents who a struggling to stay away from alcohol, drugs or just stay out of the poor house. These people (the parents not the students) are not responsible because they are not able to respond. Circumstances of life, bad luck or their own lazyness has cast the dye for many of their children. That's not just their problem it's everyone's problem."Lazyness? Dye? Oh my! Isn't it "laziness" and "die"?Professional educator?

     
  • posted at 2:29 pm on Thu, Mar 26, 2009.

    Posts:

    Last thought on note taking and college. Please keep in mind that we know that 25% will never make it to college; 25% will never receive a high school diploma, right?What we need to keep in mind, those of us who are professional educators anyway..."too many of these kids are on their own." We have too many irresponsible parents who a struggling to stay away from alcohol, drugs or just stay out of the poor house. These people (the parents not the students) are not responsible because they are not able to respond. Circumstances of life, bad luck or their own lazyness has cast the dye for many of their children. That's not just their problem it's everyone's problem.Unpopular as it will be to some, I'd like to see the District the School take a greater role in educating these disadvantaged kids. Takingresponsibility for getting these kids the basics: paper, pencils and in some cases a little love and encouragement might make all the difference to a kid with a no frills lifestyle.Sometimes the best things that happen in a child's life happens at school, yes.

     
  • posted at 2:12 pm on Thu, Mar 26, 2009.

    Posts:

    Science...here's what I am saying:Time is limited. Our children attend school 185 days per year max. Between roll call and a Johnny or a Suzie who can't shut up and listen, teachers are lucky to get a net 30 min. period.Why in the world would a teacher use a projector to write questions only to have the children rewrite the questions then answer them. If you are wondering why 50% of all eighth graders flunk algebra its because most spend their time copying the question; which, of course, introduces copying error, prior to actually calculating the answer. I would like to see students learn to think not learn to copy. I say, take notes when it makes sense. Do not require note taking when it does not make sense. I guess we have an honest disagreement with the paper thing. I am old school, I always thought the basics like the availablity of paper should be the District's responsibility.Public school was meant to be free. Teachers who must panhandle their students to bring in extra "whatever" for extra credit is degrading to all parties concerned.

     
  • posted at 10:30 am on Thu, Mar 26, 2009.

    Posts:

    It is terrible that in financial times like these, Barge gets a 12,000.00 raise.Ever so quietly,all the while they are asking all the rest to take pay cuts and lay off the little guys. What is wrong with this picture?

     
  • posted at 10:11 am on Thu, Mar 26, 2009.

    Posts:

    Jerry, you're not saying students shouldn't have to take notes in class are you? Do you believe teachers should just hand out class notes? When these kids get to college will they be surprised.Schools don't provide clothing nor should they provide pencils and paper. These are the tools of the job and students should be expected to bring their tools to work.

     
  • posted at 7:29 am on Thu, Mar 26, 2009.

    Posts:

    Dear DEADENDJOB:I didn't mean "the little guy" I was talking about your fatcat bosses. I'll bet ya' that Nichols-Washer nor Odie Douglas has a problem getting supplies so they can write meaningless memos that nobody reads or cares about.My point being: The rubber meets the road in the classroom; teaching and learning is about teachers and students. I just heard from a friend that some teachers have taken to writing their class notes on transparencies and then projecting them on a screen. Result: The District saves paper but students spend thousands of hours (collectively) over the course of a year's time needlessly recopying the teacher's notes. It's a complete waste of valuable educational instruction time...and for what? Because the Top Admins want to cut back on supplies.Does anyone see a problem here. Penny wise and pound foolish comes to mind. Like I say: "Recall the Board. Fire the Administrators." As I've said (somewhat crudely) there is no way of picking up a turd by the clean end. Sorry, but some things are communicated more clearly if they are very plain spoken.

     
  • posted at 7:00 am on Thu, Mar 26, 2009.

    Posts:

    I am a district office employee. We are out of all supplies in our dept. Dont think for one second that the teachers are the only ones that have it bad. I have teachers calling me asking me to print out documents for them because their school sites wont let them print out esential State Mandated reports because they have no paper. As far as I can tell, the funds arent frozen. It just takes an act of GOD to get the approval for the supplies we need.

     
  • posted at 9:29 am on Wed, Mar 25, 2009.

    Posts:

    Recall the Board. Fire the Kleptocrats.

     
  • posted at 9:27 am on Wed, Mar 25, 2009.

    Posts:

    I will bet you that nobody who works at crook-central has trouble finding paper or pencils. This makes perfect sense of course. The people who's job discriptions have never been described, who are making six-figure incomes, who have absolutely no meaningful contact with students get everything they want or need, including but certainly not limited to, cell phones, Blackberries, free lunches, free travel and free cars.All the while, the teachers who cannot deliver instruction without basic supplies come out-of-pocket to buy paper, pens and pencils....Were, parents who are guaranteed a free education for their children are forced to use their hard-earned post tax dollars to buy their child the basics so he or she can participate in everyday school assignments.Yep, that makes sense. This is the same place where they have decided to hire consultants so teachers could get in touch with their inner-bigots, where they close down schools to save 50K, where they spend 240K per year for worthless (meaningless) senior projects, where they have done away with science camp; just to name a few.Hey, that's the way our Board and their kleptocrats make decisions, yes?

     
  • posted at 7:32 am on Wed, Mar 25, 2009.

    Posts:

    DeadEndJob wrote on Mar 24, 2009 3:31 PM:" GroovyDudeThanks for mentioning the $12,000 a year raise that our Chief Business Officer received. No one seems to want to bring that up. It is deffinately a true statement. That sure could buy a lot of staples. "$12,000.00 would also buy 12,000 boxes of Kleenex at the Dollar Tree. In this citizen's opinion, no one should be given such a substantial raise or earn $230,000 posing as the Superintendent of any school district when the very district they are overseeing is in such dire straits.

     
  • posted at 6:19 am on Wed, Mar 25, 2009.

    Posts:

    karensays wrote on Mar 24, 2009 2:21 PM:" Driver; you'd be surprised the kind of odd necessities we need beyong pencil and paper....take another look at the list! It's in our best interest to make our classroom as comfortable as possible, which includes no excuses to go to the bathroom and missing classtime just to get a tissue... apparently you haven't worked at a school during cold and flu season! I know it's a small thing, but all those small things do add up - either positively or negatively - for our students... "What you say is true. I know how much tissue we go through just in our home during cold/flu season. A class full of studnets will go through a lot more tissue at school. This is one of those things that people do not realize unless they teach or work in the classroom.

     
  • posted at 5:00 pm on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    Thank You DRIVER3 : ) and it is the truth.The items listed above in the artical are EXTRA'S that most parents send along with their children, on the first day of school anyway.I always did. Should we expect LUSD to supply our kids with back packs??NO, That is the parents responsibility, in my opinion.....When we did senior project, it was REALLY expensive. Should I have expected LUSD to pay for the expense of the physical product??Nope it was my $$$ and it was not cheap let me tell you!

     
  • posted at 4:39 pm on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    blossom wrote on Mar 24, 2009 9:24 PM:" Funds are NOT frozen.When you order essential items you must justify what they are for as it should always have been done.It is NOT that difficult, and in no way should ANY school be out of paper , Kleenex, Papertowels etc...That is just irresponsible. "I totally agree.

     
  • posted at 4:24 pm on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    Funds are NOT frozen.When you order essential items you must justify what they are for as it should always have been done.It is NOT that difficult, and in no way should ANY school be out of paper , Kleenex, Papertowels etc...That is just irresponsible.

     
  • posted at 10:31 am on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    GroovyDudeThanks for mentioning the $12,000 a year raise that our Chief Business Officer received. No one seems to want to bring that up. It is deffinately a true statement. That sure could buy a lot of staples.

     
  • posted at 10:05 am on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    If it is a fact a $230,000 salary is paid to the Superintendent, the budget cuts should begin there.

     
  • posted at 9:56 am on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    To clarify my stance on this subject: All mention of Kleenex aside, I believe there are many overblown, overpaid positions within the California School System (Administrative) which could be nullified, at once, saving money and without discharging/displacing teachers. I am in total support of teachers, sincere instructors who put the needs of their students before their own. It is those who sit back, do nothing of no real substance and draw a steady, paycheck that I question.

     
  • posted at 9:37 am on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    As I stated earlier, if downsizing is so necessary, start at the top. Eliminate those absolutely unnecessary positions and titles. In doing this, there should be no reason Kleenex cannot be available in a classroom. And again I ask, as for offering extra-credit to students who supply tissues, etc., how are those students who may not be able to afford extra tissues, etc., for the classroom compensated fairly with regard to earning extra-credit?

     
  • posted at 9:21 am on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    Driver; you'd be surprised the kind of odd necessities we need beyong pencil and paper....take another look at the list! It's in our best interest to make our classroom as comfortable as possible, which includes no excuses to go to the bathroom and missing classtime just to get a tissue... apparently you haven't worked at a school during cold and flu season! I know it's a small thing, but all those small things do add up - either positively or negatively - for our students...

     
  • posted at 7:46 am on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    Picture a school system as a totem pole with the legs and torso made up of students and educators, and the head, the District Administrators. Chop out the lower portion enough and the so-called "head" is going to eventually hit the mud. I say if downsizing is so necessary, start at the top. Eliminate those absolutely unnecessary positions and titles and allow the true teachers to teach and the students to learn.

     
  • posted at 6:23 am on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    RU4REALYou must be the District's boy or girl as the case may be. The lawyers have a saying that fits most of your comments to me: "If you don't have the law, argue the facts, if you don't have the facts, argue the law...if you don't have neither...get personal." Your personal attacks are weak and show a lack of willingness to argue (if you have an argument) on the merits. The facts are: The District's administrators want for nothing, they're paid too much and do too little. The Superintendent has attempted to pit pencils vs. teachers; a transparent and foolish mistake. This whole budget debate should be focused on the best use of "our money." The main issue being: Is it better to fire 200 teachers, eliminate valuable pedogogy, beg for pencils and paper or is it better to eliminate a boat-load of administrators who don't have a job description, don't want a job description and have a value you have been (to date) unwilling to define.Again, again, again, what do these people do? Tell us, we are all waiting.

     
  • posted at 4:35 am on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

     
  • posted at 4:29 am on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    karensays also wrote on Mar 24, 2009 7:53 AM:...now at my site, the principal finally decided to make a decision (on this of all things) to ban this also because some teachers were giving extra credit for bringing them lunch! Shameful! Any teacher who gives extra-credit to a student for bringing them lunch should be FIRED! There is a name for persons such as those mentioned. It starts with "L" and sounds like LOWLIFE! What fine examples are being set................

     
  • posted at 4:22 am on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    karensays wrote on Mar 24, 2009 7:53 AM:"Contrapasso; I have given extra-credit for staples like kleenex for the past few years. (It's not a free-for-all or grade-buying, I assure you.)"No offense, but in actuality, what does Kleenex have to do with education? And as for offering extra-credit to students who supply it, how are those students who may not be able to afford extra tissues for the classroom compensated fairly with regard to earning extra-credit? There is a big difference between "bartering" for credit and truly "earning" it.

     
  • posted at 2:53 am on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    Contrapasso; I have given extra-credit for staples like kleenex for the past few years. (It's not a free-for-all or grade-buying, I assure you.) But now at my site, the principal finally decided to make a decision (on this of all things) to ban this also because some teachers were giving extra credit for bringing them lunch! It's always a few that make the world hard for the rest of us... but until I get it in writing I will continue to shamelssly beg for what my students need so that the majority don't suffer for the sins of the few mindless administrators!

     
  • posted at 12:43 am on Tue, Mar 24, 2009.

    Posts:

    Good morning, Jerry. Did you really think you could hide here in another blog? Ya gotta go where the story is.I finally figured out that you don't have an argument with LUSD, you have a burr under your saddle with ALL public agencies at all levels. The City of Lodi, county, state, and federal govt. They're all "Kleptocrats" in your mind. Well, not to worry, Jerry. Therapy is just a vote away. If the majority of others feel the same way you do, the old 'Kleptocrats" will be voted out, a new breed of "Kleptocrats" will take over, and you can start your crusade all over again. If that happens, just grab a bottle of Cabernet, sit down in your favorit recliner, and dream about the good old days before Kleptocrats. Oh, sorry, I forgot. Kleptocrats have ALWAYS been here. Better grab 3 bottles of Cabernet, and some Thunderbird! It's going to be a long crusade :-)

     
  • posted at 7:25 pm on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    My fellow educators, hope you are having a good break - I know I am. I have to be honest and share with you that I am quite surprised by all the complaining that I hear about the proposed waste. Last time I checked, no one has received a $12k raise. Where did that come from? Also, I have not been instructed to bring any paper from home. Also, every other district is in the same predicument that we are in. Someone please help me understand what makes our situation in lodi and north stockton so much different than anywhere else?

     
  • posted at 3:44 pm on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    Check this out: Tokay High School teachers can no longer request staples!!!!! This is a mandate from the district office!The fattie catties are sucking up all of the money and teachers are forced to buy pens, paper, markers, pencils, kleenex, staples, staplers, etc. I know that I have spent 200.00 to 250.00 dollars for basic supplies this year.Fire Odie Douglas, who does nothing productive, and make sure the children are adequately supplied.

     
  • posted at 2:45 pm on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    Let Them Eat Cake

     
  • posted at 1:56 pm on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    I wonder why no one has mentioned that Mr. Doug Barge receiveda 12,000.00 plus raise.That's right is was on the Q/T.Oops did I say that?

     
  • posted at 10:03 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    Recall the Board (all 7) in 2010. And, if that doesn't work, vote out the 4 that are standing for election next year. Then, we will go after the high paid administrators who are for the most part: Arrogant, dismissive, haughty, hubristic, insolent...and pretty much don't give a damn about kids anyway.Has anyone noticed yet? Most of these know nothings all live out of the Lodi area. Nobody, currently serving on the Board has a child anywhere near our school system and use our 275M budget as a personal cookie jar. Did it ever cross your mind that one or more of the Board members may have huge conflicts of interest where our money is quietly going into the silk-lined pockets of a Board member in complete secrecy.

     
  • posted at 9:39 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    Just a few words more...Please keep an eye on Superintendent Washer-Nichols decision matrix; a couple of you picked it up. Notice, she pits the extra costs of supplying an adaquate amount of school supplies for children against "teachers'jobs." Yes, where is the outrage. Why isn't the paper (The Lodi News-Sentinel) doing their job. This isn't about whether John or Suzie get pencils or Mrs. Jones gets to keep her job. Remember, Mr. Jones? She's the teacher, she is the person who actually delivers the "product/service" EDUCATION. Why doesn't Nichols-Washer put it in terms of good for nothing administrators vs. pencils and teachers. I will say it again: No, Child has ever learned a thing from an administrator, ever. Teachers are being fired unnecessarily, good programs like Band are getting flushed without cause, students go wanting for the basics like paper and pencils because the Administrators want to keep their over-paid jobs and ridiculus perks. How many pencils can you buy with the Admins car allowances, free lunches, travel, cell phones and Blackberries?

     
  • posted at 9:20 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    Whence cometh the outrage? The Feds, the State and the District (in this case Lodi Unified) are on the hook for the basics of education. The District is paid approximately $6,000 per child to provide for each childs' education; no, that's not enough but it's more than any other industrialized country. The parents have a legal right to send their children to public school WITHOUT EXTRA COST. FREE!!!!!Of course, we all know that doesn't happen. Teachers pay (they shouldn't) parents pay (they shouldn't either they already paid via their tax dollars). So, who should pay. Well, we are back to the L.U.S.D'S misplaced priorities are we not?L.U.S.D. has a $275,000,000 budget and what do the "powers that be" (the Kleptocrats) do with all that money...well, $230,000 is paid to the Superintendent (More than the Governor, more than the Vice President of the United States). Twenty know nothings, do nothings are paid on a similar scale. A.I.Greed, yes?As my dad liked to say (he was a plain spoken man)... the District just pisses it away. The kleptocrats win, our children lose. Sounds about right, yes?

     
  • posted at 7:05 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    -- "It's nothing different than what you would do in your own household when money is tight." --Actually, I would trim the fat and eliminate wasteful spending before I would cut the things I need. How about forcing the administrators to be more responsible with our tax money?

     
  • posted at 5:33 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    Science8c wrote on Mar 23, 2009 9:33 AM: " As a former middle school teacher in this district all I can say is why don't parents provide their children with the basics of school supplies? Binders, binder paper and pencils are the parents' duty, not the schools, or more pointedly, not the teachers'. Teachers supply these basics to the same students over and over again, day after day."Sounds to me like someone was in the wrong profession from the start, complaining now about those children they were paid to educate and lead. Ho hum, another day, another sheet of paper. How sad. Deserving of an apple? Good Samaritan? I am not inclined to think so............I say if the state "requires" a child to attend school, the state should, as well, provide the tools necessary within that forum. If an educator truly has a student's best interest at heart, an educator will see that a student has every opportunity to succeed. This issue of late is about poor politics, not poor parenting. Thank God for a teacher who sincerely cares. I know you still exist, though I fear your numbers have dwindled over the years.

     
  • posted at 4:48 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    Excuse me.... I ALWAYS sent these items to school with my kids.They get new clothes, shoes, socks, along with, EXTRA school supplies.My kids have all graduated 5 years ago. This is nothing new.

     
  • posted at 4:33 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    As a former middle school teacher in this district all I can say is why don't parents provide their children with the basics of school supplies? Binders, binder paper and pencils are the parents' duty, not the schools, or more pointedly, not the teachers'. Teachers supply these basics to the same students over and over again, day after day. Parents either don't provide these tools or don't try to make sure their students take them to school with them. Imagine what would happen if an adult didn't bring his tools to the job repeatedly. Teach them responsibility.

     
  • posted at 4:23 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    someone in the district office is drunk!!....freezing funds to buy essential school supplies like paper is as dumb as it can get....yet they have money to spend on district official's "PERSONAL" cell phones... get your priorities straight!!!

     
  • posted at 4:20 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    You know - they froze purchase orders on 1/1/09 - it's the middle of March and somebody just reported it?!

     
  • posted at 4:18 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    ...and the argument of "pencils versus payroll" is illogical. They don't come out of the same funds and if they quit using "contracts" we could certainly get our supplies much cheaper! Even when we had funds, and I found an item somewhere else cheaper, I was told "too bad" we have to use the contracted provider despite how much money it saved. Now, that's poor money management for "professionals" that we entrust to make "educated" decisions!! Where is the public outccry??

     
  • posted at 4:13 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    "personnel has generally been responsive to curtailing its supply use in both the administrative office and the classroom." What the hell? We have no supplies to curtail! We've been spending more and more of our own money every year in our classrooms to compensate for their poor management of money that should go towards these student necessities. And when we give extra credit for things like kleenex, we are questioned for kids "buying" their grades. Good Grief! We've been doing more with less for so long, the district doesn't even freakin' notice anymore - especially Washer who must think it's the status quo - How sad for our students, some of whom are truly unable to provide their own supplies. Thanks to those kind souls who are trying to compensate for the idiocy of the district bureaucracy - too bad they need to, huh?....

     
  • posted at 4:11 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    Disgusting! Inmates are given meals while incarcerated, yet schools are no longer able to adequately provide many of the educational necessities their students require....Where is all the Lotto money going? Perhaps we should ask, where has it gone from day one? Gov. Arnold ought to be ashamed. A supporter of top-notch education? Sure. Nothing more than a burst of hot air that served only to blow him right into office. Hmmmmmm...Do I recall a debate raging not so long ago over the rights of parents to home school their children? Was not there argument of a parent's inability to properly provide what a school could assure? What a crock!

     
  • posted at 3:26 am on Mon, Mar 23, 2009.

    Posts:

    It's good to see parents who want to help out. When I taught in a small district I paid for some class supplies out of my own pocket (including books when we were short) and kept the receipts to write it off. I think administrators should do the same to save the district $ on things like cell phones.

     

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Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

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