President, Poudre Education Association

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Given the importance of education for all for a democracy to flourish, how should we fund education?

I have been an educator for over 20 years and currently serve as a president of a local education association. One of the things I did my first year as president was to form a task force of teachers to look at how to transform the public education system. Often during our meetings the question of paying for education came up? How do we create a consistent stream of revenue so we can pay for the best education system we can? Is it a question of political will? Do we just need to except that we will have unequal, inadequate funding as collective funds (taxes) have to fulfill so many needs in out society? What should we do?

  • Aug 25 2011: The eternal question.
  • Aug 18 2011: I don't know if you can ever get the control you want over your revenue stream but it may be possible to manage your expenses more effectively.

    You need to determine if every expenditure is truly worthwhile. Does every student really need a laptop in their classroom to learn about computers?

    What happens if students were taught to write programs in groups and then the instructor could show the results from each group from a single laptop.

    There are many cases where the same amount of education can be had with a lower expenditure of funds.
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    Aug 18 2011: Hope this will help. The greatest minds were growing up without technological toys but they still inspire our postmodern society. My point is that if we will keep believing that our existing technology, knowledge and sciences, mass production industries, and politics can create a great progress and convenient life - we are deadly mistaken. We have a long, long way to understand what we are, and what we are really doing on this planet. Therefore we are all students of life.

    I suggest that schools have to change the ways to teach because the teachers are not only to share with what they know, but to openly LEARN together with students.

    Classical philosophy, from Greek teachers to Schopenhauer, and basic knowledge about human sensory perceptions, behavioral psychology and ethics would be an inspirational foundation for any knowledge and experience. Yes, schools have to introduce students to sciences and technological methods, instruments, tools and toys, however explaining that technology does not really prove our super intelligence, but it compensates for our poor intuition and undeveloped sensory perceptions.

    What would be the best inspiration for these futuristic SCHOOLS OF LIFE? Not only forum-like classes, but real original projects encouraging students to obtain cross discipline knowledge and some practical skills, invention and discoveries..... The most great ideas brew in minds that are untamed with conventions, and inspired by possibilities.

    These changes would cost almost anything if new programs are supported by different institutions, including non-profit organizations.
  • Aug 18 2011: Just an idea that you can use if you want. what if you have the students pay for school? For example arts students sell their art or create advertising for the company's. Wood shop can build things to sell or take in orders from the public to be built. This would have many other benefits too. For example if students put a lot for work into the community do you think they will be as quick to vandalize it? Plus it will tech them things like customer service, respect. It may be a stretch but they may have a stronger sense of nationalism. You could also go see the rich for donations. A smarter society builds a strong and stabler economy which is better for them. Hope this helps.