Schools' Activities to Raise Money With Businesses Don't Pay, Researchers Say
By Michele Molnar on September 18, 2014 10:29 AM
School districts that boost their coffers by entering into money-making agreements with companies rarely gain much in return, a pair of researchers found.
"Every dollar is important, but every dollar might not be worthwhile," said Brian Brent, a professor and associate dean at the University of Rochester in New York, in a phone interview about the findings of the study he summarized this month in School Business Affairs, a magazine published by the Association of School Business Officials International.
While Brent acknowledges that money is raised by districts engaging in a variety of commercial activities with beverage companies, local businesses, and national companies, he said its impact is marginal, and the cost of administering and maintaining such contracts is seldom factored into the equation.
School business officials in 197 Pennsylvania districts and 307 New York districts responded to the survey. Brent and his co-author Stephen Lunden, the assistant superintendent for administrative services at the Maryvale Union Free School District in New York, found that 94 percent of Pennsylvania schools and 75 percent of New York schools engaged in some sort of commercial activity.
Their study focused on two primary forms of making money: granting exclusive agreements to sell or promote products or services, including agreements to offer vending machines and so-called "pouring rights" to soft drink and beverage companies, and appropriated space agreements, in which districts may sell space on school property from scoreboards to buses and computer screens.
Brent and Lunden compared the money raised with how much it impacts local tax revenues, and found the impact to be negligible, as the tables above and below show. However, that is often the reason cited by districts for engaging in these activities—to offset losses in local tax revenues.
"School business officials want to help," he said, looking for alternate sources to raise revenues and to provide tax relief. But he said the numbers don't add up. This study is a "cautionary tale" that the efforts might not be worth the potential down side, which includes exposing children as a "captive audience" to the commercial messages, and promoting unhealthy products, among others, Brent said.
The researchers also asked districts to explain how they applied the funds they raised. Usually, the money was intended to provide funding for a specific sport or extracurricular activity.
Most district officials said they would continue to use exclusive agreements—59 percent in Pennsylvania and 51 percent in New York. But opinions differed more markedly on the use of appropriated space: 40 percent of New Yorkers said they intended to continue to pursue this method of getting income, while 74 percent said they would not.
The study was originally published in Leadership and Policy in Schools on July 13, 2009 under the title, "Benefits and Costs of School-based Activities." Brent said he does not think the results would have been much different had the study been conducted more recently, since he continues to see headlines about districts entering into such contracts. "I'm an ex-CPA, so I recognize generally that with revenues there are costs," he said. "In reading an article that says there's a $1.5 million contract, I know the way to think about that is 'over the life of the contract'," he said.
Brent acknowledges the pressure districts are under to get better results with budgets that are tight. "It's going to be continual issue for school districts striving to meet increasing demands, constrained not necessarily by the economy, but by local and state governments about what's perceived to be high levels of spending," he said.
Michael Griffith, the school finance consultant for the Education Commission of the States, agreed, saying he hears this from school districts across the country. "It's a decision school principals and superintendents have to make: is it worth it to raise these funds, and what are they going to use it for, or does it make sense to go to the voters," he said.
While the alternative revenue tends to be very small, Griffith maintains that districts would view it as important. "Twenty years ago it was simply money you went out and raised to buy equipment like swings and jungle gyms. Now, in some districts, it's used for hiring librarians and music teachers," he said.
Please watch the video feed of these important discussions. The Gates Foundation and corporations are funding a media blitz and sending out research data on their policies that are proving time and again to be false. Maryland unfortunately is controlled by neo-liberals and neo-cons working for corporations and is advancing these education privatization policies.
WE HAVE TOO MUCH SILENCE FROM OUR PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND STUDENTS. THERE IS WIDESPREAD PROTEST AROUND THE NATION AND WE WANT THE SAME HERE IN MARYLAND.
Please organize community action groups this fall to plan and develop organizing strategies!
Coming Saturday, Oct.11
PUBLIC Education Nation
Panel #1: Testing & the Common Core
Just Two Weeks Away! The first-ever PUBLIC Education Nation
This time we own the table, and we will bring together educators, parents and students to tell the truth about what is happening in our schools, and what real reform ought to be all about.
Next Sunday, October 5, will be our major money bomb online fundraiser for the event. This is NOT sponsored by the Gates, Bloomberg or Walton foundations - it is sponsored by US - each and every person who cares about the future of public education. Please donate here, and spread the word.
If you are in the New York area, and would like to attend the October 11 event in person, please show up by 11:30 am at 610 Henry St at Brooklyn New School/Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies, and register here in advance. You can also sign up for the online event on Facebook here.
Follow us on Twitter at @PublicEdNation & @NetworkPublicEd
Panel #1: Testing & the Common Core
One of the highlights of the event will be the very first panel, Testing and the Common Core, which will be moderated by New York's high school Principal of the Year, Carol Burris. Burris has written extensively about equity in schools and the impact of the Common Core, and will bring her many years as an educator to the table. She will be joined by the following education experts:
Alan A. Aja, Ph.D. is the Assistant Professor & Deputy Chair of the Department of Puerto Rican & Latino Studies in Brooklyn College. His research examines race, gender and class disparities between and among Latino and African American communities; immigration/education policy; social and economic segregation; sustainable development and collective action/unionization. Before academia, Aja worked as a labor organizer in Texas, an environmental researcher in Cuba, a human rights organizer in Argentina and in a refugee hostel in London. He is a public school parent and elected member of the SLT (School Leadership Team) of PS264 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Dr. Aja will discuss the impact of common core aligned testing in New York, Kentucky and other states on marginalized communities, with attention to blacks, Latinos, ELLs, special ed/learning and disability students. He will present the early evidence to demonstrate that the Common Core and its testing is not resulting in the closing of the achievement gap, but may, instead be leaving disadvantaged students even further behind. He will also discuss alternative ways to increase student and school performance.
Rosa L. Rivera-McCutchen, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at CUNY's Lehman College. She began her career in education as a high school teacher in the Bronx.Her research examines the theory and practice of leadership in small schools in urban settings in order to create socially just and equitable schools for Black and Latino students. Dr. Rivera-McCutchen's research has appeared in an edited book entitled Critical small schools: Beyond privatization in New York City urban educational reform.
Dr. Rivera McCutchen will focus on the moral imperative of leading for social justice in the face of CCSS and high-stakes testing. She will highlight the challenges leaders face in resisting, and focus on the strategies that leaders have used in mounting successful campaigns of resistance.
Takiema Bunche Smith is the Vice President of Education and Outreach at Brooklyn Kindergarten Society (BKS), where she oversees educational programming and outreach initiatives at five preschools located in low-income neighborhoods in Brooklyn, New York. In both her professional and personal life, Ms. Bunche Smith is involved in various advocacy efforts that relate to early childhood care and education funding and policy, and the push-back against the overemphasis on high stakes testing in public schools. She has been a classroom teacher, teacher educator, content director for Sesame Street, and director of curriculum and instruction. She attended NYC public schools for 3rd-12th grade and is now a public school parent and member of the SLT at Brooklyn New School.
Ms. Bunche Smith will discuss the early childhood education implications of the Common Core and how it affects schools, students and parents. She will discuss various parent perspectives on the Common Core as well as critically highlight those who are not part of the conversation around Common Core.
On Saturday, Oct. 11, you can tune in online here at SchoolhouseLive.org to the live broadcast starting at 12 noon Eastern time, 9 am Pacific time.
The event will conclude with a conversation between Diane Ravitch and Jitu Brown.
The Network for Public Education is hosting this event. It is NOT sponsored by the Gates, Walton or Bloomberg foundations. It is sponsored by YOU, each and every one of the people who care about our children's future.
Can you make a small donation to help us cover the expense of this event? We are determined to create the space not ordinarily given to voices like these. But we need your participation. Please donate by visiting the NPE website and clicking on the PayPal link.
A live-stream of the event will be available on Saturday, Oct. 11, starting at Noon Eastern time, 9 am Pacific time at http://www.schoolhouselive.org.
This is just one county in Maryland plagued by the privatization of public education with billions of dollars in education funding going to private education corporations....
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT MODEL AS IF WE CANNOT FIGURE THAT OUT OURSELVES!
Friday, July 11, 2014
Another $103,000 for Pearson!
At the June 30, 2014, Board of Education (BOE) meeting the BOE members voted to send another check to Pearson.
4343.1The SOIP Model Professional Development
NCS Pearson, Inc. $103,000
Now, while the BOE is sending checks to Pearson how much is MCPS getting back in royalties from our super cool deal with Pearson? Anyone buying Pearson Forward? Has MCPS received any royalties?
Here's how much of the MCPS Operating Budget has gone to Pearson related companies since 2010.
The Washington Post 2011
But, remember Superintendent Jerry Weast got a fabulous trip to Australia from the Pearson Foundation! That was worth $5.5 million...
In Baltimore, it is the Maryland ACLU leading the way with the same policy and it is DEFINITELY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Everyone should fight this process as Wall Street is only using underserved schools as a charter privatization of the entire public education system. Poor communities often do not have advocates working to protect their interests so we need everyone shouting that what is happening in Baltimore is bad for Maryland. They will expand this charter platform across Maryland!
Baltimore's selective enrollment is not centralized but does involve lotteries that are not provided oversight and are geared towards development and gentrification. Equal Opportunity does not have to preclude development but it does have to provide equal access. As with New Orleans, Baltimore's school privatization involves corporate control of funding and curricula producing winners and losers. Tiered per student funding places special needs children at the bottom of the funding scale THAT SHOULD BE EQUAL.
PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW WALL STREET USE RACE AND/OR CLASS TO SNEAK IN AND PRIVATIZE ALL OF PUBLIC EDUCATION. WHAT IS INJUSTICE FOR ONE WILL BECOME INJUSTICE FOR ALL!
U.S. Education Department opens civil rights investigation of New Orleans public school closures
Cristi Wijngaarde revs the crowd up with a bullhorn as groups meet on the median in front of Sarah T. Reed High School to protest school closure, Monday, December 9, 2013. The closure of that school prompted a federal civil rights complaint. According to a letter, the federal government has opened an investigation. (Ted Jackson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) Print By Danielle Dreilinger, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on September 24, 2014 at 12:18 PM, updated September 24, 2014 at 7:26 PM
The U.S. Education Department has opened an investigation into charges that the Recovery School District's policy of closing and chartering New Orleans public schools violated the civil rights of African-American students. The complaint, filed in May, said African-American students were disproportionately affected by the Recovery system's decision to close its final five conventional public schools in New Orleans, and that the system did not provide good alternatives for displaced students.
The Education Department's Office of Civil Rights "has determined the allegations are appropriate for investigation," wrote Paul Coxe, regional civil rights supervisor, in a letter that the complainants shared with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. Coxe emphasized that "opening the allegations for investigation in no way implies that OCR has made a determination with regard to the merits."
It could be months before the investigation ends, although the Education Department aims to "resolve complaints within 180 days of their receipt," a federal official said. Complex cases might take longer.
Louisiana Education Superintendent John White said that in the past six years, the federal Office of Civil Rights has resolved 42 of 76 complaints alleging racially discriminatory school closures but required systemic changes in only one case. Raymonde Charles of the U.S. Education Department confirmed the data.
Bradshaw said the federal department aims to "resolve complaints within 180 days of their receipt," though complex cases may take longer.
Among the May allegations were:
- The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and Recovery system have closed conventional public schools -- which are almost 100 percent African-American -- even when they are improving, but allowed their few whiter schools to remain open despite struggles with academics and management.
- New Orleans' best public schools have policies that tacitly exclude African-American students. For instance, Edward Hynes and Lusher give priority admission to families who live in their comparatively white neighborhoods.
- OneApp, the centralized enrollment system for Recovery system and Orleans Parish School Board schools, has become an instrument for exclusion because the best schools aren't on it.
Recovery Superintendent Patrick Dobard disagreed. "Our system of schools in New Orleans seeks to protect the basic civil rights of all students to receive a quality education," he said. "We are confident that the USDOE's OCR shares our commitment to ensuring all students in New Orleans have access to a high-quality school." He also said the percentage of New Orleans' African American youth in failing schools had plummeted since 2005.
A Board of Elementary and Secondary Education spokesman, Kevin Calbert, would not comment on the investigation.
In May, White dismissed the complaint as "a joke," saying it was part of a national, politically motivated push by labor unions to regain power in cities where they have lost ground or are fighting with education leadership. Similar complaints were filed the same day against Chicago and Newark, N.J. The U.S. Education Department has also opened investigations in those cities, a federal official said.
White said the state has no control over most of the city's selective and disproportionately white public schools, including Hynes and Lusher. They are overseen by the local Orleans Parish School Board.
In 2012-13, 86 percent of the city's public school students were African-American, 7 percent were white, according to Tulane University's Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives.
The New Orleans complaint was authored by the national Advancement Project and two local education advocacy groups, Coalition for Community Schools and Conscious Concerned Citizens Controlling Community Changes. Taking the lead for the local groups were Karran Harper Royal and Frank Buckley, longtime opponents of the state takeover of 80 percent of New Orleans' public schools after Hurricane Katrina.
Fordham is the education privatization Foundation that promotes the policies implemented in Baltimore City by Johns Hopkins. Below you see how data supporting these policies are being nixed by a wide group of education researchers.
LET'S DO THIS! LET'S DO THAT! Say corporate education policy-makers using absolutely no education data or history of classroom/child performance. That is what public policy by corporations looks like. They are being allowed to not pay taxes, to 'donate' to education non-profits that then support these ideas. Meanwhile education standards and achievement are falling fast and we are losing good teachers who do not want to be exposed to bad education policy.
School choice has nothing to do with giving children more choices. It does not even succeed in its goal of segregated schools bringing higher achievement. We need to demand Equal Opportunity and Access and strong public schools to allow everyone an opportunity to CHOOSE what their futures will look like.
What this policy below has as a goal is selling designer lessons to students with captions describing what kind of child will benefit from this kind of lesson. Global education corporations while design these lessons and sell them to school administrators looking like a cart of cable TV choices.
IT IS RIDICULOUS AND IS MEANT ONLY TO CREATE MARKETS THAT WILL THEN TAKE PUBLIC EDUCATION FUNDING.
Fordham Puts Lots of Little Choice Carts before the Evidence Horse
Report describes how to bring school choice to the level of individual classes – but it never considers research regarding whether this would be beneficial Contact: William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, firstname.lastname@example.org Patricia Burch, (909) 272-5839, email@example.com
URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/lua4872
BOULDER, CO (June 19, 2014) – A recent report provides guidelines for an expansion of school choice policies, urging policymakers to turn the selection of school classes themselves into a form of market competition, with each student choosing and designing a personal menu of classes.
The drawback to that idea, according to a new review, is that the report makes no effort to evaluate the underlying proposal before offering policymakers a “guide” for how to put it into effect.
Patricia Burch of the University of Southern California, along with Jahni Smith of USC and Mary Stewart of Indiana University, reviewed Expanding the Education Universe: A Fifty-State Strategy for Course Choice for the Think Twice think tank review project. The review is published today by the National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education.
Expanding the Education Universe, written by Michael Brickman and published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, envisions a future when students design their own selection of online and off-line school classes. As the reviewers note, the report possesses a great deal of confidence that such a change would ease transportation and expand students’ options in many beneficial ways. Course providers for the proposed system could be for-profit as well as not-for-profit providers, including school districts and other public institutions.
But in offering a “guide” to solve practical problems of policy and implementation, the report acts with undue haste. It “assumes, without solid evidence, that course choice, electronic educational provisions, and the like are viable, effective, and proven methods,” the reviewers write.
“No direct research is presented, and relevant related research that might support the efficacy of the method is not included,” Burch and her colleagues point out. “Accordingly, the piece rests entirely on assumptions and assertions.”
Lacking the necessary evidence and detail to demonstrate that the proposal holds any promise, policymakers and the public should lack confidence in the report’s proposal. The report, the reviewers conclude, offers “little basis for assessing the benefits and liabilities of a program that potentially has enormous financial costs and educational quality implications for public education.”
Below you see the ultimate disrespect Maryland Assembly and local governments are paying to students, parents, and communities. Neo-liberals and neo-cons seem to think public schools need to gain their own funding any way they can while corporations don't pay taxes and get huge subsidy. This is how far it has gone....cell towers on public school roofs with the cell tower businesses not paying taxes because they are located on public property----think M and T Stadium and Ravens football. All of this is really, really, really, really bad public policy but it maximizes profit says neo-liberals and neo-cons!
Keep in mind these are the politicians that labor union and justice organization leaders support each election.
Milestone Won't Pay Property Taxes on Cell Towers - Board Responds to Parents' Coalition
Posted: 09 Jul 2014 08:03 PM PDT
Why should Milestone Communications cell towers pay property taxes in Maryland?
(Remember, this is the Doug Duncan "no brainer" deal.)
Well, it's only a Maryland regulation! But, who needs tax regulations? Apparently not the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.
Today, the Anne Arundel County Board of Education discussed the placement of a Milestone Communications cell tower on the Magothy River and Severn River Middle Schools site. Listen to the discussion in the video below.
- First, you will hear a Anne Arundel Board member state that there is a federal "obligation" that cell towers be built on public school playgrounds (minute 6 of video). Really? Exactly what federal law says that?
- Second, you will hear the Anne Arundel Board members discuss an e-mail from the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, MD (minute 9 of video, Parents Coalition mentioned at 11:30 of video) alerting them to the fact that the one cell tower already in operation in their county at Broadneck High School does not have a tax account id number and is not paying property taxes. A Milestone Communications representative is sitting right at the table in front of the Board while they discuss this issue. Listen as the school administrators and Milestone Communications representative waive away any responsibility for paying property taxes on cell towers located on public school land. It's only property taxes. Who cares if Milestone doesn't pay the property taxes on their for-profit cell towers?