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Manassas Schools Budget Off The Mark

By Greg L | 9 February 2013 | Schools, Manassas City | 4 Comments

Guest Post By Charles Sutherland

While a needed step in the right direction, School Superintendent Magouyrk’s draft budget to reduce costs requires some analysis. As usual, the devil is in the details.

Before rendering judgment, several questions should be asked: (1) why eliminate technical and ‘shop’ teachers when so many students require these skills for their future; (2) who decides which teachers are to be terminated, since many who ‘retired’ long ago and merely show up every day (almost) to get a paycheck are ‘protected’ by the association; (3) who decides which staff members are to be terminated, since many merely occupy chairs and desks and just shuffle papers around, but are part of the ‘old girls network’; (4) will the plan eliminate most ESOL staff and teachers, thereby compelling the students to learn English the old-fashioned way, by studying and making an effort – the way it has been done all over the world for centuries, and is still done globally today everywhere except in the U.S.; (5) will there be stricter verification of the students’ City residence , thereby reducing the number of unlawful students, evidenced by the number of out-of-state license plates on campuses and at bus stops; (6) will there be stricter enforcement of the Commonwealth’s ‘original birth certificate’ requirements for enrollment, to reduce the number of illegal aliens; (6) will the truancy costs be passed onto the ‘truant parents’ by having them reimburse costs of enforcement of their own children; (7) will there be a process to verify financial information (currently another welfare joke) to receive free lunches and breakfasts in order to reduce the 60% of students who receive them, a number continually expanding.

There are a multitude of cost-cutting issues which have nothing to do with reducing staff and teachers. But these issues require some thinking and courageous actions.
It should be observed that these PhD’s who claim to know the difference between Schiller and Shakespeare don’t seem to understand the role of education in society, and lack empathy with the people they pretend to help. By eliminating technical and ’shop’ teachers, the school system would (1) destroy the occupational opportunities for many students who don’t care about The Merchant of Venice, (2) force dozens of unqualified/uninterested students into classes they don’t want, which would then inevitably lower the atmosphere and academic standards of those classes for the other students; (3) require more teachers for those now-expanded classes, thereby cancelling AP courses in order to fill that void, and, consequently, impair the education of the gifted and talented students.
Many needed changes in the system required intelligent, authoritative action, qualities lacking in the School Board — whose first official action after their election was to waste time, effort, and resources by seeking $10 Million of federal money in order to bury problems with cash… to avoid making hard decisions. Thus, the first place to cut costs (and reduce the implementation of stupid ideas) is to by-pass the nepotistic and misprision School Board. Since $50 Million a year comes from the City taxpayers, Superintendent Magouyrk should make her proposal to a special, paid Education Committee of the City Council. That would compel the City Council to take direct responsibility for spending so much taxpayer money, rather than hiding behind a School Board which everyone in town knows is an arrogant, nescient cabal. The School Board is the single thing about the school system regarding which everyone seems to be in general agreement. Like the many good teachers in the school system, Superintendent Mygouyrk surely realizes that by now and needs to be rescued from the School Board, in order to rescue the City’s lawful and parentally neglected students.

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  1. Anonymous said on 10 Feb 2013 at 10:01 am:
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    What I want to know is why does Manassas City spend $1,000 more per pupil per year than Prince William and Manassas Park and even Fairfax? The results don’t seem to be adding up do they?

  2. Kermit the Frog said on 10 Feb 2013 at 10:01 pm:
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    Silly man Charles, don’t u know the Schools are always given a pass in this town. They can do no wrong in Manassas. If you dare to honestly ask questions they come after you big time. Witness the popularity of Cheryl Bass who promised the schools and their posse ” full funding ” whatever that means.

  3. Doug Brown said on 11 Feb 2013 at 10:59 am:
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    Don’t look for relief from the City Council. As I look over the CIP, it looks like they’re about to abdicate even more of their responsibility as the elected leaders of the city and hand over another large chunk of their budgetary responsibility to the new City Manager.

    On the bright side, the school board is creating a very large pool of plaintiffs whom some very creative, looking for work lawyer may be able to band together in a nice class action suit against certain school board members.

    So instead of producing children with a limited future due to a mediocre education provided by a mediocre school board who have to live with their parents, perhaps the class action relief might include all such children being housed and fed in homes of Mr. Albrect and Bushnell?

  4. Anonymous said on 14 Feb 2013 at 6:54 pm:
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    The public schools were designed to produce workers for the industrial revolution. These academic nuts are off there mark for eliminating shop classes. It seems that the math department cant get the kids to do fractions but want them to sit around and dream up the recreation of the wheel again? Pure academic distraction. In shop class they would hone the skills to use a tape measure, i.e. fractions to mastery! Electricity will get them to grasp what voltage and emf are instead of of theory that they answer A B C or D on some stupid SOL test. I am sorry but no all kids r cut out for college. Skilled tradesmen with a great technical back round are the Middle class.

    I thought that the city which is ruled by Republicans would not look or act like some kind of inept Democratic administration? The people in education are out of touch with reality.

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