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February 22nd, 2011
01:14 PM ET

Education Funding Fix

Bigger classrooms?  Higher taxes? Cut teacher pay? Cut teacher benefits?

How would you fix the education funding gap?

Leave your comments below.


Filed under: Ali Velshi • Anchors
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. DaveH

    I understand cut's have to be made in these states. But I haven't heard what our public servants in office are willing to give up to help save their states money! Why isn't any one asking this question? Maybe the power to vote themselve's raise's should be included in this bill?
    Dave H in Sandusky Ohio!

    February 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  2. Keith

    Being a construction worker i have seen millions wasted, for what I see as unecessary building accesories. Too many intricate items built into schools that have no educational bearing whatsoever. And it happens everywhere. I guess the teachers and their unions are to blame for those millions as well. Or could it be the irresposible spending of the people at the top. How about the expenses for the governor and his associates? This, if passed, will trickle down to every WORKING AMERICAN. When they bust the unions, everyone will work for whatever they are willing to give you. And of course, for the people at the top,life will go on as usual.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  3. Jason

    Quit looking at gov. employee pensions and classroom, teacher issues. This whole thing could be fixed if you just take a look at the welfare system, we are breeding laziness in our youth. You take care of welfare, the money problem goes away.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  4. C DEB, Detroit -- yes, THAT Detroit

    I'd send a nice Rolex to Robert Bobb, Detroit's Emergency Financial Manager, for every day he doesn't run for the hills! He's civilized, qualified and, beyond belief, dedicated to salvaging the city's crumbling school system - while dodging taunts and vitreol from the very people he's sworn to serve. Detroit didn't get into this sorry state overnight, and Mr Bobb's vision will take time, probably years longer than Detroiter's can imagine. Kudos, Mr Bobb. Thank you.

    However long it takes, once Mr Bobb has stabilized this mess, I'd corral Detroit's kids into safe, clean buildings, staffed with enough teachers retrained to utilize UNIVERSAL EDUCATION BROADCAST ACROSS THE INTERNET!!! Teacher-to-student ratio would be increased to provide better education. NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! Just application of available technology. It might cost more, but the kids would be functional, not functionally illiterate as many are now.
    See Montessori and charter schools - THEY WORK!!!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  5. Jillinva5

    It is amazing to me that in 25 years of teaching, 15 of those in the fastest growing county in the nation, that no one has EVER asked me what type of school building we should build. Amenities????? Hmmm. We have a teacher room where we eat, plan, xerox, conference, hold meetings, etc. I do believe that privacy for meetings is not too much to ask. Through the years classrooms have been housed in former closets, basement areas near the boiler, etc. I am curious what items are around that "have no educational bearing whatsoever." When I hear someone ask the purpose of certain items, it is usually in reference to technology. Our kids are much more advanced in this area than the average adult today. We prepare them for their future.
    Larger class sizes means less time available for your child during the block. Remember that class time has to include instruction, guided practice, independent practice, and remediation for those who need additional help, enrichment for those who grasp it immediately, and disciplinary action for those who interrupt the educational process. In a 90 min. class session, in a class of 30 students your child receives the opportunity for 3 personalized minutes of instruction.
    I just put forth these thoughts for those who have such drastic ideas either way regarding education fix.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  6. Mary

    I would like to see a comparison of the amount of state and government employees that are on enhanced retirement due to disabilities vs. the general public. Seems that many have found a way to milk the system beyond the generous retirement packages. Needs to be looked at!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  7. Judy Wright

    Middle class families have taken one hit after another when it comes to the poor economy. They should not bear the entire burden of fiscal responsibility. Economic woes affecting the nation can be aided by changing federal and state tax laws to make all political campaign contributions taxable. Millions of dollars in campaign contributions given to Federal/State/Local elected officials as well as PACs could generate significant tax revenue all across the country.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  8. Kathy major

    I think we need to look at the real problem. 45.5 billion dollars a year to educate illegals. That does not include their medical, food, housing, etc. which we can not get. Our lederly are living in poverty. The very elderl;y have a max. of $16 a month in food stamp assistance, yet these illegals get thusands of dollars a month in assistance. Our education system is lost...education barriers with language and money, yet the people it is taken out on is the American citizen taxpayer. I think it is about time we take care of our own, defend our borders and stop paying and encourgaing illegals. We need to start enforcing our laws. Aso, I think we need to make English the official language and stop paying billions to publish everything in hundreds of languages.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  9. Ann

    I would cut back on the special education requirements. Why should the government spend thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on a single student? Why are schools responsible for far more than educating the child: providing speech therapy, occupational therpay, behavior therapy, special classes for those with "ADD"? Parents and families should retain responsibility. Why is special ed provided until the 22nd birthday when an "average" student is "kicked out" of the school system years before that.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  10. texie tisor

    I worked for the school district for 20 years. The best way to save big $$$ 'S is to start from scratch on the lunch/breakfast programs. Eliminate the cafeteria altogether. For students that get free lunch/breakfast supply the families with bread, peanutbutter, jelly/honey, fresh fruit (apple/orange) and supply a carton of milk. The kids would eat much better and get more nutrients from this type of lunch. Most of the food served in school cafeterias gets tossed in the trash. I know this would eliminate some jobs but would save millions. Sincerely, Texie Tisor, Garden Grove, Ca.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  11. Justin

    I think this is rediculous cutting education cost. No wonder we are the dumbest country in the World. You know where we should cut costs. I have a friend that works in a government run factory and quite a few of the people that work there just sit in a chair and push a button all day and get 15 to 20 dollars an hours. I'm not say all of the people are and that some aren't important jobs but come on Teachers have the hardest job's out there and get paid the least amount of money. I think It should be other way around teachers should get paid 15 to 20 dollars an hour and some of those factory workers that just put items on a conveyor belt and push a button should get paid less. I mean really there are alot of jobs out there that get more money then teaching jobs. We should be more interested in teaching our youth and giving the teachers the extra money and attention to help our future then to give someone that sits at a desk and types or pushes a button on a factory line more money then a teacher.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  12. David Abbe

    How getting rid of collective barganing is going to save money has me really confused.Ohio and wisc. governors are union busting plain and simple.The peolpe that think this is good,should be careful,there wont be such a thing as a contract.It will be take it or find yourself without a job

    February 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  13. ron

    the Detroit Schools budget problem:REALLY? close 1/2 the schools, and TRY to physcially place 60 kids in a room designed for 30-35.
    think about it. it ain't happening.
    actual available space is the show-stopper, here.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  14. Joey

    I am in favor of cutting schools if neccessary. The United States is not perfect, and we can't expect everything to be happy lala land. Marines sacrifice a lot more than what a lot of Americans complain about. Now it is time for regular Americans to sacrifice for the country they love. Everybody should simply be good Americans and accept cuts. That is the only way we can fix any budget problem.

    Joey – Columbus, Ohio

    February 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  15. michael tennessee

    why cant we take some of the money from the defense budget, which is consuming the majority of the budget. how can you defend something if your not properly educated.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  16. Paul

    This question is the same weather we discuss this issue or the US economy. Put people back to work and the revenue is there to support the budget. What I don't here is tax cuts for any US company that puts people to work. Is it not true, the revenue lost by giving the tax cuts would be made up plus some by the revenue from employees? Can we make it more affordable for a company to have employees? Restructure the tax code to provide cuts to business not the owners by creating jobs in the US with US workers. Tariff foreign companies that bring products into the US. This makes sense but is not being discussed. This is only the start of what can be done.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  17. Shirley Coleman

    I believe that the Governor and all state politicians should have to take the same pay cut and as the teachers and other state employees lose barganing rights and benefits so shall the politicians. To be good or great leader they shall lead by example, so take the first cut Governor and collegues follow behind and I,m sure others wouldn't mind helping the state. Seems like Pres. Obama's health care will be needed in Ohio now

    February 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  18. Howard Falcon

    The problem is all about money and teachers should not be treated any different than anyone else. Why should I pay for their medical insurance when I can't pay for my own. If I don't show up for work I don't get paid, yet they have personal days off where they get paid and we have to also pay for a sub.

    Each child should have a laptop or e-book and get rid of paper. This would save a ton of trees and money

    Teachers need to get a life.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  19. Shirley Coleman

    I believe that the Governor and all state politicians should have to take the same pay cut and as the teachers and other state employees lose barganing rights and benefits so shall the politicians. To be good or great leader they shall lead by example, so take the first cut Governor and collegues follow behind and I,m sure others wouldn't mind helping the state. Seems like Pres. Obama's health care will be needed in Ohio now!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  20. Kimo Kekahuna

    Education will soon become virtual and teach on line. College can have 200 kids in a theatre setting with laptops and screens linking teachers from around the world.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  21. larry

    Stop busing, that will save billions. And police the Schools to make sure everyone, in all commuities get a fair education.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  22. Ke'on

    Have the politicians and government officials take pay cuts. The hundreds of thousands paid out to them on and off the table could be used to reconstruct and resurrect the budget. We need to closely monitor who has their hand in the cookie jar, you'll find that a lot of federal/state officials have crumbs on their ties.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  23. bill

    In my opinion the entire U.S. shold be dumping more money into education not cut it the country may be bankrupt but spending now will result in huge profits from the nex generation of americans just look at China education is huge there and if we don't step it up America will not even be # 2 next to China

    February 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  24. Emery

    This microfocus on teachers is the biggest case of Doublethink ever foisted on the American people. If the state treasury is out of money, it is certainly not teacher pay that is at fault. Teachers are paid far less than the general worker in state or private sectors. There actually IS plenty of money in the state. What has happened, however, is that income for people making over $380,000/year has increased by over 3800% since 1990 due to tax cuts for their income level, decreases in business contributions to unemployment compensation coffers, and ever increasing prices for goods and services, to name a few reasons. However, income for the middle classes has remained level while they continue to be blamed for deficits while being directed to provide more and more services to society at large. The money is there, but these politicians refuse to get it from the people who have it and can afford it but refuse to share in creating the solution.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  25. James Vogeltanz

    insted of a public school system. Start changing over to private school system. Where teacher and the school is paid for by the students. I know this will cut out a lot of lower income families. But if you switch to a private school system the school will be able to get sponsorship from major companies like GM, FORD or Microsoft

    Years ago i saw new story on CNN where a teach sold advertising of local companies on his test, to help pay for the school supplies he need for the class room .... on the top of the student test where company logos he charge a fee to the companies depending on what the test was

    Why can't school do something like that??

    February 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  26. Jeff

    Ali I have researched the pay that teachers are being paid to teach and it reflects that they are receiving almost three times the amount that I receive from my employer where I work. If I work at this employer for the same amount of time I... would not nearly have the same income that they are receiving from their employer. What is far in complaining that there are so many people out of work and through my taxes on real estate it pays for their salaries. I work to pay their salaries, along with their benifits. It is heart breaking to see these people complain about their income and benifits. I see their incomes at or near over $80,000, when I am trying to live my life on $30,000. Wake up and learn on where your income is coming from. To many foreclosers are around the neighbor hoods and we wonder why you complain.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  27. Kathryn VonGethicker

    February 22nd, 2011 2:23 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I think rather than destroy the middle class, and BTW unions are the only reason that there are remnants of a middle class, why aren't the politians offering to cut their huge salaries and benefits? They should be the first to lose benefits. When was the last time they were periodically tested to see if they can do their jobs?

    February 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  28. Lee

    Many people seem to favor wanting to tie teacher salary to student achievement. But the role of the parent in a child's education is being overlooked. Far too may parents are leaving the entire burden of educating their child to the school system, when they themselves have a signficant role to play in the process. If you would like to tie teacher salary to student results, then we should also tie school tax levels to student results. If you as a parent are not willing to play a part in your child's education and thus help your child achieve, then you need to pay more taxes to offset the burden that your failing child is putting on the educational system.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  29. Henry Garma

    There is no money! No doubt about that. Why dont we eliminate all subsidies to all the rich, big corporations, oil companies, farmers, big banks and Wall Street. Eliminate all tax cuts. Then, assess everyone their fair share for all the shortfall in our budgets.
    Targetting certain groups to shoulder the sacrifices at the same time giving tax cuts to others is a recipe for rebellion!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  30. Nina

    Stop extending taxes to the ultra rich. Stop giving corporate tax breaks to big corporations. Take some of that money and fund the schools properly. It isn't rocket science, CNN. You're looking very unsophisticated in your coverage of these issues.

    The puzzlement your newsreaders seem to have over why our country is going backrupt when Wall Street, Corporations and the ultra rich are siphoning off all the wealth from working people is, frankly, embarrassing to watch. Start properly covering the protests happening right here in THIS country–in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, (and there will be more) instead of what's happening in Libya, or what's happening on Facebook.

    Start informing the public like a news organization. Isn't that what you're supposed to be?

    February 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  31. larry

    what's the sence of busing if you can't afore to teach.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  32. Dumb dog

    Instead of decimating our middle class even more, why don't we create an influence tax.
    We tax organizations ten times the amount they waste on lobbying, campaign contributions, and any other attempt to influence the peoples government!.
    Make it for alll organizations.
    Make it for the last ten years.
    BUDGET SOLVED

    February 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  33. paula fedewa

    For four decades I taught students in the arts,math and social studies. I loved every minute of it(even though they were middle school aged children). I took pay cuts,compromised on benefits and put many dollars into my retirement,pension and social security.
    I saw excellent programs slashed and eliminated and weathered the
    "back to basics" storms.
    Now, the Republicans have made it their "cause" to break the unions.
    I even heard one legislator call for the repeal of child labor laws!
    Detroit schools are putting 60 students into the classroom of one teacher. Parents want to "take over" failing schools because they
    feel they could do a better job.The Tea Party screams for lower taxes but big business,and those making(or having family money passed on to them) over a million or even a billion a year get their tax cuts extended.How do we pay for this? By taking away many benefits of the working poor and the middle class.
    What we have taken away is our quality of life and our competative edge in the global market.Shame on Republicans for their greed and short sighted "fixes" and shame on Democarats for not standing up to them. Until we realize that TAXES are how we pay for a civilized society and quit treating them as a dirty word, we will never be able to climb out of the ecomomic hole we have dug for ourselves.
    RAISE TAXES!For EVERYONE!
    Paula Fedewa

    February 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  34. helen

    Taxes need to be raised. We are behind now in education. It will get worse if we cut teachers, increase class size. Sometimes you have to spend money. Business wants well educated workers, maybe they should cough up some money like Bill Gates. We want good teacher's. but we want them to work at Walmart wages. Who would want to be a teacher now days?Law makers are blaming teachers instead of themselves for the fiscal problems. You can't cut budgets and taxes at the same time.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  35. Mikey

    You know that this step against the teachers is really dimwitted! Make it easy and fair for the common person. Tax ANYONE; 1)-who lives in the US for longer than 2 months out of the year and 2)-who makes more than 1 million dollars a year
    at the rate of 100%. They can afford it. And Dont allow any tax write-offs for those who make more than $500,000.
    If the rich think they are being treated unfairly then make them live with only $65,000 per year, like 90% of other americans. Lets see if they can make it at that amount or if they will be willing to live with the 1 million they are allowed.
    The greedy need to realize that it is because of them that we are in this position. Think of how cheap banking would be if we didn't have to pay the $100 million in CEO bonus' and expenses.

    At these rates, someone should really calculate how much would be saved and go to the government in taxes if these measures were taken to people like:
    Movie Actors
    Sports players
    Financial persons
    Music Artists
    ETC...

    I am sure that within a year or two, under these measures, ALL poverty, hunger and education problems could be corrected and put back on track.
    It's bad enough you made the taxpayers bail out the rich, but to condem the poor to a life of slavery by continuing to support the rich and not making the rich support themselves is terrible.
    But I forgot, this is the US 'The Greatest Dictatorship in the World'
    Just like North Korea but with many more Dictators(the Rich)

    February 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  36. Ron

    I don't believe the state should be obliged to teach children before the age of reason, about 6. Therefore, in these tough economic times, not paying for kindergarten would be a straightforward way of cost-sharing with parents. In addition, many children are just marking time after their 16th birthdays because they're being supported and they can get away with it; yet they're not learning anything and have no intention of going to college. A required GED test at the end of the 10th grade would allow the state to reduce costs in the 11th & 12th grades to just courses for college prep students and GED remedial courses for those students who still want to try and pass it.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  37. Shirley Coleman

    Detroit! The youth laziness has come about due to state cuts to save money by cutting out youth programs and playgrounds, only to end-up spending more on unecessary accesories in government buldings as well as schools. No No No it's not welfare that helps people low in spirit, education or just hard times it's the welfare being given to coporations that's a hand up not hand out.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  38. MattF

    It seems to me the reason we are in our current financial circumstance stems from a lack of compromise at all levels of government. If the state governments want to take something away they have to give something back in return. That is how compromise works. If you want to take away Union Rights from teachers then you also must garantee them their voice will still be heard. Teachers everywhere are not afraid of budget cuts, that is a reality they understand and have been dealing with for years, they are afraid that the government will become deaf to their concerns.

    Trickle-down economics is obviously not working. Here are a few things much more practical the governmant can do. First, the Packers just won the Superbowl why not use them too get more money for the schools. Second, here is a website of all the programs Wiscon could cut before cuting rights of bargaining for teachers.

    http://www.wisconsin.gov/state/core/wisconsin_business_incentives.html

    Finally, if the government of Wisconsin wants to generate more revenue tell people to eat more cheese!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  39. Martin V

    A great educational system is a critical foundation for our country. without it we cannot compete successfully against China, and other countries. Cutting lunches, larger class size, lower pay are not remedies but rather poorly thought out quick fixes. The real culprit is the design of our country's budget. When over 50% of the US budget goes to the Military Sector then the 30% or so for all Human Services (including education) suffer. That's the real culprit.

    Some parts of the country have tightened their belts in education with county wide school systems such as Florida instead of individual township systems as per the New Jersey model. Class sizes of 60 may work for a college lecture hall but it is a ridiculous and even dangerous concept for a public high school. if you don't think so go and try to teach a class of 60 in a high school and see what happens.

    Military and Human Resources spending are essential parts of our national budget. They must exist in harmony and balance. Our most vital resource has always been the people. Until we can provide a balance of funding for them we are in greater danger then people understand.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  40. larry

    Everyone is afraid to stop busing why? Stop the free give away of welfare. workfare is abetter system where you have to work and everyone puts back into the system. I'm tired of watching some people riding in cadillacs and can't afford their own way. or police the welfare clients. what really bugs me is the same people use their access cards and get two carts full of groceries and me and my wife are middle class and can't aford a cart full of food, and the programs for people who can't afford the bills won't help me with my gas or electric. that's how you fix america: stop the waste!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  41. Vickie Yates

    It is a privilege to go to school. It should not be manditory. The Federal and State government are broke. So are we, the people. In this new age of technology. I think it's time to restructure the schoolrooms. Instead of putting 60 children in one class, the schools should be able to do the same structure as the colleges are doing now.
    Use computers, Skype, an other technologies to keep the kids that want to go to school in the forefront and stop using the school system as babysitter service and make the parents pay to subsidize poor school performance from their children. Keep state government outta raising children that don't want the help and keep schools in the forefront in the US educating children that understand that education is a priviledge and is there for all US children to learn, not to socialize. Schools could provide a voucher for those children, especially for arts and sports that truely want the education, not a babysitting service. Keep the parents responsible for their childrens education, not the government.
    I came from a family of 7 Children. We were all different. Only 3 outta the 7 finished High school. I went to summer school to get as many credits as possible to finish early. My parents could not afford the book fees, but were too proud to ask for help,
    So I worked after school and summer full time to pay for my own clothes and school books. Kids these days need to understand we are broke too.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  42. Scott

    I am watching the news and saw the story on teachers in Detroit having sixty students in a class unless the emergency financial planner can create a new DPS aka General Motors restructuring plan. What is happening right now is our new Republican govenor has already hired many emergency financial managers, who will use the General Motors plan that bankrupts the local school districts and cities. Then the can "start over" by creating a new district that will never honor the teacher's pensions or benifits.

    The working people of the America will not continue to accept this new "mean season", where fiscal emergencies are created and trumped up in order to give crazy tax breaks to corporations (and the top two percent) while they eliminate commitments that have been paid for by years of service and contributions. Quit blaming teachers and public workers for Wall Street's greed.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  43. helen

    I just thought of another way benefit costs could be contained. Why don't each state form their own health insurance co-op. Buying into private health insurance is costly as they want to make as much profit as possible. Pensions, make sure the lawmakers can't take it out and put it in a sensible plan.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  44. gloria richards

    If state and federal taxes on our wealthiest individuals and corporations were readjusted to the rates they were paying thirty years ago we wouldn't have all this chaos. Balancing any budget should include the idea of increasing revenue, not just reduction of critical programs like educating our kids. CNN did a piece a couple of weeks ago that showed the wealthiest individuals in our country have steadily become richer and richer and are paying a lesser and lesser rate of taxation while the poorest among have become poorer and have less opportunity to better their own or their children's lives. Why not return to that data and consider whether Obama's plan to rescind the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy might have resolved many of our worst problems?

    February 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  45. Tim

    I would fix by sending an outsider to The Whit House. Like Timothy Gay Sr.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  46. larry

    Make all these colleges and hospitals pay their taxes no more tax exempt. that will get more money for education or better yet get rid of republicans.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  47. C. William Garner

    I had a text published in 2004 on school finance shortly before retiring from Rutgers. In it I explained how schools need to manage the accounting system introduced in 1984 for state and local governments. This has not occured in most cases. Until they are, education budgets do not stand a chance unless a district has more money than it needs. Schools, colleges, state and local governments have become too big to use old failed practices of the past; just like the old tired practices of using pensions. We are beyond both and need to move into the 21st century or go back to the one room school. Bill Garner

    February 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  48. Diana

    How would I fix education?
    First recognize we are overpopulated for the number of jobs we have available and by the time those asking for "physical discipline" from teachers and protesters pay themselves what they believe they deserve, thre isnt much left for the "lesser "protester.as we realize we have prgressed no further than the Age of Enlightenment.
    Teachers are currently paid less wages than a minor aged baby sitter without a degree -per child in the classroom. Not sure the American society can compete with China as teachers strike for Human Equality Recognition Rights.
    It seems in our country , parents obviously are not having children for the sake of those children and Mommie looks to a newborn for unconditional love she doesnt receive elsewhere and Daddy teaches Lust is love, especially in states where there is no sex ed......while Mommie is held accountable and responsible for the child(s) , maybe laser surgery for MALES might help.
    Ohio Protesters say KILL the BILL because these teachers are the ones expected to perform miracles when the child is dropped of at school, and oh yes, there are those parents who believe because their child has not developed to the stage of equal communication skills when sent to school, those miracles will also happen at school.
    If parents were expected to HOME SCHOOL children thru the 5th grade with lesser requirements, maybe no child would be left behind when it comes to reading.
    In addition, maybe by the time a child is sent to school in the sixth grade, the greatest complaint from union and non union teachers alike (parents intruding on the classroom or trying to instruct teachers how their child should is not performing enough miracles would dissolve.
    Laser surgery as preventative care makes more sense than the day after pill for all age women.
    and parents teaching theuir kids rather than living thru their kids even makes more sense.
    Is there any wonder why more than 50% of our teachers nationwide drop out after student teaching and of those left, fifty percent drop out within the first five years of teaching?.
    Teachers are really getting a bad rap here

    February 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  49. Boddicea

    What amenities should we remove from public schools? Let's talk about my alma mater, Carmel High School, in Carmel, Indiana. You may remember it from a few years ago. At the time it was the most expensive school renovation project in the country. They build a multi-million dollar sports stadium. Today the only students allowed to use the stadium are the football team...and only on game day. They built a separate practice field for the team to use the rest of the time. There's also a natatorium used mostly by the high school swim team. The gym classes only use it for a few weeks each year. And then lets talk about the planetarium. Yes, I said planetarium! And the list goes on.

    Let's cut back on the sports programs. High school coaches don't need to make 6 (or even 7) figure salaries! And open up these facilities to the general public for use when the school isn't.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  50. Margaret Hunsucker

    Union bashing is a Red Herring the Republicans are using to avoid solving the real issus of the budget=== the banks, Wall Street and corperation TAX breaks are what got us in this mess. Attacking your own state workers is a poor policy.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  51. Angela

    Maybe Mark Zuckerberg can help the Detroit Schools like he did for Newark, New Jersey?

    February 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  52. Mike

    This fight is not about education, teachers, or funding. This fight is about busting unions, pure and simple.

    When was wealth and income inequality at its LEAST extreme? When union membership was at its highest. When did the middle class grow? When unions grew. Why did we go 80 years between economic collapses in this country? Because we enacted FDR's reforms. Why did we relapse into collapse? Because we weakened and dismantled those reforms.

    Working people began handing over their rights to the oligarchs when they bought into Ronald Reagan's lie that government is the problem, not the solution. He convinced people that we were all being ripped off by "welfare queens." All one has to do is google wealth inequality or income inequality to see where the money has gone. And it ain't to poor people!

    There's a reason we have government. Try the Great Depression for one. The 2008 crash didn't occur because of too much regulation, but too little.

    If you're working for a living, why would you ever vote for a Republican? They care only for the rich. That's who pays them.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  53. Shirley STL

    It' not welfare for those in need it's welfare for oil and other big coperations that's consuming too much of Fed. Budget and that's effecting the states budget.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  54. C DEB, Detroit -- yes, THAT Detroit

    STOP HAVING CHILDREN YOU CAN'T AFFORD to feed, house, clothe, educate or bail out of jail. Just stop having so many kids. Let us pray.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  55. gh

    It sees like Dickens should be required reading in schools again, because it will prepare us for life if these draconian cuts take place.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  56. Vicky Crane

    Raise taxes on the banksters and other richest 2% and raise taxes on corporations that are holding this nation hostage.

    February 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  57. Jim

    This situation is idiotic.I am a member of a trade uion and I support the state on this one. They (the teachers)are acting like kids,If I don't get my way I will take my toys and go home is not the way to teach children.and thats the way they are acting.If you lost the election to bad.You are not the government go home or find another job that gives as much healthcare.(DUUUH)There is no other place to get that kind of coverage inthe great old USA.It's time to get grip on reality.As for the democrats hiding out and not doing thir job they should have a voter recall.

    February 22, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  58. Frusterated Teacher

    Why is there a "Wall Street" bailout, but not an education bailout of any kind? As a teacher, I know I did not cause this... But Wall Street did cause their devastation. If we are going to cut education... we better start preparing for a massive influx in welfare and prisons. We are already one of the least educated industrialized countries in the world. These cuts will ensure that we are at the top of that list as well.

    Another poster: "Lee February 22nd, 2011 2:27 pm ET" hit the nail on the head... How are teachers, who see a kid between 45 and 90 minutes a day, expected to have more of an impact on kids than their parents? It is ridiculous to me that parental involvement is not an issue when legislation is being past! IT SHOULD BE! I as a teacher am EXPECTED to be a teacher, facilitator, mentor, moral example and instructor (although it is really illegal for me to do so), take kids home, pick them up, feed them... where does this list end.

    Where are the parents??? Why has the teacher become more accountable for kids than their parents? WHY?

    February 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  59. Michael

    Maybe our children could pick up after themselves, clean their classroom and at then end of the day put the trash bags in the hallway so the school districts save on maintenance cost and divert those funds to teachers which are badly needed
    Michael

    February 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  60. Krys

    i think that the goverment should be paid lots less than what they are paid they are paid to much! The people what are working for the government are getting paid millions each year and alot of the money could be put toward thefees that they owe. What are they doing with all that money they are wasting it. They are the ones that should be getting paid less. There are no need to be getting paid that much when the country is in suck need

    February 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  61. Shirley STL

    The problems I see is just like some of these posting. People are talking about the little people on welfare, how many people getting welfare would equal one welfare check to a big corporations' check. Listen people look at the corporations welfare check, to speak out about the people who work and get help here and there is nothing campared with corparate welfare. Why hurt the ones who need help speak out on the abuse from the top of the crop.

    February 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  62. Kathy

    Tax the churches that do not seperate themselves from politics and put that toward education. We would then probably be able to give free college to everyone after that

    February 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  63. Joe

    ....I have been a teacher in private school (salary $12,000 a year) and then in public school (25,000 to 32,000 a year). I currently pay at least $1500 a year to keep my education up to date for certification and another $1000 a year on classroom supplies. I don't usually complain about my job or salary. I knew when I went into this that it wasn't a money maker. My husband (with a high school degree) works as an IT person and currently makes over $70,000....my brother (no degree/left high school early) works for McDonald's and makes $60,000 and has a company car etc...they both got stock options, raises and bonuses this year. I got nothing...in fact our union accepted a 0% increase for the next three years. My health insurance went up $200.00 and I won't even get into my food bill! How can we save money? Look somewhere besides teacher salaries and benefits...teachers are middle class too! We do work hard for what we get....

    idea....get out of the two wars we are in that we can't afford!!!!

    February 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  64. Jim Gayne

    The right to organize labor unions is freeedom in this country that is much like the system of checks and balances that helps keep our government functioning. Removing our unions allows government and corporation to finish driving the middle class into the history books.

    February 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  65. Jim Gayne

    If you want to fix education you only have to do 2 things.

    1) Change the way it is funded. Districts with more money are able to better provide for their students.

    2) Formulate a process by which education is just as much a right as a privilege. Districts are bound to educate every American no matter how violent, anti-social, and derugged up they may be. Schools have become the one-stop band-aid for every social ailment known to man. In spite of every intervention we develope 15% of the kids generate 95% of the disciplinary actions that destroy the efforts of teachers on a daily basis. Sop allowing these studnets to destroy the classrooms due to absentee parents ect. and watch the grades soar.

    February 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  66. Keith

    for those still following this, i am sure not bashing teachers. I am behind them. But I have seen, and helped to install such items as indirect lighting in a drywall ceiling, at a cost of approx. 490,000.00 in liue of a regular suspended ceiling with layin lighting. Sttel structures that have NO structural support at all, just astetically pleasing, at costs of approx.$ 350,000.00. I would much rather see he money spent for computers, or some type of educational supplies. that was the basis of my response. All that put aside, again I state that this ordeal is motivated by government to subdue any power that the middle class still has.

    February 23, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  67. gvscroggins

    February 23rd, 2011 3:54 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I am a teacher of First Grade. Already my required job load has been increased over the last ten years by more that 75% yet the time given to prepare lessons, meet with parents, grade papers, write reports, and clean my room(custodial cutbacks) has been cut from 210 minutes a week to 80 minutes a week. Already I and my fellow teachers work on Sat. for an average of 5 hours in order to prepare properly. We give up our own time, taking time away from our own families, to make sure your children have a clean, well run classroom and a good education. Without our union, our district would pile even more on us and take more away. I have no problem paying $1,000 a year for my dues. Thank God for my union. And, people, please understand that no one is standing in line to do this job. We have a shortage because most college grads can make far more in the private sector than in teaching. We put up with a lower salary and extra hours because of the trade off for our pension. Please note that we pay 48% into our pension and the state/district matches the rest. We do NOT get social security and our benefit package doesn't even cover us! I pay $165 a month just to cover myself and that is no for good coverage. This profession is just as it always has been.....No one wants this job during good times, and when your fancy jobs fall apart you want to pick on us,,....In fact it seems like the public and the media are always picking on teachers. Why can't you celebrate the difficult job we do and the amount of money and time we dedicate to this job. I repeat that most people would not want my job.....especially when it is a rainy day or week....I hope someone at CNN can really profile this job. We are not getting rich doing this job and we are not getting rich with our pensions. Give me a break and tell the facts please.

    February 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  68. marcus sutton

    Why don't you refer to the wisconsin fiasco as a 1.44 billion tax on the public sector?

    February 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  69. Barbara Johnson

    My, how everyone fits into the 'scheme of things'. Feed the Corporations (Big Pharma, Oil, Coal, Wallstreet) all of the tax money with nothing left for the rest of us. Keep supporting Billionaire movie stars (Charlie Sheen the abuser/druggie) and the Billionaire sports figures...keep paying for their stadiums (tax money) so they don't have to. Wouldn't want them to miss their profits!

    Do away with 'Welfare'. Those who are sick and poor...without jobs or the ability to work...They don't need to live. Just starve them to death.

    Dump education. Who cares if our children can read or write?

    How about the 2% tax cut? I'll bet that would pay for many, many dedicated teachers who hang in there because they love and have faith in your children...even if you don't. How disgusting to slam public education. The irony is that most people who do the slamming had a public education and for some OTHER reasons...can't cope! Instead you attempt to place blame for everything upon the shoulders of those who care about education and the healthy growth of children into adulthood.

    Just continue to wallow around in the undercurrent of the 'reasons' for the near demise of our country...see where it takes you. Instead, start standing up for the values and issues which made America great in the first place. It wasn't Corporations, Robber Barons or Oil Barons; It was the small FAMILY farmer, and those who built the country with their own labor. Check out your State Capital on Saturday...There might be a flower show in the Arboretum!

    February 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  70. Jon

    Ali,
    You are not facing the situation in Wisconsin correctly. It's not about the budget in Wisconsin, it's totally about Union Busting via Governor Walker, elected by Billionaire contributions. Their philosophy is Low Paid middle class jobs with No benefits. I don't look for Governor Walker ever to concede his position because he is "bought and paid for". It won't happen.

    February 26, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  71. Pat Bruns

    I was just watching one of your CNN Money segments and heard advice that individuals save 10% of their income to insure retirement security. Please dig a bit deeper about public service taxpaying workers' and contributions to their pension systems. I am a retired public school teacher in Ohio with 30 years service. I contributed 10% of my income for 30 years to my State Teacher's Retirement System. My district contributed 14% which was established by state law and is governed by standing committees in the House and Senate. The percentages paid by each party and the benefit received are not part of collective bargaining. In order to also contribute to a 403b fund, unions must bargain those "benefits". I did all of that. Thank goodness for my well managed STRS pension. When Wall Street greed took down the rest of the world, I lost 40% f my 403b portfolio and it is still not quite back to square one. As I see it, while I have lost three years of investment gains, my investment into my STRS pension system has provided me with a stable, if modest income,

    Can someone please tell me why "the experts" keep pushing individual pension planning when even your segment pointed out that the average income of working Americans has remained at about $33,000 for the last 20 years?

    What is wrong with companies building into their business plan, decent wages, benefits, and pension benefits for those who actually do the work? That's what collective bargaining attempts to do for workers.
    All working Americans should unite because unions are the last stand between our ability to earn a decent living and a total takeover by corporate greed.

    February 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  72. Dave Whipp

    I was listening to CNN today and heard Ali say that we should pay teachers more but cut their benefits - because it isn't fair that tax payers are paying for their heath care and pensions. What utter nonsense! Tax payers are paying the full cost of the compensation package of employees of public education, whether it is 100% cash, or a 50:50 split between cash and non-cash. If politicians choose to defer the funding of their non-cash obligations then this isn't the fault of the employees.

    We need to stop playing political games, and stop the creative accounting, and focus on real issues like how to improve society's stake in the education system so that it isn't an us Vs them battlefield. My personal involvement, as an engineer, is to participate in a math mentoring program: teachers still do the teaching, but I can help a student to practice the skills (and we all know that 10000 hours of practice is needed to master any skill)

    February 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  73. shafeah m'balia

    how do you expect 2 openly anti-union commentators to include some kind of balanced discussion on why collective bargaining is absolutely critical to teachers and all public workers???

    February 28, 2011 at 9:55 am |
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