From the NorthJersey.com:
A one-year state fund to combat bullying offered far fewer dollars than districts wanted and its allocation had some unexpected outcomes: The entire Englewood school district got less than $200, for example, while a single charter school in Paterson was given more than $9,000.
Districts sought nearly $5 million in grants — or five times the money in the pot. The state decided to give each district about 20 percent of whatever eligible expenses it requested.
In Haledon, Superintendent Richard Ney figured he could maybe buy some pens and pencils with his district’s $36.
“Guess we should have asked for more,” said Ney, who added that the policy of giving each applicant the same fraction of its request was “pretty arbitrary.”
“You try to play it straight, and you lose,” he said.
The kids are losing, Mr. Ney, and it’s not because there aren’t enough allotted funds to process idiotic anti-bullying paperwork. Each dime of the $1 million spent to make this “unfunded local mandate” sufficiently funded represents money that could’ve been better spent on attracting quality educators into the profession.
Intellectually lazy legislators refuse to accept that there’s no monetary fix known to man for (1) a dying culture, (2) bad parents, (3) cowardly administrators and (4) an anti-teacher tort system. My solution? Empower teachers, something I’ve written about numerous times since this debate began. Let’s pass legislation to immunize teachers from legal consequences for taking reasonable disciplinary measures to keep their classrooms under control. We should also make it easier to kick chronically-disruptive students out of the general population. There’s no “right” to an education… if your behavior prevents other children from receiving the education which taxpayers are paying dearly for, then sorry, you’re out!
Rulers are a lot cheaper than mandates, folks! I checked online and they’re only $3.49 at Office Depot. Haledon could buy ten!
Any other education “reforms” are pure pandering (at best) and undisguised cowardice (at worst). And I predict that the governor/legislator who finally champions this point will be an instant hero among rank and file teachers (if not their union).