Drastic Austerity Measures for K-12 | Preparing for Deep Cuts to Education | THE SAFETY DOC PODCAST #126

[Podcast] Schools brace for brutal 20% (or greater) slash to funding as coronavirus crashes economies; Doc’s face validity check in; Washington State’s “report your neighbors” website; the basics of school funding; austerity measures for the 2020-2021 school year; what will get cut; what will get funded; what happens to school safety?

DIRECT LINK to MP3 of this Episode: https://tinyurl.com/SDP126-AUDIO

HOW ARE SCHOOLS FUNDED?

There are three main sources for school funding: federal, state and local. Schools receive roughly $12,000 per student per year. About half of that is funded by the state, 40% from local property taxes, and 10% from federal funds. Schools are funded for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.

UNPRECEDENTED FUNDING CUTS FOR 2020-2021

Doc notes that several sources have informed his statement that K-12 public schools in America will receive 20% less funding than the current year. He describes the variables in play that could cushion that figure or exacerbate it, such as use of fund balance, declining enrollment, tax-deferred business districts, or taxpayers demanding extreme austerity measures at the school district’s annual meeting – which is when the school board sets the tax rate for its homeowners and businesses.

WHAT WILL BE CUT

More than 80% of school expenses are staff salary and benefits. As states rush to reduce the number of required student-contact days from 180 to 140 (or fewer), staff compensation contracts would subsequently be reduced by at least 20%. Everything is on the table. Expect the deepest cuts to be in these areas: Maintenance and unencumbered building projects; support staff; bus drivers; kitchen staff; office staff; athletic directors/coaches; public/community relations positions; staff professional development; and student mental health.

IMPACT ON SCHOOL SAFETY

School safety is a $3 billion a year industry with 80% spent annually on fences, bollards, barricades, window films and surveillance. Expect school safety funding to plummet by 50% – and if students do not return to in-person schools, that figure will be closer to 75% as schools won’t fund bullying, harassment or threat reporting systems. School safety is important, but it will be heavily de-funded in this time of education austerity.

WHAT WILL GET FUNDED?

Virtual learning platforms; technology staff, individual Chromebooks, iPads and Hot Spots; Programs to train parents how to use technology; and a myriad of devices having to do with sanitizing from germ-zapping robots, hands-Free 3D printed door openers that can be operated with a stylus, and antimicrobial coating for door handles, chairs, desks, lunch tables, light switches – pretty much everything.

CUSTOMER PERCEIVED VALUE LED TO $100,000 GERM-ZAPPING ROBOTS in 2016.

In an article I wrote in August for Crisis Response Journal, I noted that On September 18, 2014, President Obama issued an executive order combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria – or MRSA. The pesky was showing up in school locker rooms, gyms, fitness centers, etc. — think of flesh-eating infection. That’s not exactly it – but close enough. A few wealthy districts are spending tens of thousands of dollars on special machines that kill MRSA on desks, door handles and fitness room equipment. A $100,000 germ-zapping robot named ‘Gronk’ is helping to kill MRSA at a Massachusetts High School (Perrodin, 2019). 350 of these robots were sold to hospitals, medical facilities and schools across the country.

This is episode #126 of the Safety Doc Podcast

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Looking for Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD?

Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.

Bullets or bacterium article – Crisis Response Journal: http://www.crisis-response.com/comment/blogpost.php?post=472 

Purchase Dr. Perrodin’s Book: Schools of Errors – Rethinking School Safety in America

www.schooloferrors.com

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