Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fiscal Responsibility

Daddy loved and raised eight kids on a coal miner's pay
Mama scrubbed our clothes on a washboard every day
I've seen her fingers bleed
To complain there was no need
She'd smile in Mama's understanding way
--Loretta Lynn, "Coal Miner's Daughter"

Maintaining and operating a school district is an endeavor that calls on a vast array of resources. Manpower, electricity, water, natural gas; infrastructure like water and sewer pipes, roads, and bridges; paper, steel, and brick; machines and mortar; iron and fire; the steam-driven ingenuity of American manufacturing and agriculture.... I'm sorry, I got a little carried away. Carried, perhaps, all the way back to the heyday of American industry. But, I have returned. With a point. That point is that it takes a great deal of money to run a school district. Budgets even in modest districts are often in the hundreds of millions.

The modern school district, inundated as it is with educational program demands (new football stadiums, new volleyball shorts), special interest group demands (student vending needs, trophy case cleaning), and other, unfunded, state- and federally-mandated programs (No Child Without a Milkshake, Pepsi-based Education), must do everything in its power to save funds wherever possible. With that end in mind, my new district has a print shop located on the premises of the district office. They prefer that 70% of all copying in the district be done at the district office. It apparently saves a boatload of money.

Each department is budgeted so much money. Each department member has to enter his/her department number into any copier or print order. Each department is charged accordingly. It really makes a great deal of sense, from a budgetary point of view.

But, I need to get used to this system. I am used to showing up at school at 6am, going down to the workroom, and printing 100 copies of an assignment for the day. Now, I have to have it ready the day before (can you believe it?). If I send it off (electronically) to the district office by 3:15pm, it will arrive at my school before class the next morning. Rumor has it that it works flawlessly.

We'll see.

(Author's Note: None of the expenditures mentioned in paragraph two are actually known to be a part of any school district I may be a part of's actual budget.)


Anonymous said...

Firstly and most importantly, what kind of teacher uses the word "of's"? What is that about, Reda?

Wow, so no more 6 AM copying frenzies? What ever shall a brother do?

This system sounds great. On paper. Let's just see if it actually works.

Good post yo.


ATR said...

One must learn to separate blogger me and teacher me. I do it all the time.

But you're right, that phrase kind of sucks.

Jami said...

I am becoming more envious with each passing day. LUCKY DOG! One more day before going back on Thursday. Oh what shall I do on my final day off? I guess I should finish up the laundry I have been putting off since Christmas (it's true).

When do you get students? -J

comoprozac said...

Whatever happened to a paperless future?

comoprozac said...

Bitter Honey's good, eh?