Saturday, January 30, 2010


More questions about the Gates grant funding continue to nag teachers and district officials.

Here's what the Web Site did NOT provide but the paper did. My text emphasis and inserts.

"The Hillsborough school district's $100 million dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation requires a local contribution of about $102 million over seven years. (Not exactly matching.) Here's where some of the local money may come from.

* $8 million dollars a year now spent on staff development
* $16 million a year now used for computer labs
* $10 million a year from the state-mandated Merit Award Program which pays teachers based on student performance
* $30 million a year in new grants through the districts grant development
* $5 million to $6 million a year from the non-profit Hillsborough Education Foundation
* $24 million dollars through the Race To The Top program, from federal stimulus funds

Source: Hillsborough County school district officials"

This program is based on "vapor-bucks". Money that can not be counted because it does not yet exist.

* If Staff Development can withstand an $8 million dollar hit, how bloated are they and has the district flushed all the FPMS investment down the toilet? At least the Florida Performance Measurement System was data and research supported. Hell, everyone was adapting to it.
* If Mary Ellen's "I Can Learn" computer lab initiative and technology plan can withstand a $16 million dollar hit, how big is it? Will it be decimated? Will computer-based testing programs (FAIR, FCAT, etc.) and software curriculum programs (Grade Recovery: Plato, Compass), I Can Learn, FCATexplorer, iStation, RenaissanceLearning, Read180, Reading Counts!, etc) be abandoned because the software demands outpace the hardware?
We are in dire need of more bandwidth as we try integrating more technology into our curriculum and all THAT takes is money.
"which pays teachers based on student performance" - Are we really surprised that we are paying for our own pay cuts! Where the heck is HCTA on this !@#$!
oh and of note:
"state-mandated" must now mean "optional" to our officials - raincoats and handcuffs may be in the future forecast if the state has anything to say about it - if not: let the floodGATES be opened!
* $30 million - 30% from new grants that haven't been written or awarded yet. This rivals "The Psychic Hotline" !
* I am no longer doing anything that contributes to the
Hillsborough Education Foundation since they are supporting this convoluted scheme to limit your salaries. I find this unconscionable.
* $24 million from RTT - once again: one time "Obama bucks", I don't even know where to begin on this one.

Maybe you do -

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Surely, you're not surprised. This kind of thing has gone on for years, apparently. Good old MaryEllen just developed it into an art form. The sheer scope of this mess boggles the mind. Like you-- I don't know where to start to try to figure it out. No money for raises, supplies or tech, but ... By the way-- good to have you back. A couple of questions-- why aren't Bill and Melinda helping us out in their area of expertise--tech? Why "fix" teachers? Also, where did all that textbook money go in the budget for a bew adoption of English texts? Springboard only "costs" $7.00, right?