Thirty-three percent of the teachers at my last school were special education teachers. That is two-point-five special education teachers for every special education student. No horse shit, if you go there, & if you walk the halls as much as I do, you’ll see special ed students flanked on either side by a teacher. There are also three special education super-special six-figure-salary administrators, & that’s NOT counting the regular administrators. Anyone that teachers in America can tell you exactly how top heavy schools are when it comes to administrator salaries.
Before you con’s read this & start an uproar, administrators are NOT union.
The top heavy administration is bad in public schools, but sheer awesomely horrible in charter & magnet schools.
But I’m not here to complain about the problem America faces in schools when it comes to their administrators. Those sons-of-bitches can go & rot, we already know that they are the problem. Even good old liberals like my daddy refuse to vote yay on any bill that comes with a pay hike for administrators. For good reason, if Chicago Public Schools cut back on the amount of administrators, or at least only paid them an upper-middle class salary, they wouldn’t need to close so many MINORITY schools.
No, I’m not here to point out what you already know. That’s not what this post is about.
Today I’m here to be an asshole.
And why not, no one else is going to say it.
The school where I used to work, that school was like the mall from the Blues Brothers, it had everything. I mean everything, so much so that the kids there were complaining that they didn’t have an indoor pool.
When I was going to high school, I was complaining about the lack of working showers. You made that mistake once at you time at my old high school & once you got that fart smell of sulfur blasted in your face when you tried to turn on the water after PE, you never did it again. Today’s kids don’t even take showers.
But they have two gyms, a weight room, a ballet room, a bicycle room, a theater, three floors, six computer labs, a full working library, a Main field with AstroTurf, three baseball fields, three softball fields, four more practice fields, two with bleachers, ten tennis courts with bleachers & lights, three press boxes, two golf carts & about six dozen bicycles for when the weather gets nice. This school, seriously has everything.
It even has a back-up bus that makes three stops to the school to pick up kids coming out of practice & drop them off at their individual homes.
This school has everything.
The reason why is because it takes on the special education students for three different towns. There are about fifteen special education students in a school of about two-thousand students. Regular classroom size is eighteen.
It’s one hell of a racket given how much the surrounding cities fork over for that one school to take those fifteen students. Not to mention the obscene amount of money the federal government pays the school for those fifteen students. Not to mention the obscene amount of money the state of Illinois pays the school to take those fifteen students.
Because of those fifteen students, that town had enough money to build a brand-spanking-new state-of-the-mother-fucking-art school. Seriously, that school has everything.
The result is, the surrounding cities, two of which have higher property taxes, have over crowded classrooms & a lack of resources. This is particularly problematic because of their higher student population. You see, they got stuck paying the lions share of their tax money to the school that took their special education students.
Did I mention those surrounding cities, the ones with the over crowded schools are also white suburbs? Not rich white suburbs, mind you, the school I was working at was in a pretty working class neighborhood. But it was run like it was in fucking Barrington, or Evanston, or you can name the rich Chicago suburb of your choice. Skokie?
White suburbs with over crowded classes because all the special ed students went to a neighboring town. Man, they got boned. Had they kept their student’s they’d have more teachers instead of empty classrooms here & over crowded classrooms there.
No one is going to suggest cutting funding to special education, or even redirecting that money back to, well, education. Doing that, well, that would be political suicide, wouldn’t it? Seriously, do you want to be the congressmen or state representative that makes Corky cry?
No, you don’t.
You probably don’t even want to be the asshole that blogs about it.
Don’t worry. I’ll be that asshole.
I’m fine with making Corky cry. I’ve been around the political block before. I did the ideological thing when I was a kid. I did the activist thing under Bush. But now it’s a different ball game for me. Now I have no problem making Corky cry, because now, after all these years, this Gen-X is going fucking Millian on politics as a whole. I’m too pragmatic to care if Corky gets a indoor pool because an indoor pool ISN’T going to fix anything.
We’ve entered a bold new world ladies & gentlemen & I can’t fix the sins of my father. No sir, not me & not the combined force of my entire generation. But what we can do, is identify the problem & find a solution that we can leave in place for others to follow. Even if it means being an ass hole. Pragmatism through Utilitarianism. Find the greater good, even if it makes Corky cry.
Making Corky cry won’t get you laid, it won’t win you any popularity contests, it won’t get you elected, & it won’t make your parents proud, but it might very well get more students a better education. Because what we are doing now, is tantamount to robbing Simon, Jim, John, Andy, Phil, Tom, Bart, Matt, Jim the Lesser, Pete, Jesus & Judas all just to pay Paul.
You see, because no one wants to be that asshole, special education is rolling in dough. If I majored in special ed, I’d still be teaching. Not because there are more & more special ed students out there, but because, well, special education is where the money is. Politicians can cut & close normal schools all they want, but when it comes to voting to decrease funding for special ed, well, they don’t have the balls to shut that down.
I’m such an ass hole, I know. This makes me sound like one inhumane mother-fucker, doesn’t it?
Well, not when you stop & look at the facts. For the cost of one special education student we can teach around twenty normal students, that’s if we cut funding to what it was in the early 1990s adjusted for inflation. Twenty students without a serious IEPs, twenty students with a better chance of making it to graduation. If just stopped educating them all together that would be about thirty-one students, an entire class in Chicago.
That’s a lot of people.
If we cut back on Special Education to what it was in the early 1990s, well, the school that I used to work at, that couldn’t afford to be open any longer, it will still be teaching poor Latino kids. The Special Ed kids at the luxury school? They’d have to move back to the old suburban school–which is still better than any school you’d ever find in Chicago Public Schools.
Awe, certainly no indoor pool then.
But then, if they did that, if they cut funding to what it was like before we just threw money at special education, three other schools would stop being over crowded & actually have the money to get the teachers they need to teach the normal students instead of throwing all their money at a school that is seriously contemplating an indoor pool because it can afford to, because it takes all the special education students.
I told you I was going to be an ass hole. I’m making Corky cry.
Don’t worry Corky, you’ll still get your indoor pool. No one is going to act on this blog & I’m assuming in response, I’m probably going to lose readers & get some hate comments to boot.
Because if we cut spending to special education, instead of closing schools in Minority neighborhoods in Chicago, we could afford to keep those schools open & give those low income students a chance.
I’m such an asshole, what with talking about trimming some of the enormous amount of fat off our special ed programs in America so that we could save, what, hundreds-of-thousands of kids nation wide in a time of economic crisis where our students are really getting screwed out of a decent education–& if you are a poor minority student, getting screwed out of an education period.
It’s a tough call, I know, but things weren’t so bad in the 1990s, as far as special education went. We could afford to run it at that level for a little while, give thousands of students a fighting chance for a little while.
Because I can assure you, the school I was at, it doesn’t need an indoor pool. It has an entire gym it hardly ever uses & three schools are overcrowded & under resourced because of it.