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budget cuts

School Sells Advertising Space on Lockers to Make Money

Photo Credit: David Brewster for the Star Tribune

Photo Credit: David Brewster for the Star Tribune

In a time when schools are still facing harsh budget cuts and teachers are paying out of pocket for school supplies, it comes as no surprise that schools are shamelessly scrambling for money anywhere they can.

The most recent cash flow fundraiser comes from the St. Francis schools in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where for $190,000-$200,000 a year, advertisers can pay to have their advertisements wrapped on school lockers, according to the Star Tribune.

The nearby Centennial school district is also reviewing proposals this week to strike a deal with School Media, the company that produces the advertisement campaigns.

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Studies Disagree: Are Bigger Classes Bad for Students?

class-sizeIt’s conventional wisdom that smaller classes are better for students, who will receive more individualized attention. Smaller classes, particularly of younger students, are also easier for teachers to manage. But as budget cuts get passed in response to lower tax-revenue, schools are asking how much worse bigger classes will be.

Various studies that have been conducted on the issue disagree. A landmark study conducted in Tennessee, called The Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio project, or STAR project, found that kindergarten and first-graders did significantly better academically in classes of 13 to 17 students, compared with classes of 22 to 25 students. However, these findings apply to a student population consisting of low-income families.

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Younger Teachers are the First to Go During Budget Cuts

nyc department of educationWhile many teachers are facing the prospect of losing their jobs due to budget cuts, those who have been teaching for the longest amount of time have been relatively safe in New York City. Here’s why:

The teachers’ union in NYC has protected teachers with the most seniority from layoffs in the past. However, a new bill might cause some changes to the city’s policy, concerning who is fired and who gets to keep their jobs during budget cuts.

New York City’s public school system may have to lay off up to 8,500 teachers next year because the city is facing a budget cut somewhere between $600 million and $1.2 billion. Under the current law, the youngest and newest teachers would be the first to go, a policy known as “last in, first out.” The new bill that is being proposed would not count seniority as the most important issue, concerning which teachers should remain and which should be laid off.

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