Schools and Money

Paul, you just regurgitated Rexroth's spiel from a few weeks ago, almost to the letter. I got your psychovomit all over my keyboard. Ick. Sure, it has a lot of good points, but you/Rex are missing some things:

While Hopkins does have limitations to the amount of money we can use, it's more or less up to us to decide where to put said money. Like Erik said, a lot of it right now is being sent to the football program. Fiscally, that's understandable, because football (theoretically) makes money for the school district. But as far as I know, the little profit football actually makes is being funneled directly back into the program. Our operations money is being spent on football, the profits from which are shuttled into the "Bricks and Mortar" pot used to build new fields and such. It's almost like laundering money within the institution. I don't think the administration necessarily wants it this way, but it's how things are working now.
The result: an imbalanced spending routine. While AP tests lose subsidization, teachers have to scrounge for materials, the orchestra program's termination looms on the horizon, and art teachers have to charge students to take their classes, the school finds themselves with a lump of cash to spend only on renovations and technology. What do they do? They go out and buy two-score flat-panel iMacs. Now, as much as I love Macs, this from-the-hip purchase was completely unnecessary. The tech rooms get all these pretty computers, so that kids who take slacker classes in this wing of the building can check their email. Maybe 10% of the time (at most) they are being used to run Photoshop or iMovie - gasp! How processor-intensive! The school does not need these computers, especially when all they did was replace a bunch of still fairly adequate systems (but they weren't flat screened! flat screened!!!).
It's a similar story with the football field, auditorium, and cafeteria. While I'll be paying $450 to take my AP tests this year (and I know others who will be spending even more), I'm happy to know that the football team (that I never watch) will be able to play on their pro field (which I'll never use). Because of some glitch in the budget somewhere, the administration's priorities are being skirted.
So I propose a solution. Let's reverse the process. Instead of pumping funds into athletic and other non-educational budgets, lets take "Bricks and Mortar" dough and feed it into operations. Examples:
-All those computers combined are a complete waste of processing cycles. I would estimate that about 5% of their processing power is used by the half-retarded shop/tech kids. The school could run all of these computers as parallel processing nodes (there's even an OSX utility that allows this on Mac) and sell the processor cycles in this giant beowulf supercomputer to the highest bidder. Private companies, research institutions, even the US Government are always looking for cheap ways to crunch a lot of numbers. This technique has been tested in the marketplace and found successful.
-The auditorium and cafeteria about to be built can be rented out. People are always looking for large spaces in which to host trade shows, concerts, meetings, parties, lectures, seminars, etc. Why not capitalize on space that we don't use 100% of the time?
-Let's start trying to make profit with our "operations" resources. The bands, orchestra, and choirs charge for their concerts, but that money isn't given back to the programs, it's sent to a large lump fund. Each program should benefit from its own profits. This is only one small example; there must be other ways to make money on the "education" part of our educational institution. Ideas, anyone?

So it's not just a matter of adjusting priorities. The priorities are there: no teacher wants his/her program cut, the school's administrators (the majority of them, at least) must care about education first and foremost. The real problem is that there hasn't been enough motivation to change. As Paul said, we're still one of the most funded schools in the state; the administration hasn't yet seen what diminished operations will result in. There haven't been any significant movements/voicings by students, either, and barely any by members of the community. I don't think anybody is responsible for the fiscal errors that abound at Hopkins, but somebody needs to speak out loud enough in order to draw attention to their effects.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.