School Dollars at Work

As a teacher, I always find stories like this one in the Billings Gazette amusing. Despite the almost constant complaints from school districts that there is not enough money for students, there always seems to be enough to hire people outside of the classroom. Despite claims less than a week ago that the school funding formula was not giving the Billings school district enough money, the district is willing to spend $20,000 for the services of a communications director.

Some of the keen insight she has offered:

Last week’s school bus accident in Lockwood illustrated that shift. At her recommendation, the district quickly acted to alert staff and the media of the accident and gave updates on the situation throughout the day.

I would have offered that advice for $1.50.

School funding will always be a mess as long as the priority is not on the needs of students. Why are music, gym, and co-curricular activities always the first to be cut? Why not administrative fluff? As long as voters continue to see their tax dollars wasted like this, it will continue to be difficult to convince them to increase support for education.

PS: It’s communicator.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • Hopefully, school funding will soon be appropriated in the proper manner. It is always saddening to hear/see programs being cut. After all, aren’t schools designed to teach? With constant cuts of programs how can this goal be achieved?

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