Covid funding wasn’t meant to be a permanent thing


I looked at an article recently over on the Flathead Beacon that talked about Missoula schools having to scale back on the money because budgets were getting pretty tight (code for “we ran out of Covid money”).

See the article:

Missoula Schools Move Forward with Massive Budget Cuts

Superintendent Micah Hill indicated that:

(The cuts are a result of) … the impending sunset of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds that originated during the COVID pandemic.

He also threw in the “declining enrollment” argument for good measure.

Covid funding wasn’t meant to be a permanent thing — it was a stop gap sort of quasi funding scheme designed to smooth out the rough spots during a period of time when normal education couldn’t be done in a practical, safe, or effective way — that’s all.

School administrators didn’t look far enough ahead into the future to realize that somewhere along the line, this money was going to go away. But they pressed on anyway oblivious to the coming shortfall.

One comment made by a 5th grade teacher sort of struck me as being somewhat off-cocked —

Jordan Garland, a fifth-grade teacher at Lewis and Clark Elementary was quoted as saying:

“From daily disruptive outbursts to instances of verbal and even physical aggression and violence, the spectrum of challenging behaviors exhibited by students demands a proactive and comprehensive approach,” she continued. “Without our behavior interventionist providing support, teachers will have no one to call when students are violent, out of control and unsafe.”

Sounds like she’s saying that there are daily disruptive outbursts in her 5th grade classroom — including instances of verbal and even physical aggression and violence, and she is powerless to do anything about it. (It’s always important to grossly overstate the need when it comes to money)

Disruptive outburst?

Well let me tell you about people like Mr. Chandler, Mrs. McCracken, Mrs. Sanders, and Mr Reed, to name just a few. These teachers, among many others, never shirked from their responsibility and put the quash to any classroom disruptions. If you didn’t get sent to the Principles office for cutting-up, then you got the Hack — Yes, the paddle board hung right there on the wall as a reminder that it was some pretty embarrassing shit to get the hack right there in front of all of your buddies.

All of the classroom bad-asses knew that getting the hack would knock ’em down a few notches in their public school social standing just enough to cause them to have a bit more humility amongst their peers.

Back in the day we had band class, shop class, track and field, home economics — we also had math (uck), english, health, social studies, civics, U.S. history, and so on and so forth. As I might recall, there were no special funding options for any of this stuff — it was all pretty much plain-jane and to-the-point. Very basic stuff.

There wasn’t any of this so-called, “There there dear … oh you poor thing” .. discipline in the classroom was about as straight forward as the class studies were and that was the end of it.

The behavior interventionist in the room was the teacher and he or she had all of the tools and where-with-all to administer any needed discipline.

None of the guys I knew that got the hack ever turned into serial killers or bank robbers. Not a single one of them ever suffered from the so-called trauma that the many these days claim occurs when you get embarrassed in front of your buddies. These guys moved on to have regular lives, jobs, families. They dealt with life’s situations just like the rest of us and were none worse for the wear. They weren’t special.

The psychology of the human brain has been the same since it has existed — The human condition was a constant back in the day, just like it is now.

Nothing has changed.

There’s always going to be shenanigans when you get a bunch of 10 year olds together in the same room. The trick here is to understand that though these kids are young, they are extremely intelligent, bright, and can figure shit out pretty darn quick.

As soon as you have to call for outside help by way of the so-called behavior interventionist, you’re done. These 10 year old kids own you now and there’s nothing you can do about it. Having to pay for someone else to do the job that you, as a teacher should be doing, flags you as a failed teacher, and as such, you are costing your district twice the amount of money than it should be paying to get the job done.

It’s unfortunate that the district has to make cuts or otherwise scale back on some of the frills. Districts that have “proactive” administrations aren’t having to cut back because they already knew that temporary things aren’t permanent things. These administrators aren’t in the business of disappointment — they’re in the business of education and they aren’t about to let people believe things that aren’t true.

Covid funding wasn’t meant to be a permanent thing and I’m somewhat disappointed to know that there are those out there that pretended that it was by piling on a bunch of unsustainable programs only to have to shut them when the money ran out.


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