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10 Absurd Things Schools Did To Save Money

10 Absurd Things Schools Did To Save Money


• What school put a student in charge of
teaching class because they couldn’t afford a teacher? Where can you find a school that becomes an
actual nightclub after hours? From collection threats to straight-up cheating,
here’s 10 crazy ways schools tried to save some extra cash. 10 – Threats
• There have been a number of cases in which schools make calls or send letters to parents
that sound very much like threats. • In Englewood, New Jersey, a school district
implied that it might contact child protective services about parents who can’t pay for
school lunches. • Meanwhile, Tucson, Arizona’s Marana
High School sent a note home with students demanding two hundred and fifty dollars in
fundraising. • And apparently, for every day the parents
did not comply with these fundraising demands, the coach would put them through increasingly
rigorous sprinting drills. • At least, that’s probably what they
mean by “grinders.” Right? 9 – Renting out students
• A high school wrestling team in Sidney, Montana, badly needed to raise funds for a
trip to a meet in Orlando, Florida. • Their idea for a fundraiser was to literally
rent out the students. The “Rent-a-Wrestler” program allowed
people to hire members of the wrestling team to perform yard work and other odd jobs for
10 dollars an hour. • Here’s hoping the “odd jobs” weren’t
too odd. At least it wasn’t an all-male car wash. 8 – School bus fees
• The school bus has always been a free ride to school, but some public school districts
have decided to start charging a fee for taking the bus to school. • The Keller school district in Texas charged
a fee of 185 dollars per semester to ride the bus, plus another 135 dollars for each
additional child in a family. • Douglas County schools in Colorado imposed
similar fees. • Both districts were looking for ways to
offset the high cost of student transportation, and decided on charging for bus rides, rather
than eliminating the buses entirely. 7 – Night Club Elementary
• A charter school in Philadelphia has a very good reason for kids to want to sneak
in after hours. • The Harambee (no, not that one) Institute
of Science and Technology serves about 450 students from kindergarten through 8th grade. • And when the kids go home, its cafeteria
opens back up as Club Damani, a nightclub with drinking and dancing. Now, the strange thing is, it’s illegal
to issue a liquor license within 300 feet of a school. • So why was there one IN a school? It turns out, the building was once an Italian-American
club, and when the school took over ownership of the building, the liquor license also carried
over. • But then it expired. And the club kept serving drinks anyway, until
they got busted. 6 – Serving expired food for lunch
• Schools in Hawkins County, Tennessee took 6-year-old pork out of the deep freeze, thawed
it, and decided that it was good enough to serve for lunch. • Well, some of the schools did. The meat was apparently distributed to a number
of schools, some of which decided not to serve it. • The cafeteria staff in at least one school
decided the meat it smelled awful. So naturally, they made some gravy to cover
up how awful the meat was. • Word of this got out, and the school board
decided to put USDA guidelines into effect for its food – which means meat can’t
be served more than 12 months from the time it’s frozen. • That’s great and all, until you realize
the school district was NOT ALREADY FOLLOWING USDA GUIDELINES. 5 – Neglecting repairs
• The city of Detroit, in general, isn’t the brightest and most well-maintained city
in the world. • That blight and disrepair have carried
over to Detroit’s public schools. • Many schools in Detroit suffer from leaky
roofs, a lack of heat or air conditioning, ripped-up gym floors, and rats and cockroaches
roaming the halls in broad daylight. • But far from finding the money for repairs,
these schools are having trouble just keeping their doors open. • Enrollment in Detroit schools fell from
150 thousand students in 2000 to 45 thousand in 2016. And without students, there’s no funding. 4 – Renting out school property
• Ann Arbor, Michigan , just 30 miles west of Detroit, is the home of the University
of Michigan, where tons of people go to watch football and basketball games. • Pioneer High School realized this, and
consequently, that their 5 thousand-space parking lot was a valuable asset. • Since the football games are generally
on Saturdays, and the basketball games are at night, they can open their lot to the public
without affecting school business. The school has averaged a million dollars
a year in revenue just from parking fees alone. 3 – Students teaching class
• Back to Detroit. As we discussed before, many of these schools
are in violation of basic health and safety standards. • But also, because the schools have no
money, they can’t hire enough teachers for the number of students they have. • In frustration, one math teacher quit
on the spot. The district made several attempts to fill
the vacancy, but couldn’t get anyone to take it. • So for the next month, the class was taught
by… the best student in the class. They put an eighth-grader in charge of teaching
math to other eighth-graders. 2 – Changing test scores to earn more funding
• Under the “No Child Left Behind” act, test results were everything. They determined whether students passed or
failed grades. • They determined teacher salaries, and
school funding, and all manner of other things. Basically, good student test scores were good
for everybody. • So, some Atlanta schools figured the best
way to improve student test scores… was to cheat. • More than 150 teachers and officials from
44 different schools got together and altered test sheets to raise score averages. • Some teachers even gave the answers out
during tests, or pointed them out to students as they walked around. 1 – Ads on buses and hallways
• Lesson number 1: Someone will always, always, always be trying to sell you something. Marketers are everywhere. • That’s basically what students are learning
in schools that have started selling ad space on school property. • Schools in Minnesota have painted lockers
with a bright ad for the aquarium at the Mall of America. • Meanwhile, New Jersey has passed a law
allowing advertising on school buses. Sahara Sam’s Oasis Water Park was one of
the first takers of that ad space, and many others are beginning to follow suit.

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