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Education Government The Almighty Buck

Temporary Classrooms Are Bad For the Environment, and Worse For Kids 187

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the false-economy dept.
tcd004 (134130) writes "You've always suspected those trailer-type portable classrooms are no good, right? It turns out you're right. Analysis of prefabricated classrooms in Washington shows the structures often don't allow for proper ventilation, leading to terrible air quality for kids. Students in temporary classrooms have higher rates of absenteeism than those in standard classrooms. And the energy-inefficient structures often become permanent, sucking on school energy bills for decades, and requiring more upkeep than permanent classrooms. What's needed are new designs for healthy, sustainable temporary classrooms."
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Temporary Classrooms Are Bad For the Environment, and Worse For Kids

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  • Flawed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @09:35AM (#47107723)

    > What's needed are new designs for healthy, sustainable temporary classrooms.

    No. What's needed are more permanent classrooms.

    • by Agares (1890982)
      I was thinking the same thing. Also the problems we have with our education system is the reason why my future kids (got one on the way) will be either home schooled or sent to a very good private school.
    • Re:Flawed? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Trepidity (597) <.delirium-slashdot. .at. .hackish.org.> on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @09:43AM (#47107805)

      You'd almost think the humans who came up with the idea of "buildings", durable structures intended to last for a significant period of time while sheltering their occupants from the elements, were on to something.

    • Re:Flawed? (Score:5, Informative)

      by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @09:50AM (#47107889)

      Yes, but if land is at a premium, then sometimes you need to relocate while the new structure is built. My district is replacing every single school in the system one at a time, and so they need to use trailers for the students who are currently having their school rebuilt. No one thinks this is ideal, but no one has suggested a better idea, either.

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        I bet the old ones aren't even that old. And these stupid things cost many 10s of millions.

        They should design them modular so that additions can be built when needed.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          I've personally never attended a school that did not have additions, but I recognize the possibility that someone could be so stupid as to design one without making expansion possible.

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            I've personally never attended a school that did not have additions, but I recognize the possibility that someone could be so stupid as to design one without making expansion possible.

            Well, it's possible that the building was meant to have additions. But the additions consumed all the space that was available for it and the school still needs to expand. Except now it has to expand on parts that were never designed to have additions - e.g., the outdoor field gets encroached on, the playground area, etc.

            Usual

            • by MightyYar (622222)

              At a certain size schools become too big anyway. Plans for expansion probably don't need to go beyond 2000 students or so - at that point you are better off with an additional facility. I've seen papers [sagepub.com] where the optimal size of a school is somewhere between 600-900 students with a non-linear dropoff in student performance at either end.

        • by cdrudge (68377)

          I bet the old ones aren't even that old.

          You'd probably bet wrong in a many of cases.

          My local school district is the largest in Indiana and hasn't built a new school since 1976. There's 62 buildings owned by the district, with 51 of them being schools and the average age is 54 years old. Almost all of the buildings were built during rapid population growth to educate the baby boomer generation. In the 60+ years since then the population has continued to grow but physical classroom sizes have remained the s

          • One solution would be time separation. Some overcrowded NYC high schools would have an AM / PM shift. Another novel idea would be 4 day school weeks, accomplished either via longer days or a longer school year. One group M-TH, a second W-SAT, and an unlucky third shift (M,TU,F,SAT). In this manner, you have 2/3 the students and teachers in the school at any given moment. Only a handful of schools need to do it in order to reduce the pressure on the entire system, and I'd imagine with the draw of 3 days

            • by cdrudge (68377)

              Longer days but fewer of them may work for some occupations, but my guess is that the current length of the day is designed for the child's learning capacity and ability to retain information that is given to them in faster, larger quantities.

              Due to a particularly bad winter, my kids had to attend school for an extra hour for about a month and a half to make up a few of the many snow days they had off. Multiple teachers of theirs as well as a family member commented that the extra hour of classroom time wa

              • Longer days but fewer of them may work for some occupations, but my guess is that the current length of the day is designed for the child's learning capacity and ability to retain information that is given to them in faster, larger quantities.

                I had suggested a longer school year as another alternative. Longer days would be more for high school level - I can see that being a disaster at earlier grades, unless nap time was included. High schoolers often work a part time job after school anyway; this would open up the possibility of them taking a weekday shift in place of random 2 hour blocks throughout the week. Same amount of school and work happening, just shuffled more efficiently.

                The other consideration is who is going to teach longer school days and more of them? Most teachers are overworked, underpaid, and underfunded for what all they do. And you'd want them to work longer days in the classroom? And give up a weekend day?

                They aren't giving up a "weekend" day: there would be the sam

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by PongStroid (178315)
          Define old. At my son's school, across the street from our house we had a classroom in a portable. And not just *any* portable: Built in 1941 for the army, and installed at the school in 1943 to temporarily help with overcrowding in the regular classrooms. Our neighbor, who is 95, lived here when it was installed and her kids (who are now great grandparents!) attended class in it. My son, now 13, also enjoyed this classroom. This "temporary" portable, literally spitting distance from the Hayward fault,
          • by lgw (121541)

            Well, I expect the change was more due to a gradual reduction in the absurd governmental corruption in the cities around Silly Valley (I'm assuming you're talking about Hayward or Fremont or Milpitas). I had gotten so bad that basics like street lights and road repairs just weren't happening. But there was a noticeable (to me, anyhow) change a couple years ago, and the cities really seems to start doing their jobs again. Not sure if that extends to the school district, but clearly the budget crunch start

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        My father was a teacher, and I noticed recently that there are still "temporary" classrooms where he taught that have been there at least twenty years. Granted they're not exactly trailers and more like prefab homes. Eventually there was a new school (6th grade only middle school) but that doesn't mean the temporary rooms have become unnecessary. Population doubles but the budget has not doubled to match.

    • > What's needed are new designs for healthy, sustainable temporary classrooms.

      No. What's needed are more permanent classrooms.

      What's needed is better planning to begin with. By the time the "analysis" is done for schools, and road for that matter a ridiculous amount of time will have passed. Then to get approval it has to go through years of bureaucracy. So you end up with a study that projected the next 20 years. But by the time all of the federal, state and local governments get done it goes to the bidding stage By the time the actual building is finished it's already 10 to 15 years past the original analysis. And usually the p

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This sounds like someone who has no idea how things are done.

        I've participated in my local school district's planning process. They hire a demographer to project growth patterns and plan accordingly. They're currently planning to put a bond proposal on the November ballot that, if passed, would have kids in newly built schools in 3 years, which is about as fast as they can be designed and built. The demographer projects growth as far out as possible, but you know what? It's not an exact science. There are x

      • Lack of planning is the problem. On a cost per square foot basis, temporary classrooms are very close to the same as new construction. The primary difference is lead time. A new construction project can take a couple of years, just for the construction, disregarding whatever political process leads up to the school board deciding to pull the trigger. On the other hand, temporary classrooms can be set up in a few weeks. My school district has done plenty of both over the last several years, including bo

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by NotDrWho (3543773)

      No. What's needed are more permanent classrooms.

      Yeah, but then the hippies who sponsored this "news report" won't get $200,000 a pop for their "sustainable" portable classroom.

    • The problem that a lot of schools have is the population per area changes over time.

      For example.
      1960's City has a lot of kids. They go to school graduate then move out of City A because their parents who lived there made the City too expensive to grow up in.
      1980's Suburb has a lot of kids, They go to school and graduate then move out of the Suburb because their parents have made the suburb too expensive to grow up in.
      2000's SubRural "more remote suburbs" schools are finding they are getting an influx of st

      • by swillden (191260)

        Now if you want permanent classrooms, we need to work on a way where property prices just don't go up, for the communities, as people who get older acquire more wealth thus make an ageing community that is too expensive for the younger generation who is starting out.

        Or else get the younger generation accustomed to the idea that they're going to have to start small and gradually build up. That's the traditional pattern, but high mobility and greater wealth has convinced us that everyone should be able to buy a nice home in their 20s or 30s. The traditional pattern also led to much smaller homes, because people generally became able to trade up about the time their kids were leaving and they no longer needed the space.

        • That doesn't help if your Starter Home costs 50-100k more then it does 20 miles away. Or the community has knocked down all the starting homes as they are lowering property values.
          It isn't about getting a fancy home when your are young, but getting a decent one.
          Now if more people move away from the good school areas when their kids leave, vs using their new found extra income to convert their modest home into a more luxurious home, that means the next generation who has kids can move into the area and get

      • by Ichijo (607641)

        Many cities have erected [streetsblog.org] barriers [citylab.com] to affordable housing under the guise [leagle.com] of maintaining property values. So when young families cannot afford to live in established neighborhoods, that's by design.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      We have more than enough class rooms they are just in the wrong places.
      The actual number of young people has been decreasing since the end of the baby boom.
      I do agree that more classrooms is better but I really want them to take a pyramid approach to schools.
      Lots of small elementary schools with no busing. You go to school near where you live.
      Middle schools are fewer and much larger so you meet more people and have an opportunity to take more diverse classes.
      High schools are massive and very few with as di

    • by LoRdTAW (99712)

      You need land for that to happen. I live around the corner from a large public school in New York City. The land was almost a split between the footprint of the building and the school yard itself. As the cities population grew, there was a shortage of classrooms. The solution was to extend the school and take away half of the school yard. So now the school yard is smaller. They also did this for another public grade school not too far from me as well. I know of one school that had what little of a school y

    • by mspohr (589790)

      Sometimes you need permanent classrooms. Sometimes you need temporary classrooms.
      School populations grow and decrease due to lots of factors (economy, jobs, local growth, etc.).
      If there is a good forecast for a permanent (10-20 year) increase in population, you build permanent classrooms. If not, temporary classrooms are a better solution... but the point of this article is that you need to have good environmental quality temporary classrooms, not the trailer trash which is currently in use.

  • by mdsolar (1045926) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @09:35AM (#47107729) Homepage Journal
    My kids' school finally got to an enrollment where classes won't be held in trailers. But, the trailers will still be used. The school district is thinking that expulsion and suspension do more harm than good when students are left unsupervised, so they are switching to more in school retention. The trailers are going to be used for that.
    • The school district is thinking that expulsion and suspension do more harm than good when students are left unsupervised, so they are switching to more in school retention. The trailers are going to be used for that.

      Ahhh... Getting them ready for the industrial-prison complex early, huh?

      • The district has some zero tolerance policies, no weapons for example. Sending kids home to an empty house may not get the behavioral issue addressed.
  • by JJJJust (908929) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [tsuJJJJ]> on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @09:41AM (#47107773)

    When I was in high school and they were adding on and renovating, everybody wanted as many classes in the portables as possible because they had air conditioning and our 50 year old school building didn't.

    I'm sure more was learned in them than could have been learned in a 90 degree classroom.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      It was that way at one of the elementary schools when I was growing up. Most of the schools did not have the "problem" because they had extra class rooms because of end of segregation. They made elementary 1-5, "kindergarten was added a few years latter." Sixth grade was moved to the black elementary school and seventh grade to the black high school.

      My elementary school had no AC until I was in 5th grade. It was supposed to but they didn't want to spend the money at the time. The joys of first grade in sout

  • by Calydor (739835) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @09:41AM (#47107781)

    Sustainable but temporary. Maybe it's just because English isn't my first language but I really fail to see how you can have both; or why you would WANT both.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      It's only absurd if you consider it to be a closed system. If the trailers are portable, then they can be reused at another site once construction is complete. Temporary, reusable trailers can be better for the environment than other alternatives:
      - Refurbishing an older building for temporary use.
      - Building non-mobile temporary structure.
      - Clearing a vacant spot of land for the new structure.

      Some of these old school building have inefficient boilers that are over 40 years old... they aren't exactly winning

      • Re:Oxymoron (Score:5, Informative)

        by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @10:08AM (#47108121) Homepage

        Some of these old school building have inefficient boilers that are over 40 years old... they aren't exactly winning any efficiency awards. Moving students to a temporary location and then rehabilitating or replacing the old facility can be a net environmental gain.

        Sure, that's one possibility.

        But, allow me to offer another.

        Where I live, schools seem to be going up quite fast. Without exception, within a few months of the school opening (if not before), they truck in the portables.

        Brand new schools, with portables.

        So, either school boards are uniformly stupid, and can't add. Or cities are failing to make the developers pay enough to build adequate schools for the amount of houses they build. Or school boards are so under funded, they start off designing a school they know will be outgrown before its even open.

        In any case, from what I see, they're being used to compensate for short-sighted planning or too-small budgets on brand new schools more than they're being used for generating any net environmental gain due to remediating old heating systems.

        But every single school near me, some built withing the last 3 years, most built in the last 10, has portables. And they more are less going to be there permanently.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          I obviously cannot argue that the permanent use of temporary systems is good practice.

        • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

          The schools should be designed in a modular fashion that accommodates growth in 25%-35% increments. Unfortunately, that makes your first increment cost 30-50% more and doesn't save much in the future phases.

        • Where I live, schools seem to be going up quite fast. Without exception, within a few months of the school opening (if not before), they truck in the portables.

          Brand new schools, with portables.

          So, either school boards are uniformly stupid, and can't add. Or cities are failing to make the developers pay enough to build adequate schools for the amount of houses they build. Or school boards are so under funded, they start off designing a school they know will be outgrown before its even open.

          .. Or the portables are intended to serve a different, specific purpose. Do you know which classes are held in them?

          When they started putting mobiles in the school lots back home, I got suspicious. When they moved all the LD and "bad kid" classes into them, I had my suspicions confirmed - the portables exist to segregate groups of "undesirables" from the rest of the student body, likely to limit their influence both on attitudes and government-mandated test scores on which funding is based.

          They even have th

        • If you live in California, then it has nothing to do with the school board. A few years ago a company that makes portable buildings lobbied the governor for a requirement that all schools should have at least a few portable classrooms.

          So you can thank Gray Davis for that. I'm sure similar things have been attempted in other states.
        • by Uberbah (647458)

          Or school boards are so under funded, they start off designing a school they know will be outgrown before its even open.

          Low taxes have high costs.

    • Re:Oxymoron (Score:4, Insightful)

      by king neckbeard (1801738) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @10:03AM (#47108065)
      They want an environmentally/economically sustainable way of having temporary classrooms when they need them. A similar example would be disposable cutlery. Petroleum based plastic cups are intended to be temporary, but they are not sustainable because they deplete natural resources and do not biodegrade. By contrast, there are now cups that fit that role made from plant products, but will break down after a month or two of environmental exposure. These cups are intended to be temporarily used, but their design is at least intended to be sustainable.
    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      Because a classroom is unlikely to be utilized at capacity for its 50-year lifespan given fluctuating enrollment.

      New subdivision built in year 1, year 4-5 the elementary school in the neighborhood has an enrollment boom, then a bust around year 10-14. The next boom isn't likely until the first families in the development move on and new young couples move in and have kids, which is likely around year 25. So, a trailer that is installed in anticipation of the boom can be demolished during the bust at the e

  • KATIE CAMPBELL: Other studies show that, as CO2 levels rise, student performance falls.

    Yes, that is an honest-to-god quote from this report. No joke.

    • by impossiblefork (978205) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @09:58AM (#47108005)
      No, it's actually quite right.

      Just yesterday I happened upon a presentation by a company called Swegon, which designs and manufactures ventillation system equipment, in which they showed a material from a British researcher who (I believe on their proposal) had arranged measurements of student performance as a function of class CO2 levels and classroom temperature and the effect on the speed with which students performed diverse simple tasks, like adding numbers, multiplication, etc. and overall it turned out to drop by 30% as CO2 reached the worst levels.

      In some schools the CO2 levels reached about 2000 ppm. The idea that this doesn't affect people is ridiculous and properly designed ventillation systems are important.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      Would it sound less weird if they said, Studies Show Glucose and Oxygen Help Brain [go.com]? Your brain (like the rest of your body) is a chemical reactor and needs fuel - that is glucose + oxygen. You can't just breathe the same air over and over all day.

      I doubt anybody (but you) linked it to global warming. Am I right?

    • You do realize that they're talking about indoor CO2 levels that are far in excess of the overall atmospheric levels related to global warming?

      Moreover, they do not imply that the CO2 itself causes poor performance. It's clear that they're using it as a *measure* of poor ventilation, which is correlated with bad grades.

      Maybe it was a little stuffy in the school where you were learning analytic reading skills.

      • by NotDrWho (3543773)

        If they're not "implying that the CO2 itself causes poor performance" and it's just about measuring poor ventilation, then why are they using rising CO2 as the gauge instead of the much more relevant declining O2 levels?

        • Because CO2 is present in parts per million, whereas oxygen is around 20%. If amount of CO2 increases by a few hundred percent, the amount of oxygen drops by a small fraction of 1%. It is much easier and more accurate to measure the difference in CO2 concentrations than that of O2.

          Perhaps you shouldn't be throwing barbs about global warming if this middle-school-level science wasn't already obvious to you.

      • by compro01 (777531)

        Moreover, they do not imply that the CO2 itself causes poor performance.

        Actually, some of the levels they measured are high enough for that to be plausible.

    • by compro01 (777531)

      KATIE CAMPBELL: Other studies show that, as CO2 levels rise, student performance falls.

      Yes, that is an honest-to-god quote from this report. No joke.

      Yes. Hypercapnia can affect mental function and some of the levels they measured are high enough to be symptomatic.

      It's not "Wharrgarbl global warming!", it's "The ventilation in these schools is so shitty that students are suffering CO2 poisoning!".

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Yes, that is an honest-to-god quote from this report. No joke.

      You know, relatively small shifts in CO2 percentage do cause shifts in attitude and attention. And guess what? We were at 400 ppm all over the globe just a few days ago, when we should be below 350. Suckit.

    • The amount of CO2 in a closed room is measured in percentages, whereas the amount of CO2 in the outside atmosphere is measured in PPM. They aren't talking about AGW here.
    • by spitzak (4019)

      I suspect the CO2 level in the room you are in is a bit too high if you are so mentally impaired to think this has something to do with global warming.

  • Strangely, the classes I remember the most were in those trailers. Those teachers seemed to have a lot more autonomy and utilized it. "The whole class is looking tired - let's go for a walk around the trailers to get some fresh air while I continue the discussion." It's also plausible that it's entirely psychological in that I only remember them more because it was that different of an environment. I do seem to recall, however, the teachers who had those wanted to be out there and made the most of it.

    As for

  • Energy efficiency and good ventilation are pretty much two concepts at odds. Preventing air circulation with the outside combined with insulation is one of the two most important ways to make a building energy efficient. The other important method is thermal mass. i.e having the building full of concrete and brick, which is also at odds with temporary structures. If you have enough thermal mass, you can afford a bit more ventilation without losing all the heat instantly.

    So as far as I see, this is pie in th

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      Or how about the fact that parents send their kids to school sick vs. losing a day of wages or worse yet spending for a doctor to get the kid better? Schools are petri dishes for everything and anything. There are however air to air heat exchangers that can minimize energy loss and provide enough fresh air. The problem with those is cost. Meh, maybe they should just open up a window once in awhile.

      • maybe they should just open up a window once in awhile

        It probably isn't allowed. In my high school there was too much fear of someone taking a dive out of a 4th floor window so they all had to be kept shut. Made for some very unpleasant days since the building was old enough to not have AC in it and it wasn't uncommon for highs to reach into the 90s with dew points in the70s. To make matters worse the heating system was done with a boiler and radiators so there wasn't a proper ventilation system to move the air.

  • Or is there really nothing other than CO2 levels which correlates strongly [tylervigen.com] with the use of portable classrooms and with absenteeism? Perhaps low socioeconomic status has nothing to do with which school districts have more trouble affording permanent buildings? Perhaps higher numbers of children per family are unrelated to which schools are overcrowded?

    It's hard to tell, when the bibliography consists of "studies show".

    What's sad is that this is still better-than-average science and science reporting. We

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @10:18AM (#47108249)

    I'll never understand this. In my city there are at LEAST 4 abandon super markets. There are many other abandon commercial spaces. In one grocery store they abandon, they actually built new businesses in the parking lot, feet away from the front door, making the building totally unusable. These are not run down, older buildings infested with rats. In many cases they are less than 20yrs old!

    When this country was founded, government functions were held in local business buildings. Often older buildings were taken over by the city government for use rather than let them turn to blight. Why aren't we doing this now? I could WALK to a 50,000sq/ft building that's been abandon for over 5yrs from where I'm sitting right now. The primary function of city government is zoning. If there is an abandon commercial building they should tell the owner to either develop it, tare it down and turn it residential or sell it to the city to be used for things like emergency classrooms.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Our school board is in an old mall so it still is done.
      For a School it is harder to do that? Where do you put the play ground?

      • by PPH (736903)

        Where do you put the play ground?

        Parking lot.

      • Our school board is in an old mall so it still is done.
        For a School it is harder to do that? Where do you put the play ground?

        Don't. Gym shouldn't be part of school.

        ok, ok, that's a different argument. Let's see... an abandon JC Penny would make a great gym. Turn on the escalator and have the kids walk up a never ending staircase!

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          I said playground. You know where you went outside and had recess and you played four-square "not the app", or tetherball, or tag, or soccer, or catch... You know a playground.
           

    • I'm in the industry, and your idea actually does have merit. Even ignoring the red tape, like zoning, the building code requirements for commercial buildings is lower than for schools, so some simply are not acceptable for school use. Those that are will require extensive upfit to work for classrooms and educational spaces - it's not uncommon for the finishing of a commercial space to be 75% or more of the cost of the building (as compared to the "shell") and that doesn't include the need to strip the ins

      • Yea, I'm not very familiar with all the pertinent laws. I have been on the receiving end of the city changing zoning and kicking me off my land though. We lost our family farm because the city wanted to develop the area. It was strait forward "You're moving" They offered my father a pretty poor deal... he turned it down... they offered him even less... he turned it down... then they used eminent domain. This was decades ago though, things may have changed.

        In regards to the building regulations... relax them

  • No, what's needed is an infinite supply of money, of course. Now, if you don't have a handy Leprechaun or fairy dust, then I guess you're screwed.

    Too many internet stories (commentaries, blogs, whatever) fail to comprehend what in negotiations is called BATNA - essentially, what's the real alternative?

    The reason we USE temporary classrooms is because we're stuck with the realities of too many kids, short budgets, poor planning, construction schedules, or a combination of the above.

    Making temporary structur

    • Money is kept artificially scarce. Shadow banks create hundreds of trillions of dollars.

        But the real solution is online education.

    • by PPH (736903)

      No, what's needed is an infinite supply of money, of course.

      This study was done in Washington State. Now I don't know about the rest of the state, but in Seattle, the school district (and its funds) are being pulled in a number of directions, none of which are economicaly optimal.

      First, there's the neighborhood school interests. In the past, many small schools were constructed to put them in all the neighborhoods. But economics (and common sense) dictates that consolidating these into fewer, larger buildings is the way to go. Now, try fighting that battle with all

  • I don't know if this is the same for the rest of the country, but in Texas public schools seemed to be created for the CURRENT overflow in existing schools. Of note that, especially in the Houston area, residence creation is still blowing and going.

    So what results is a school is planned to be built for the, say, 3000 student overflow in surrounding schools. Then 4 years later when the doors open...there's 6000 kids going to that school necessitating temporary buildings from day one. Someone needs to

    • But nobody wants to pay for it. Have you heard the banshee cries of builders when the city/county suggests a tariff on each new residence to cover the cost of a new school? You'd think they were going to cut off his dick and feed it to the hounds. But it's the new housing that brings the students and requires the expansion. It's rare that a place with no new houses has any meaningful increase in student population.

      Howard County, Maryland does it right by putting caps on new residences at 105% of the school

  • I have never understood the mentality of throwing out these portables for students to use as a classroom. I see many schools here in South Florida using these portables as a permanent solution to inadequate classrooms. Before anyone says "but the school system can't afford to build new ones" keep in mind that in Florida, the lottery proceedings which the state takes in are supposed to go towards the school system. If the government would properly fund school sour of the normal budget and then allocate lotte

    • The lottery proceeds doesn't even dent the school budget, and with the remainder coming from the legislature it's really just a balancing act. With revenue growing slower than educational costs, the leg can still put more money into the system every year (so it doesn't look like they're using the lotto money to shore up the general fund) and still have the whole thing lose ground to educational inflation. And there's no way they would put that money on top of a "fully funded" school (ha!).

      They use these bec

  • Funny thing about wealth: it accumulates as you age - usually well past the age you still have kids and possibly even grandkids in primary school. This assumes that any of them even _went_ to mere public schools in the first place. But the one-percenters and the upper-upper middle class are the first to complain endlessly about property taxes being too high: the very people who _won't_ be directly affected by shitty schools are the chief architects of their demise.
  • ... still seems to use them as of last night after 8 PM PDT. :P

Is a person who blows up banks an econoclast?

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