Archive for Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Baldwin High School culinary arts program: Popular, successful and threatened

Baldwin High School senior Paris Nottingham and junior Jason Von Bargen work Tuesday in the school's culinary 2 class on the mango-raspberry sorbet they were preparing as practice for a state competition in March. Gov. Sam Brownback's school finance proposal now being debated by the Legislature could threaten the program at the high school.

Baldwin High School senior Paris Nottingham and junior Jason Von Bargen work Tuesday in the school's culinary 2 class on the mango-raspberry sorbet they were preparing as practice for a state competition in March. Gov. Sam Brownback's school finance proposal now being debated by the Legislature could threaten the program at the high school.

January 31, 2012

Baldwin High School’s culinary arts program is popular, successful and may not be around much longer.

The threat to the program is Gov. Sam Brownback’s K-12 school finance reform proposal. Should that pass as presented to the Kansas Legislature, the local program could be threatened despite its full classrooms and four state titles in Kansas Restaurant Association sponsored high school competitions in the past five years.

Although most of the focus on the governor’s proposal is on its overhaul of the state funding formula, it also suggests changes to technical education.

State Rep. TerriLois Gregory told Baldwin USD 348 board members Jan. 23 that the proposed changes would help provide students the education needed to prepare them for the nearly 70 percent of jobs in the state that don’t require a bachelor’s degree.

“One of the high demand areas for job is in health care,” the Baldwin City Republican said. “RNs don’t need a bachelor’s degree.”

The concern is the expense of technical education, Gregory said. Brownback’s plan would attempt to tie high school vocational education to the state’s 26 technical schools, she said.

Should the proposal be approved, state funding would “follow the students,” Gregory said.

Baldwin Superintendent Paul Dorathy said he understood the governor’s goal of saving money through the consolidation of duplicate programs, but it would have consequences at Baldwin High School.

One of those would very likely be the end of the Baldwin High School culinary program, because the proposal would dictate a high school would not get state funding for a vocational program if a technical school within 30 miles distance was offering the same program.

The nearest program that would qualify for state funding offering a culinary program now is Neosho County Community College in Chanute, which is outside the 30-mile window. But Dorathy said he could foresee that school or another eyeing Johnson County and the Kansas side of the metropolitan area as an opportunity and starting a satellite program in the area.

Should the proposal pass and an area satellite program be established, it was unlikely the district could afford to offer the culinary program, or other vocational programs, without state funding.

“We could potentially lose all programs offered by a technical school within 30 miles,” he said. “I can’t tell you that’s a good thing or a bad thing for kids. It is a significant change and will change in-house what we offer and force students to travel to get those programs.

“Right now I see a lot of issues that have to be decided on this.”

Of concern would be time students spend traveling to and from a technical school. Dorathy said that could infringe of the time needed for core classes in math, science, social studies and language arts.

Gregory told the board one way to help with that dilemma was to “imbed” math and science classes in technical courses.

Dorathy explained that plan would offer “technical” math for students in technical courses. That would work for those students entering the workforce on graduation or going on for more technical training, but not for students like those in Lawson’s classes who are college bound but in the culinary program to get a leg up on a part-time job or personal enrichment

“Technical math would satisfy a technical school, yes,” he said. “A four-year university is not going to look at that like a calculus class.

“I think you have to be upfront with students that they will be taking courses that doesn’t get them I the door at K.U. or some other state regent school.”

Comments

BaldwinDad 2 years, 8 months ago

The threat to the program is Gov. Sam Brownback’s K-12 school finance reform proposal.

Really, that is the threat....how about just educational spending run a muck.

When you consider we average about $8500 per student in USD348 for a year, that means the average class size of 15-18 students in elementary level is spending almost $150k to educate that class for one year. Once you deduct the teacher's salary of for the year, where is the other $100k going??

While I'm not for cutting Vocational programs since they offer a real world value, I don't like reporting in which they assign blame when what they should do is simply report the news. Also I Do NOT like Brownback, so I'm not defending him, but educational spending in this country is insane especially given the extremely poor return on investment we are getting.

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Torch 2 years, 8 months ago

Folks, we have a winner!

I also believe vocational programs should be beefed up, since being able to afford a college degree is slipping away from the middle class. Soon only the poor and very rich will be able to attend. The cost of 'Higher Education' is so out-of-control that probably 80 percent of the degrees offered will never, ever pay for themselves.

From a financial standpoint our children would be better off going into skilled labor than taking on mortgage-level debt to get a worthless degree.

Speaking of spending run amok - did you know at KU many of the classes in the lower levels are taught by people without a college degree? I don't mean just a Bachelor's....I mean THEY HAVEN'T GRADUATED YET! My nephew is in a College Algebra class being taught by someone without a degree, and they're paying full tuition for that garbage. When I was in school it was taught by someone with a Master's who was working on a Doctorate. And Gray-Little continues to raise tuition to 'retain the quality'. Really?

The Education Industry from top-to-bottom is out-of-control...and we - the customers - do nothing to stop it.

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Bloggerboo 2 years, 8 months ago

Where are you getting this $8500 that you are basing all the rest of your logic on? According to this article in the Signal, the amount per student next year will only reach $3780.

"The governor’s plan would do away with weighting for at-risk, special-education and English-as-a-second-language students, which gives districts added money per pupil to spend on those students. Instead, it would give districts $3,780 per student next school year to spend on their general fund needs as the wish. The per-pupil amount would increase to $4,492 in 2013-2014." - http://signal.baldwincity.com/news/2012/jan/24/baldwin-school-board-tells-state-representative-sc/

Are you combining two numbers, or what?

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hyperinflate 2 years, 8 months ago

Former Madam President,

You know EXACTLY what he is talking about. You are trying to obfuscate because you just cannot countenance the thought that someone is rightly criticizing your best bud, the Superintendent. Which is why you, as an improper parting gift, made sure to saddle us with 3 more years of that clown.

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Julie Craig 2 years, 8 months ago

The $3,780 is State Aid, the rest is local money (taxes) and some federal. The district website has a link to the "budget at a glance" that is informative.

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Nathaniel Johnson 2 years, 8 months ago

I think that many of the comments skirt around one of the more salient points of the article:

"State Rep. TerriLois Gregory told Baldwin USD 348 board members Jan. 23 that the proposed changes would help provide students the education needed to prepare them for the nearly 70 percent of jobs in the state that don’t require a bachelor’s degree."

"Should the proposal be approved, state funding would “follow the students,” Gregory said."

I agree with the premise that our education system is due for an overhaul but what is being proposed in this plan is a way to stratify the labor market so that districts like Baldwin provide the 70% and suburban districts the 30%. Baldwin offers an excellent opportunity for all types of students. Whether stated or not the current administration's goal is to create a school that allows students the benefits of a suburban education. Our technical programs are largely a joke, understaffed, badly equipped, etc. It is a good idea to move those programs to centralized areas but the students most likely to benefit need to have reasonable access to them. I am always stunned at the legislatures ability to state that a measure is aimed at helping the education system when in fact it is simply cutting the budget. Real change takes some boldness and creativity. There was a time when being a Republican meant that you were pro-school. Those days are clearly gone.

Nathaniel Johnson gruyere.emmentaler@gmail.com

p.s. @Hyperinflate If you call somebody out and insult them please have the courage to sign your real name.

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