Could Frisco ISD soon use students as janitors? It's just one cost-cutting idea under consideration


#1

dallasnews.com/news/frisco/2017/02/13/frisco-isd-soon-use-students-janitors-just-one-cost-cutting-idea-consideration

Soon, Frisco ISD students may not be cleaning just their bedrooms. They could be sprucing up their classrooms, too.
That’s one of several suggestions from volunteers trying to help the nearly 60,000-student school district deal with a budget shortfall brought on by a loss of state funding combined with voters’ rejection last August of a tax rate hike. Frisco ISD leaders and community members recently got their first look at the bevy of possible cost-saving strategies.
In addition to having students empty trash cans to cut back on janitorial staff hours, recommendations included charging students — up to $200 in high school — to participate in athletics, establishing a minimum number of students per course and consolidating courses with small enrollments.


#2

Perhaps they should cut the salaries of the athletic staff, make those into volunteer positions. How many coaches do they really need? Also, open up the facilities to the public. The gyms, swimming pools, tracks, could become money makers. Also the art and shop facilities could be rented out.

Sorry, but janitors should be cut after teachers. If you have a teenager, check out how well they clean a bathroom. shudder.


#3

They actually do this in Japanese schools, and it works really well. The Students have an increased appreciation and respect for their school building; and the school stays cleaner in general because the students don’t want to have to clean up a mess later on.


#4

Frisco is not Japan, it is Texas.

Why should janitors be the ones that lose jobs. Why not football coaches?


#5

Oh, I’m not saying that I think janitors should lose their jobs, only that having the children be involved in the upkeep of the school is a positive thing.


#6

Yes, students should be accountable for cleaning their class rooms, it would change attitudes and reduce the workload for janitors

School coaches aren’t paid very much so I don’t think that should be a target, and we want active kids.

Real cuts need to come in the central bureaucracy and in renegotiating contacts, schools are notorious in overpaying for services.


#7

It’s Texas – the football coaches will be the last ones to lose their jobs. :stuck_out_tongue:

Not that I don’t agree with you in principle. I see that the article includes a suggestion that Frisco schools begin a pay-to-play policy. When I was in middle and high school, we had to pay per sport. I think it was $100 for the first sport, $75 for the second, and $50 for the third sport. Our school, which wasn’t wealthy by any means, used these fees to help fund athletic programs. There was a way to apply for a waiver of the fee if you couldn’t afford it. If Frisco schools aren’t doing that, they could probably raise some money that way and divert money currently going toward athletics to other things.

I am not opposed to students helping to clean/maintain their schools, because it does teach them valuable life skills. But it’s not a good thing for the janitors to lose their jobs overnight. The article seems to suggest that the focus groups recommended only that students empty trash cans to reduce janitor hours – it didn’t say that the janitors’ jobs would be eliminated.


#8

Librarians aren’t paid much, but the article talked about volunteers in academic subjects. Get volunteer coaches.

I suspect that in Texas, coaches are some of the higher paid positions. Isn’t football the #2 religion there?


#9

I was going to point out the Japan thing, too. In Japan, the kids take care of their classrooms, and it’s also common for them to be their own cafeteria staff. As a substitute teacher, I see how careless kids are about dropping trash, crayons, papers, pencils, erasers, etc, all over the place, knowing that it’s going to be magically cleaned up when they get back from gym. I think it’s positive to take pride in your environment, and be responsible.

That said, I think that Frisco ISD needs to look at its budget and live within its means. I don’t drive the tollway, so Frisco’s not even on my map of places to drive through. But in that area, I generally think of Carrollton, or maybe some of the more high-end places in Plano, or closer to Dallas, like University Park or Highland Park as being more affluent. There are 35 neighborhoods on the Higley’s Top 1,000 Richest Neighborhoods list, and neighborhoods in Frisco pop in at #495, #635, #676. So I suspect there’s a whole lot of Keeping Up With The Joneses involved— trying to provide all these services for affluent families that the district as a whole really can’t afford to provide. In the 2000 census, the population was under 35,000. 10 years ago in 2007, Frisco didn’t even have 90,000 people— but they more than doubled in those 7 years. Today, in 2017, they have an estimated 160,000. So I’m sure a lot of their financial woes are also related to aggressively needing to build new infrastructure and schools for all these students that have magically appeared over the last 15 years. And that kind of manic expansion is far more expensive than any staff or faculty salary.


#10

As a Texan, I take offense to this. For many people, it’s #1

That depressing semi-joke aside, my nephew’s father is the head defensive football coach at his highschool, and my sister-in-law is the head Volleyball coach at hers. They spend far more hours doing that work than could reasonably be covered on a volunteer basis. Apart from a small stipend which doesn’t even remotely cover the number of hours they put in, they make the same as other teachers.


#11

We did it when I was in Catholic grade school. I thought it was fun, and I think many of us did. I didn’t much like cleaning blackboard erasers, though I did enjoy washing the blackboard itself. But the real fun was using those big oiled mops to clean the floors. We used to race each other down the hall doing it.

That was all after school, of course, and nobody’s parents minded it at all.


#12

Same here - and we took pride in doing the job well. The older students were also responsible for the rooms of the younger students. Of course, that was back in the 50’s and early 60’s, and we had 50-60 students per classroom, so the work was shared by many.

We live in ‘the sticks’ now…the school districts here have used ‘pay to play’ for many years.


#13

Were you responsible for the toilets? Washing the windows? Dusting the wallboards and display cases? Cleaning up vomit? Changing light bulbs? Fans? Air conditioning? Heaters?

Schools need janitorial and maintenance.


#14

Nobody is proposing getting rid of the janitorial and maintenance staff.

When I was in high school we were responsible for cleaning the classrooms, emptying the trash and cleaning the chalkboards. The janitors were busy doing everything else.


#15

A Japanese student I met here was surprised that our students didn’t take care of their own classrooms. I wouldn’t want the maintenance people to loose their jobs, and some things are done better by them, but having students take care of their own place would encourage cleaning up after yourself and taking pride in your place, whatever it is.


#16

There were 1200+ students in the 3-story school, and we did have one custodian…there were no display cases, no fans, and no air conditioning…we cleaned the restrooms, and, yes, we cleaned up our own vomit.

I agree that skilled maintenance is needed…our custodian maintained the boiler, did all necessary repairs, and maintained the church, the rectory, and the convent…we were fortunate to have such a skilled and dedicated man in the parish, but the students did a lot of work in the school.


#17

Yes, coaching any sports in K-12 pays a small stipend for a lot of responsibility and hours.

For the same reasons you can’t have volunteers teach a class, you can’t have volunteers responsible for a sports team.


#18

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