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Comment history

Canfield Superintendent Dante Zambrini retires

Supplemental contracts for coaches and advisers are a necessary part of offering extracurricular activities. To the extent that the district values something like all-day kindergarten over all other sports and activities, I can not answer. Nor can I begin to propose how much all day kindergarten would cost CHS and whether monies allocated from all other activities could in fact pay for it.

However, I'd like to put the pay for a supplemental coaching contract in perspective. Someone very close to me is a high school football coach and teacher in another Ohio school district. His supplemental coaching contract is $2800 for the football season. Here's what he does to earn that $2800 stipend on top of his regular teacher pay:

January 2 - June 1. Off-season weightlifting and conditioning, 3 times per week, 2.5 hours per session x 18 weeks = 135 hours

June football camp for returning players and incoming freshmen = 8 hours day x 10 days = 80 hours

July football conditioning = 3 times a week x 3 hours per session x 4 weeks = 36 hours

August 3 a day sessions in preparation for the season = 4 days a week x 7 hours x 3 weeks = 84 hours

August scrimmages before the regular season starts = 3 games x 6 hours (prepare, travel, warm up, play, return home, etc) = 18 hours

Regular season practice = 5 days a week x 3 hours each x 10 weeks = 150 hours

Friday night coaching = 1 day a week x 5 hours each Friday x 10 week season = 50 hours

Saturday film review, scouting of opponents, and preparation for the following week = 6 hours per day x 10 weeks = 60 hours

If you add all that up, my friend puts in at least 613 hours per year, and I really didn't even factor in all his prep time. His effective hourly rate, before taxes, is $4.57/hour. This isn't even minimum wage.

These coaches sacrifice a lot of personal time to support kids in their activities. They definitely are not compensated for all the hours they put in. I was a music instructor for a high school band at one time in my life and the hours I put in were comparable to the football coach example above. I hope this helps people understand what goes in to receiving one of these supplemental contracts.

November 4, 2011 at 2 p.m. suggest removal

Canfield Superintendent Dante Zambrini retires

School funding is a complicated issue, with no quick or easy choices to fix the challenges. What we do know is that the way schools are funded has changed little since the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that our over-reliance on the levy system for generating revenue to fund schools is unconstitutional. Nevertheless, today the burden for having good schools largely rests with the tax payers and the choices they make when the levies are up for a vote every few years.

We know that the number one consideration for people deciding where to live is the quality of the schools. If the schools are good, they attract residents and people who value education. Generally, those people are willing to pay to keep the quality of the schools stronger. When they decide to stop paying, quality does eventually decline. It may not be overnight, but it does happen. When the quality and reputation of a school district declines, so do the housing values. That's because those who have the resources to pay to live in a good school district move elsewhere. Demand for living in that community decreases, and values decrease because the supply elsewhere (and the value of neighboring communities) is stronger.

Less money for schools means fewer teachers, larger class sizes, and less personalized instruction for each student. The sheer number of students that a teacher is responsible for impacts how they design and implement their lesson plans. For example, an English teacher that has 5 classes per day of 20 students has 100 essays to read, grade, and provide comments on at night when they go home and try to prepare for the next day. That same teacher, in a district where funding is challenged, might have a class size of 30 instead of 20. What's the big deal? Well, grading 150 essays instead of 100 seems like a large change in daily workload to me. In my job, if I had 50% more work added to my plate I would probably have to make concessions somewhere. Perhaps that teacher, just like the rest of us, has a family, has children, has sports, community and church obligations outside of just teaching. How long can that teacher maintain the increased workload of 150 essays instead of 100? Perhaps that teacher stops giving writing assignments, and instead gives worksheets, fill in the blank assignments, and multiple choice tests.

So what happens to the quality of education in this scenario? It means that students don't complete as many writing assignments. It means that they are learning more facts and regurgitating information, instead of processing and synthesizing and forming their own conclusions. It means that they are not developing their critical thinking skills. It also means that students are not being as well prepared for college. It means that the likelihood that they can communicate effectively with potential employers is diminished.

The responsibility for maintaining good schools needs to be a community partnership.The choice is yours. Good luck!

November 3, 2011 at 1:22 p.m. suggest removal


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