Tell me about American schools

1. Apr 17, 2007

ShawnD

I was watching a youtube video (this) and it said Americans don't get to choose what school they go to, but the school is assigned based on where you live. Is that really true?

Some other stuff would be interesting to know as well. Do most US schools have cafeteria? Do those cafeteria make money or cost money? How much does school cost per year (public I mean).

2. Apr 17, 2007

Cyrus

You go to a school near your house if its public school up until highschool. Yes, they have a cafeteria and library inside them. Public school is free. Yes, you have to pay for lunch unless your poor.

3. Apr 17, 2007

theCandyman

If you wish to go to public school, you are usually "zoned" for a certain one. If you go to another school in the area, you usually have to pay a fee, I'm not sure how large. Otherwise, school is free to attend.

I've actually never seen a school without a cafeteria, and I doubt schools would have them if they lost money. Food is made in bulk and cost for lunch can range from US$3 to US$7 depending on what kind of food you get and how much you eat. I knew some football players who could easily spend US\$10 everyday on lunch.

4. Apr 17, 2007

Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
An attempt at a national average -

US Public Schools: Cost per Pupil from 1920

In reality, the numbers (cost per pupil) vary considerably (by nearly a factor of 2), according to geographical factors.

New Hampshire State Department Of Education
http://www.ed.state.nh.us/education/data/ReportsandStatistics/FinancialReports/CostPerPupil/CostPerPupil2004-2005/CostPerPupil2004-2005.pdf [Broken]
Does Higher Per-Pupil Spending Guarantee Success? The Numbers Say No

Expense, Current, per Pupil in Average Daily Attendance (Dept. of Ed, Indiana)
http://mustang.doe.state.in.us/TRENDS/trends1.cfm?var=curr [Broken]

Clarke County Public Schools, Virginia
http://www.clarke.k12.va.us/Information/Financial/financialdisclosure.pdf [Broken]

Just a sample.

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
5. Apr 17, 2007

ShawnD

Interesting stuff. Thanks guys

6. Apr 17, 2007

Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
As for what school one attends, one normally attends the closest school in the school district in which one resides. However, there may be exceptions since neighborhoods are assigned to particular schools.

Also, there are special 'charter' or 'magnate' schools which may specialize in particular subjects or curricula, and one may attend with special approval from the school district.

Of course, one can attend a private school if one's parents can pay the tuition.

7. Apr 17, 2007

hypatia

Michigan has a school of choice program. If you wish to go to a different school{then one close to home}, you put in a request. Its pretty much always granted, unless you have a special needs child. Only a few schools have special classrooms/programs. The parents are responsible for the transportation, once they have moved there child out of the local district.

8. Apr 17, 2007

gravenewworld

you are "supposed" to go to school near where you live, but because of desegragation, i know that in DE they bus student from all over the place to go to different schools so that every school has a certain amount of minorities in them. To me, it is a good idea and everything, but it is a HUGE waste of money to transport all those kids everyday to schools that are 20 mi away rather than send them to the ones closest to their house. Why not spend all that transportation money on improving the schools where a lot of minorities attend?

9. Apr 17, 2007

mattmns

According to the report, spending money does not improve schools.

10. Apr 17, 2007

Ki Man

It depends on what district policies your area. Most of the time, you are automatically placed into the school which you live nearest too and schools have specific areas section off, so that students in this neighborhood go to that school, students there go to this school, and so on.

some districts have an exception, although its uncommon, that students can freely tranfer and choose which school they want to attend (as long as its in the district)

11. Apr 17, 2007

Ki Man

I think it depends more on where the money goes. example: my schools band program is very underfunded and we have to pay thousands of dollars just to have a bus (thats owned by our school district) take us to our performances.

the school system needs reform too, just as much as it needs more money.

12. Apr 17, 2007

Ki Man

"theres nothing that money cant fix..."

yeah.. i think money, when put into certain programs, would help, but not every problem can be solved that way.

hehe.. i love how they show the portable classrooms in orange county... I live down here in OC and quite a few of our classrooms are portables. in our district, we had millions of dollars approved to go into new construction for all of the districts schools. the end result? well, some schools got some nice new buildings, my school got a gym (finally, although it is too small and can only accomodate about half of the school at once, which is stupid becaues at things like the international assembly where they show acts held by students from different cultures, we have to do it two times, once for half the school and another time for the other half) but my sisters school was completely missed by this upgrade and their school did not get anything except new benches (what an amazing upgrade)

13. Apr 17, 2007

Ki Man

HOLY C*** :surprised :

wow at 18 minutes into the video when i saw that kid in front of a computer with a sodering gun, my jaw literally dropped

why the **** dont we have facilities like that? where the heck is all that othre cash going to? why cant i take an engineering class? what the **** is wrong with our education system?

seeing the quiality of other schools in different countries makes me want to either move to switzerland or swarm to my district office and demand reform

Last edited: Apr 17, 2007
14. Apr 17, 2007

gravenewworld

Money does fix problems. The reason why spending doesn't work on schools at lot of times is because of the way the money is spent.

15. Apr 17, 2007

Ki Man

if you look at the way the school was spending that money, why would it? "hey kids i know you guys suck at standard tests, so we're gonna buy you guys an olympic pool and hope it makes your grades go up."

money is being spend the wrong way, that is our problem

16. Apr 17, 2007

Staff: Mentor

Where are you from and how does it work there? If you live in a city and the schools are crappy, are you allowed to go to a school out in the suburbs? Does the government have to send a bus to pick you up?

It just doesn't make sense to me for it to be any other way than zoning public schools according to geography.

17. Apr 17, 2007

Staff: Mentor

Schools are public, so there is no such thing as a profit. They charge for lunches to cover their cost and likely do not quite break even.

18. Apr 17, 2007

theCandyman

I finally watched the whole video. I have to say that I disagree with the closing statements of one of the teachers. Competition between schools would definetly improve the quality of education, which is the point the show was trying to make.

russ, then if the prices are so high, they're definetly getting ripped off along with the students.

Last edited: Apr 17, 2007
19. Apr 17, 2007

Ki Man

the way i think it works is that they are 'strongly recomended' to choose the school according to geography, but if they do not like their local school, they have other options

20. Apr 17, 2007