Sunday, January 15, 2006

Flex accounts for teachers

j.d. continues the conversation which started back here:
It seems, then, that the place to start with this idea is the local school board. Local school boards control the district’s budget and authorize the hiring of all certified staff (i.e., teachers and administrators). It is certainly within the authority of any local school board to implement teacher flex accounts. School districts of similar size watch each other closely, so a successful idea in one district is likely to catch on in similar districts. A highly successful idea which is widely adopted by school districts might be more likely to be co-opted by a sensible State Board of Education, which Kansas clearly does not have now.
He suggests $250/teacher, with reimbursement for teachers at the end of the year.

I think this is a good idea, and one worth exploring. He talks about using the money for staplers and stuff, which would be unfortunate. If the flex money comes to replace expenditures for basic office supplies, it would hardly make a difference. The issue is to provide resources for new directions, money for construction paper, or DVDs to use in class, or supplemental books. Someone will buy staplers and chalk either way. This should encourage innovation.