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School Tax should incorporate student grades as well as property valuation

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Shireesh Apte
Shireesh Apte Jun 15, 2022
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Parent involvement in public education (such as in the USA) is generally low and usually consists of laying the blame on teachers (justified or not) for poor student grades/performance. This usually results in grade inflation with the result that students are generally woefully unprepared for college. If School tax, that homeowners and renters pay to the city/state, were tied to student grades - in addition to property valuation, as is done now - it would incentivize parents to encourage their children to perform better at school.
How it would work
As an example, the School tax rate where I live is 1.280 per $100 valuation. This translates to $3200 per year for a $250 K single family home. As a first approximation, add 0.25 for an overall 'B' grade and 0.5 for an overall 'C' grade, this translates to $3825 and $5200 for grades B and C respectively. This means an out of pocket additional cost per month of $52 for students with a B grade at year end and an additional cost per month of $166.7 for students with a C grade at year end. The additional funds thus collected can be used to increase teacher salaries (and hence quality) and/or school infrastructure/tutorial programs/one-on-one learning enhancement programs....... Once thus monetarily incentivized, parents will take more interest in their child's educational progress. The algorithm can obviously be tweaked by city/state consensus.
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General comments

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni20 days ago
I understand the problem you are targeting and the path on which you arrived at such a solution. With what you propose, grades seem to be a function of the school infrastructure and teacher quality. The model does not take into account the inclination of the students and their inherent capacity to get grades. Some students may be more inclined to be good at stuff not taught at school or taught in a different class (age class). Also, grades are arguably subjective, and using this subjectivity to decide how much a parent should pay would lead to a different level of problems including corruption (parents bribing the teachers and buying their students' grades for less than they might need to shell out in taxes) and unhealthy competition between the students (where parents get involved). Schools might purposely reserve a few "B" and "C" grades for the extra funding.
We are moving away from generalizing, in general, and equating grades to taxes will be like traveling in the opposite direction.
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Shireesh Apte
Shireesh Apte19 days ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni Obviously any idea can be subject to corruption and graft, and therefore must be tweaked and polished before implementation. If the extra funding gained by deliberately reserving B and C grades is negligible when compared to the potential increase in enrollment (and hence funding) by reputational school increase for an increased proportion of A grades, then this avenue of fraud is disincentivized. In my 9 years as a high school teacher, the one parameter that I think most influences student success is parent involvement. Generally, Students willing to learn will succeed inspite of low teacher quality whereas students not willing to learn will not succeed despite high teacher quality (or will need disproprtionate teacher quality effort for success). The willingness to learn is largely dependent on parental involvement. In the USA, in my opinion, moral arguments are less effecitve in incentivizing parental involvement than monetary penalties (sad, but true). These are all obviously generalized observations, which may or may not be applicable to selected parental subsets.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni16 days ago
Shireesh Apte I am not opposed to parental involvement. It is necessary. However, I am not sure about linking grades with taxes. What if you could involve parents using other parameters than money? For example, introduce a parent-student hour, once a week. The frequency could be more than 1 hour per week. Students and parents come up with a project idea and implement it. Students then display/ present what they did/ learned. They are graded for that and parents are partly responsible for the grades. Students present it so that the teacher knows that the student has understood the project and that they were equally involved in it as their parents.
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Shireesh Apte
Shireesh Apte9 days ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni I am extremely skeptical about involving parents with low performing students with anything else other than money.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic20 days ago
I predict this would increase the suicide rate in the future when these kids grow up. Being told you aren't meeting your parents' expectations and even costing them money because you're such a failure has to take a tax on the fragile child's psyche somehow. I can also imagine all sorts of negative impacts on society, full of people who grew up feeling like they are a burden to their loved ones
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