At least according to teachers and parents in Des Moines who are upset that schools that are constructed or renovated won’t automatically get a furniture allowance between $100,000 – $150,000 the Des Moines Register reports.
They have to use leftover furniture that is in good condition in the district’s warehouse first and then purchase items as needed.
Why are people upset? I applaud the Des Moines Public Schools for practicing good fiscal responsibility (at least in this area). The furniture should not have any affect on how well a child learns. Used is fine provided it is decent shape.
Jaynette Rittman, the principal at Garton Elementary School that was recently renovated said,
"It gives everything a fresh look. … New furniture just enhances the appearance of school buildings, and in turn that supports learning in the classroom because people are excited to be there."
Give me a break! I grew up in Bondurant, IA and when I went to Farrar Elementary (where 4th – 6th graders attended in my time) and then Bondurant-Farrar Jr./Sr. High School. I attended classes in buildings dating back to 1925 and 1917 respectfully (those buildings are no longer in use today). Our furniture wasn’t new – the desks I used were probably 10-15 years old. If anything diminished my education at that time it was the fact I was lazy and a procrastinator. I don’t think new desks would have helped.
The schools need to stop making excuses and just teach (get back to the basics) and families need to be involved in the education of their kids to make sure they are indeed learning.
Taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for new furniture to help make "people excited to be there." Not when there is a stockpile of perfectly good used furniture.