July 18, 2011 - In nine days, all of the teachers slated to work at the brand new College View Elementary School will allegedly head off to the "Mid America Center" for what the district claims is a mandatory two day training workshop for the IB PYP. There's something very fishy about this information, however. According to IBO's official list of IB Workshops being held in the U.S. on July 27th, the PYP workshop runs three days and is being held in Austin, Texas. The IB fee for the Texas workshop is $750 per teacher. Add to that airfare, hotel and meals plus the $20 per hour Council Bluffs pledges to pay teachers and we immediately arrive at a huge difference in costs. In fact, a check of the Mid America Center's calendar does not list IB training, but it does list a Council Bluff's School Kickoff for August 16th, the day before the first day of the 2011-12 schoolyear.
It would appear that Council Bluffs has been racing at breakneck speed to implement IB in the newly constructed College View Elementary. The very first mention of IB in CB Board minutes was on November 23, 2010, when the Board approved the "job description" for an IB Coordinator. The next mention was on February 8th, 2011, when an IB School Information Report was presented to, but not voted on, by the Board.
Faced with a $2.5M budget shortfall for 2011-12, Council Bluffs was asked, "Can't we delay the implementation of IB to save money?" Great question. Let's see how Council Bluff's replied:
And that would appear to be a bold-faced lie. Consider the fact that IB charges $4,000 for its Consideration Phase and $9,500 for the submission of Application A. Right there TAIB comes up with $13,500. Now let's add the mandatory IB teacher training for ALL of the teachers at College View including the Principal, IB Coordinator, new Foreign Language teacher, Librarian AND pre-school teachers (remember, the PYP is for ages 3-12 and College View has a pre-school). Even if we calculate the training costs using Council Bluffs non-confirmable two day location in Iowa with a guesstimate of four (4) teachers per grade level, TAIB comes up with a total of 32 teachers in need of training. TAIB has never seen an IB workshop fee for less than $650. Add that $650 to the $640 ($20 x 16 hrs.) for each teacher and we come up with $41,280! And that's if there really is a workshop being held in Iowa! Add to that the IB Coordinator's salary along with the new Spanish teacher's salary (approx. $75,000) and TAIB comes up with a whopping $129,780 before a single indoctrination session has begun! Only with IB math does $129,780 = < $25,000. Note how the district also uses the unsubstantiated, strawman argument that becoming IB will "increase enrollment". There is absolutely no national evidence that converting a traditional U.S. public elementary school to an IB school increases enrollment. Quite the contrary. Parents who are awake to IB's "philosophy" and find it at odds with their own tend to either homeschool, enroll their children in private school or move.