Junior ROTC cuts

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by goldenlion, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. goldenlion

    goldenlion Member

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    DD came home today announcing that her Air Force Junior ROTC program is being evaluated this year along with all the other Junior ROTC programs in our county for possible closure.

    We live in a military community. Her program at her school has over 150 cadets in it and has had to turn kids away in the past because of over enrollment. Her unit was just evaluated last year and earned the highest marks possible "honor unit with distinction?". Several students every year receive appointments to the various service academies along with ROTC scholarships.

    It would be a huge loss if they close this unit or any of them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    :frown: I assume this has been initiated by the county since they share in the funding. I'm afraid a lot of districts will be looking at such things given the economy and fewer dollars coming from the Feds. I suppose the services might be cutting back funding as well.

    Are you able to expand on who is initiating the action and why?
     
  3. goldenlion

    goldenlion Member

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    I wish I knew if it was the Air Force or the school district. I'll try to find out more.
     
  4. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    I'm not surprised.

    Navy JROTC is having its problems too. The Navy is cutting programs that fall under 100 cadets or 10% of the student population. No more probationary period. If things don't get better or the Navy will start cutting programs that have less than two instructors, too.

    Several outstanding programs have been cut already.

    My unit has yet to receive any funds from the Navy; we've been running on fundraising to pay for competition fees and transportation. Fundraising doesn't get too much, and we'eve been running into the red zone lately.

    And each year the school district has another look at us. Some of them up there don't see JROTC as anything more than a class, and they wonder why a class with 100 students per day must be taught by 2 instructors when any other class on campus has 180 students taught by 1 instructor.

    Bad times.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    ^^^ OMG. :eek:
    nuensis, you are still in high school right? I can't imagine a high school class of 180 students!
     
  6. cisco

    cisco Member

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    The NJROTC's in my city are being evaluated and a few have already shut down. Mine is also on that radar, and a lot of teachers don't see NJROTC as that big a deal, despite being an Honor Unit with Distinction.

    Last week there was a food fight, Student Council and my JROTC helped clean. Also there was a Parent-Teacher night and Student Council decided not to provide any help or assistance and the principle had JROTC do it, very last minute notice, and we did it. We got great compliments and everything.
    The next day the principle had an announcement, thanking Student Council, and only student council, for those events. :bang:
     
  7. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    Oh no, it's about 180 students for the whole class course in 6 periods, so each period has about 30 students.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Whew! I had pictured some massive college type lecture hall. :smile:
     
  9. goldenlion

    goldenlion Member

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    It is the school district that is initiating it :(
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Thanks for the followup Golden Lion! That's really too bad. OTOH, since its being initiated at a local level perhaps you'll have more opportunity to influence the decision. Please keep us posted.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    My bet is it is county and not AF. Yrs ago I use to be a teacher, and at out HS if the AFJROTC instructor calls in sick, the school hires a substitute to teach the classes.

    If I recall correctly many of these instructors came from the program called Troops to Teachers, and I do not recall one instructor that was AD, all were retired, could be wrong because this was about 7 yrs ago.

    There are many things that go into the equation, and even if the military did financially subsidize to have these classes, it still is not going to cover everything.

    For example:
    1. Classrooms
    ~~~ If your hs has trailers that are dilapidated and need to be replaced, they may look and cut JROTC instead of paying for a new trailer.

    2. If these instructors are like what I recall, their paycheck, pension and insurance comes from the school system. Everyone that has ever worked in personnel will tell you bennies, such as sick days and pensions are big ticket items. I.E. call in a sub and they are actually paying twice the amount...1 for the teacher, 1 for the sub.

    CA is bankrupt and part of that is due to pension plans.

    3. Counties are underwater, and that is in part due to the foreclosure crisis When a home is in the process of foreclosure RE taxes are not paid, this process can take up to 2 yrs. RE taxes pay for schools. Now multiply out the loss of those funds, and add in #1 and 2, and you have created the perfect rationale for cutting JROTC, even if they get subsidized.

    Side note, actually being in a heavy military area IMPO raises the chances of being cut.
    ~~~ Military children typically enlist/commission into the military at a higher percentage rate than non-military children. It is not JROTC that does it for them, but the lifestyle they have lived all of their lives.
    ~~~ Non-military children have no exposure to the military. JROTC is training, but it is also recruitment for the military. Why pay for the ones that already join at a higher rate, while cutting somewhere else?

    Our DS1's hs, had AFJROTC, and a very large program for such a small hs, I would say 15-20% of the graduating class had at one time or another been in the program. I would also say that the way their school system was set up it was a reason why not to join if you were fighting for a scholarship or an SA appointment. 2 kids in his HS got AFROTC scholarships, neither were in AFJROTC ever. The reason why was the school system.

    Their school required X types of classes for certain HS degree programs, and if you want the college program compared to technical or std., you had fewer electives available, and when you can choose between AP Spanish IV and AFJROTC Sr yr., the folks and most likely the GC will step in and say AP Spanish.

    The school also had a program for srs. called Jump Start, where the kids for 1/2 day went to HS and 1/2 day the CC. Again, for many, including our DS he took APs at school and went to the CC in the afternoon. Had he taken AFJROTC he would have had to take one less "rigorous" course. That could have been the reason why the 2 in his school got the scholarship and the AFJROTC didn't because PAR is 60% of the WCS. I don't know if it is/was the reason, but I do know the academic profile of both of these kids and it was chocked full of every AP they could take, plus both selected as their 2nd elective a 2nd foreign language.

    I know this may seem as if I am not supporting JROTC, and that is not my intention. My intention is to illustrate that although the program is great and IMPO a better elective than a lot of them in the schools, because for many it gives them a start on a career path, this is a multi-faceted issue which includes academic needs of students, and financial limitations of the school.

    I would also think they may place one more aspect in the equation when it comes to the decision of cutting it. What is the % that stick with it over the 4 yrs of hs? There could be 180 students, but if only 10-15 are seniors, 30 are jrs, 50 are sophs, and the remaining 80 are freshman, there is a lot of dis-enrollment over the yrs from the original start. Are they sticking with it, or just using it as an elective? 180 with a start of 60, than 50, than 40 and 30 for sr yr illustrates to the school that they are and can be a deciding factor.
     
  12. goldenlion

    goldenlion Member

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    I agree with a lot of what Pima said.

    However, for my DD, it has been an amazing experience; for my DS, he is opting out for the same reasons mentioned above. He would rather take another AP class then waste an elective with ROTC. He is vying for being ranked 1st in his class where DD is top 12% (which is a difference of 50+ students). He scored better on his ACT he took in 7th grade, than she did as a junior or senior. They are two completely different types of students.

    Their high school is very large. Hence, it is very difficult to check the "leadership" box, just too much competition for the few positions available. If it wasn't for her opportunities in the JROTC program, she probably wouldn't have received a Coast Guard appointment or an AROTC scholarship. Her JROTC instructor wrote her an amazing letter of recommendation, and JROTC provided the leadership that she needed. Even the sports programs elect only one captain. Other area schools have multiple captains, sometimes different ones for each practice or each competition, game, meet, etc. But not ours!

    JROTC also helped her transition into a new community. Let's face it, high school is filled with cliques. JROTC allowed her to join a group and be a part of something and she excelled at it. And yes, most of the other kids in the program were also military brats. But they found each other through the program.

    I can honestly say that I think the JROTC program at her school is the best program that they offer, better than any sport, band, academic team, or community service club.

    Her instructor once told me that they have at least 20 students at the service academies at anyone time. I had a hard time believing it four years ago. But I believe it now.

    As far as retention in the program, there are not too many that drop out. I would guess that at least 15% of the students currently enrolled are seniors. I will pay better attention at the award ceremony this year to see if that is a good estimate.

    The officer and NCO instructors have to be retired from the military. They are top notch individuals who haven't missed a day of work in the 4 years that I have known them.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    goldenlion,

    I hope for you that it works out.

    I will say this, it can be the best thing since hot sliced bread, but reality is we, as posters, need to stress that ECs matter.

    I don't know where you are, but in my 4 yrs here I have to say 20 SA cadets/mids from 1 HS is OMG unreal. I believe that if this is the case mo ehas to do with the academic profile (PAR) than JROTC.
     
  14. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Goldenlion, my sons JROTC experience has been similar to your DD. The JROTC experience has been good for him and he took the leadership opportunities offered there and excelled with them. I believe it has played a significant role in his sucess in winning AFROTC, AROTC and CG Scholar opportunities.
     
  15. cisco

    cisco Member

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    In my Freshmen year, Six seniors were accepted to West Point from my school; it made the news and I couldn't believe it. (I didn't know them, wish I did though).
     
  16. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Just an FYI for all...

    The USAF has directed the folks at Maxwell AFB (HQ for the AF JrROTC program) to inform ALL school districts across the country that "if they want to" close some of their programs, consolidate, etc., that the USAF will not stand in their way.

    This is the polite way of saying "the AF has a budget problem and we're looking for ways to save money. While we LOVE the JrROTC program, if you don't, we're okay with you closing units at your schools."

    I haven't seen the "official" communication this came from BUT...I am in the process of becoming a JrROTC instructor...and was briefed by the officer I plan to replace upon his retirement later this year.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  17. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    It's not the end of the world. When I was in high school in New Jersey, I urged the school district to adopt a JROTC program. The school district ended up rejecting my request due to financial constraints. So I ended up taking the fast track to Norwich after graduation! :thumb:
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am sure it was, and obviously it has to be repeated. I am not sure how big your school is (class size), but my point was 20 at my kids HS where they have about 20% less in the AFJROTC would equate to 7% of the entire hs graduating class going to an SA. That would be huge, and even a higher percentage for JROTC selection rate.

    It would make sense from a budgetary issue because the AF would have to supply uniforms and instructional materials. Multiply that across the nation and you are talking a small chunk of change.

    Before I get jumped or flamed, I understand it is a small amount, but AF has a checkbook that must be balanced, just like us mere mortals. It is all about the dollars and cents. Just as it is for the school districts when they decide to cut it or keep it. It isn't them not seeing the value in the program, it is about other programs are more valuable to maintain when they have to choose between keeping one and cutting another.

    This is the perfect storm for JROTC

    LMAO. I am a Jersey girl, and Jersey is one of the highest RE tax states, so it is funny to read financial constraints, BUT I also know that is a liberal state, c'mon can you remember the last time it carried a Republican for President? I have a funky feeling it was that more than financial constraints. Plus, NJ has been since you and I were in HS one of the top states to live in academically. My bet they saw JROTC as less important than having a photography class, where the students had a dark room (another classroom) or film study where the classroom was an actual movie theater auditorium (sat about 60 kids...not including the school auditorium that sat 2500) or tennis courts, etc. etc. etc. Our HS had all of that plus sound stages for AV, band, chorus, etc. We did not have JROTC, even though Ft.Monmouth, Earle, Dix and MacGuire were 30 miles away. It was all about what the folks wanted for their kids and those things were the bells and whistles that other schools didn't have which upped the price of homes in the town.

    To illustrate how high NJ taxes are for those not from this area, my Mom lives in an adult community, 1500 sqft home (350K assessed) and pays over 7K a yr in RE taxes. Key word here an adult community (55 and over). 1500 homes are paying and part of that goes to the schools, which none of the homeowners reap any direct benefit. The school in her area will probably be able to keep JROTC, because 55+ are not foreclosing, and not placing more wear on the schools from having children attending.

    Bullet's parents live 30 miles from my Mom, and are paying 10K on 250K, in an adult community too.

    That should tell you all how much they place into the schools.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  19. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    You think New Jersey is tough, try getting a JROTC unit at any High School in Western Washington. When a local ROO came to discuss ROTC at my son's school they were not allowed to wear ther uniform and the students had to have written permission from their parents to attend. JROTC, well that would be out of the question.
     
  20. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Don't get me started on New Jersey taxes. In some states you could buy a home for what I pay. The bases you mentioned are just a shell of what they once were, except McGuire which has been busy the last 10 years. There are still some small reminders of very large bases that were once thrived in New Jersey. A militiary building here or there. Raritan Arsenal and Camp Kilimer had a hundred thousand soldiers once. Now site of a corporate complex and Rutgers University respectively . Fort Hancock is just falling apart on Sandy Hook. Great place to bike ride.
     

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