City and county officials all over the United States are coming to grips with the grim reality that school funding has to be cut. The housing crisis and foreclosures have lowered home values everywhere and the local community revenue from taxes is lower than once expected.
The rampant spending at the national level by the Congress and the Obama Administration along with hoped for stimulus and other federal money just won’t make school budgets what they once were: so now it it time for the tough decisions about what to cut without hurting the education of our youth.
But everyone should take heart in knowing that more money spent has not always (I want to say never) translated into better learning — by most fair measures.
Some of our most expensive dollar per stundet classrooms, in the District of Columbia, as just one example, remain some of our worst at really giving children basic needed skills like reading excellence.
So when community organizations like ACORN and teachers unions demand school funding at previous levels once considered “normal” they are encouraging a denial of the very basic facts of life we should learn to get used to….
From the Wall Street Journal:
Local Economies Seek Revival
By Andrea Billups
Marching bands are silenced. Sports programs, summer school and driver’s education are being slashed. Schools are facing closure and consolidation.
Teachers, many now vacuuming their own classrooms, have been told to do away with space heaters and office refrigerators because they consume expensive electricity. Even the school year is being shortened as districts across the nation are making hard choices amid a worsening recession as they deal with budget woes.
“If school districts think it’s bad now, it’s likely to get worse in the next couple of years,” said Michael Petrilli, vice president of programs and policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation in Washington, who paints a grim portrait of the economy’s influence on education. He noted that as local revenues from property taxes continue to plummet, many districts likely will lose even more funding as foreclosures mount with increasing job losses.
Even as some hope that the economic stimulus will bring some relief, he said, children are the ones who ultimately lose as education bears a big hit from the downturn.