Coming this fall: big tuition hikes
By John Gramlich, Stateline Staff Writer
More than half the states cut funding for higher education this year, in some cases by more than 20 percent. The result will be double-digit tuition increases for hundreds of thousands of students and their families.
Dynamics Affecting Public Higher Education Financing in Fiscal Year 2012
Based on data from 49 states compiled by AASCU, 35 states saw declining state appropriations for public four-year universities compared to fiscal year 2011, contrasted with just eight that received increased funds. Six states had flat funding
Federal Budget Cuts Threaten Career-Technical Schools
The New York Times (7/10, Rich, Subscription Publication) reported that Federal funding for career and technical education schools “is at risk. President Obama has instead made it a priority to raise overall academic standards and college graduation rates, and aims to shrink the small amount of federal spending for vocational training in public high schools and community colleges,” notably through Perkins grant cuts. The piece notes that “the only real alternative to public schools for career training is” the for-profit college industry, which is facing criticism for “sending students deeply into debt without improving their job prospects.” The piece notes that Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently said in comments before the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, “at a time when local, state and federal governments are all facing tremendous budget pressure’ advocates for vocationally oriented education ‘must make a compelling case for continued funding.”
As budgets are trimmed, time in class is shortened
By Sam Dillon, The New York Times
After several years of state and local budget cuts, thousands of school districts across the nation are gutting summer-school programs, cramming classes into four-day weeks or lopping days off the school year, even though virtually everyone involved in education agrees that American students need more instruction time.
Education, Healthcare Bearing Majority Of State Cuts As Bondholders Profit.
Bloomberg News (7/6, Jones, Varghese) reports on the cuts to education, Medicaid, and other programs in states like New York and Arizona, noting that in the meantime, “municipal bondholders are having their best year since President George H.W. Bush was in the White House.” States this year have “balanced their fiscal 2012 budgets and protected their credit ratings on the backs of public employees, school districts, cities and Medicaid recipients, all of whom bore the collective brunt of budget-cutting in states from New Jersey to Wisconsin to California.” Meanwhile, “bondholders who placed their bets on municipal debt reaped the benefits of the market’s best second-quarter performance since 1992.”
Center On Education Policy Survey Details Looming “Funding Cliff.”
Center on Education Policy chief Jack Jennings writes at the Washington Post (6/30) “Answer Sheet” blog that “in addition to being squeezed by state and district belt-tightening, most districts will no longer have the cushion they had last year from federal stimulus funds that pumped millions of dollars into state and local education budgets. Insiders have referred to this as the ‘funding cliff’ that has been looming since the federal funds were released.” He notes that according to his organization’s research, most “districts are at the precipice of the funding cliff.”
Spring 2011 Fiscal Survey of States
State fiscal conditions in fiscal 2011 are somewhat improved when compared to the difficult fiscal environment that states faced in fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010. This coincides with the economic recovery occurring nationally. However, states face numerous fiscal challenges as they enter fiscal 2012 including the withdrawal of significant funding that was provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). As unemployment remains elevated and consumer spending remains soft, state revenue collections continue to be affected by the economic downturn while at the same time pressure for state spending in areas such as healthcare and education continues to grow. Even though states are experiencing an improvement over one of the worst time periods in state fiscal conditions since the Great Depression, fiscal 2012 will still present states with difficult choices as they manage their budgets.
Click here for a summary of the report.
Click here for the complete report.
States Scrambling To Replace Federal Funding For Special Education.
Education Week (6/28, Shah) reports that as stimulus and Education Jobs Fund funding dries up, “states using that money to keep their special education budgets afloat are starting to come up short-in some cases putting other federal aid in jeopardy. In South Carolina, for example, the US Department of Education has threatened to cut $111 million in special education funding, an amount that matches state cuts over the past few years that the department believes were unjustified.” This threat has left South Carolina “scrambling to come up with at least part of the money it previously cut.” The piece notes that the Federal “maintenance of effort” rule limits states’ flexibility regarding special education funding.
Budget-Pressed Schools Cutting Back On Librarians.
The New York Times (6/25, Santos, Subscription Publication, 950K) reports school systems across the country are cutting back on librarians as their budgets are trimmed. In New York City, “half of the secondary schools appear to be in violation of a state regulation requiring them to have a librarian on staff.” The New York Times (6/27, Subscription Publication) publishes an online feature including the responses of a number of stakeholders to the reduction of school librarians, including that of former ED adviser Ze’ev Wurman.
Budget Woes Leaving Many Students Without Summer School, Jobs Programs.
The AP (5/31) reports that the budget cuts facing US municipalities are resulting in the elimination of “both summer school and summer-jobs programs” in major cities, noting that the “funding cliff” from the end of Title I-based stimulus spending is leaving school districts strapped. “Arguably, Los Angeles faces the most dire situation among big cities in what it can offer youths this coming summer.” Amid drastic cuts to summer jobs programs, “the summer school budget for the Los Angeles Unified School District has been cut from $18 million last summer to $3 million this summer. About 22,000 students are expected to enroll this summer. Four summers ago, the budget was $54 million, and the district enrolled 235,000 students. Classes this summer in Los Angeles will be open only to 10th graders who have failed courses or 11th graders who have either failed or gotten a D in them.”
The nation’s overall education spending grew at a slower pace in 2009 than at any other time in more than a decade, amid deepening state fiscal woes and flatter tax revenues, according to new census figures released Wednesday.
Preschool Programs Not Spared as Strapped States Cut Spending
For the first time since 2002, states collectively decreased spending on early childhood education last year, according to an annual report by the National Institute for Early Education Research. Those findings also said the cuts would have been more severe if not for federal stimulus money, as most states cut services to grapple with budget gaps. (Christian Science Monitor, 04/26/11)
As sweeping layoffs loom, schools gird for turmoil
By Sam Dillon, The New York Times
School authorities across the nation are warning thousands of teachers that they could lose their jobs in June, raising the possibility that America’s public schools may see the most extensive layoffs of their teaching staffs in decades.
Class Sizes On The Rise Amid School District Budget Cuts.
The New York Times (3/7, A1, Dillon) reports on its front page that “millions of public school students across the nation are seeing their class sizes swell because of budget cuts and teacher layoffs, undermining a decades-long push by parents, administrators and policy makers to shrink class sizes.” The Times adds that some education stakeholders have emphasized the importance of teacher quality over class size, noting that “Secretary of Education Arne Duncan…last Sunday told governors gathered in Washington to consider paying bonuses to the best teachers to take on extra students. Mr. Duncan said he would prefer to put his own school-age children in a classroom with 28 students led by a ‘fantastic teacher’ than in one with 23 and a ‘mediocre’ teacher.”
Stimulus’ End Puts Squeeze on Education Budgets
States are arriving at the “funding cliff” — the point where about $100 billion in federal education stimulus aid runs out. States are required to have spent the majority of their aid by September, and most will burn through it by end of this academic year. As a result, several states are preparing budgets for next year that would leave districts with significantly less money. (Education Week, premium article access compliments of edweek.org, 04/04/11)
Once More, With Less
Community colleges continue to do more with less, according to a new survey of their presidents. Sixty-nine percent of the 448 community college presidents and district chancellors surveyed reported that their institution’s headcount increased in 2011 as compared to 2010. In addition, 58% of those campus leaders reported that there was an overall reduction in their institution’s operating budget this year. (Inside Higher Ed, 04/11/11)
Education Jobs In Jeopardy As Stimulus Funds Run Dry.
The Juneau (AK) Empire /Hechinger Report (3/17, McNeil) reported, “The economic-stimulus package Congress passed two years ago preserved hundreds of thousands of jobs in the nation’s public schools but, with the economy still sputtering, the future of many of those positions remains in jeopardy.” According to the Empire, “Observers say states and school districts did not go on a hiring spree with their stimulus funds” but “they hunkered down to prevent mass layoffs and to maintain the status quo.” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is quoted saying that he thinks the stimulus bill “helped to stave off a total disaster.”
Regents OK Up to 22% Hikes in Tuition at State Universities
The Arizona Board of Regents gave the state’s three universities the double-digit increases in base tuition and fees they were seeking for next year. The regents approved the increases after Governor Jan Brewer signed a state budget that cuts university funding more than 20% next fiscal year. (Arizona Republic, 04/08/11)
Arizona’s Public-School Funding Still Battered By Recession.
The Arizona Republic (2/28, Kossan) reports, “For the first time in two decades, Arizona is facing two, possibly three, consecutive years of declines in basic per-student funding for K-12 schools. The Great Recession battered the state’s take from sales, property and income taxes and public-land sales, causing Arizona to chop its per-student funding, hike the sales tax and patch in with federal stimulus aid. Basic funding slipped in fiscal 2010 and 2011.” According to the Republic, “The question that lingers for many schools and parents: Will Arizona’s funding support for K-12, perennially among the weakest in the nation, rebound to the levels of even a few years ago?”
Dwindling Budget Threatens San Diego’s Low Class-Size Policy.
Under a lede that notes that Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Microsoft founder Bill Gates “attended private schools with small class sizes,” the New York Times (6/27, Winerip, Subscription Publication) reports on the policy in the San Diego Public Schools under which the district “has held class size to 17 in kindergarten through second grade at its 30 poorest schools.” The piece quotes local officials who credit this policy with academic gains in these schools, but notes that “17 could soon become 30. Federal stimulus money has been spent. California’s governor and Legislature, after several years of budget cuts, are deadlocked over whether to cut again. All around the state, districts have developed worst-case budget plans.”
California Budget Cuts Preventing Opening Of Newly-Constructed High School.
NBC Nightly News (6/5, story 9, 2:40, Holt) reported that a “brand-new school in California,” the planned Hillcrest High School, will not open this fall. Because “There’s enough money to build Hillcrest High, but not enough to staff it or run it.” The piece notes that the construction was approved by voters, but the recession “crippled education funding. Now this $100 million state of the art school in a district with overcrowded classrooms could stay empty for two years.” NBC adds that despite the budding recovery, “Increased tax collection takes time,” and segues into a report on other municipal and state facilities that will be closed because of low revenues.
Rialto, CA District Lays Off 96 Employees to Balance Budget
May 19, 2011 9:31 am
The district has sent tentative layoff notices to nearly 100 employees in an effort to balance its troubled budget.
Union: 19,000 Educators Getting Pink Slips In California.
The AP (3/16) reports, “Union officials estimate at least 19,000 California school employees are getting pink slips. And California Teachers Association President David Sanchez says he expects the number to top 20,000 when the union gets a better count by the end of the week.” The layoffs “come as Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers negotiate over how to close the state’s nearly $27 billion budget shortfall.”
Los Angeles Board Of Education Approves Steep Budget Cuts.
The Los Angeles Times (2/16, Blume) reports, “Thousands of employees would lose jobs, children would face larger classes, and magnet and preschool programs would experience sharp reductions under a worst-case $5-billion budget plan approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles Board of Education. But 45 new and low-performing schools could be spared entirely from teacher layoffs as a result of a recent legal settlement to protect campuses from extreme teacher turnover, overriding traditional teacher seniority protections.” The Times adds, “In a related development, US Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a conference in Denver that school districts need to find ways to make sure poor children have access to highly effective teachers by rethinking their staffing and layoff measures.”
Nearly 500 in S.F. schools to get pink slips
Nearly 500 San Francisco teachers, aides and administrators will find pink slips in their mailboxes…
California State University System Plans for Budget Cuts
CSU trustees meet to decide how to adapt to losing 25% of its $2 billion allocation.
Colorado Educators Decry Governor’s Proposed Cuts.
The Denver Post (2/16, Auge, Illescas) reported, “Slashing $375 million from Colorado’s public schools, as Gov. John Hickenlooper has proposed, could cost teachers’ jobs and shrink the paychecks of many who remain, and would mean nearly $500 less spent on each schoolchild.” Educators “responded with expected outcry, while the governor’s budget proposal generated a topsy-turvy political response, with some in the governor’s party decrying the bloodletting and asking for additional revenue – i.e. taxes – to stanch it.” According to the Post, “The potential cuts to K-12 education come despite Amendment 23, which is supposed to increase education funding each year by at least the rate of inflation.”
Colorado Education Stakeholders Brace For Deep State Funding Cuts.
The Denver Post (2/14, Hoover) reports, “Shool districts and public colleges are bracing for what are expected to be deep cuts in K-12 and higher education to be announced Tuesday as [Colorado] Gov. John Hickenlooper unveils his first set of budget recommendations. Hickenlooper, a Democrat, will outline his recommendations for the 2011-12 budget at a meeting of the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee on Tuesday.” According to the Post, “Multiple sources in the education community expect as much as a $400 million net reduction for K-12 education, which would be the largest single cut to public schools since the start of the recession.”
Colorado District Considers Cuts For Projected $25 Million Shortfall.
The Denver Post (2/4, Illescas) reported, “Aurora [CO] Public Schools is considering furlough days, pay cuts and larger class sizes to help offset a projected budget shortfall of at least $25 million for the 2011-12 school year. The funding provided to the district by the state is expected to decline by at least $10 million next year. At the same time, financial managers expect spending to swell by $15 million to cover increases in health care costs, labor and a hike in the district’s contribution to the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association.”
UD’s tuition hike the highest in five years
By Wade Malcolm and Danielle Bukowski, The News Journal (New Castle-Wilmington)
In-state University of Delaware students this fall will see the largest dollar increase in tuition and fees in the past five years. Combined tuition and fees will be $11,192 per year for in-state residents, 9.6 percent higher than last year.
Tampabay.com; In Print: Thursday, May 5, 2011
House and Senate conferees cut education funding by $1.3 billion in their proposed $68 billion budget for next fall, about 30 percent deeper than officials had been expecting. If approved, the plan would reduce student funding by 8 percent.
Florida Districts Groan Under Strain Of Repeated Budget Cuts.
The Orlando Sentinel (5/16, Postal, Weber) reports on the plight of schools in Seminole County, Florida, where “the choice of classes is smaller these days…the wait for a guidance counselor longer and the campus shabbier, with its once blue floor tiles worn to a dull gray.” The piece notes that schools’ academic performances are holding steady, but “the state budget cuts that began four years ago have taken their toll, and the fallout will escalate with the bare-bones funding the Florida Legislature approved this month, said Principal Shaune Storch. Lawmakers slashed education spending by nearly 8 percent for the coming school year, the deepest in decades. Per-student funding will drop $542 while the state’s contribution to schools will be the smallest since 2003.”
Miami District School Board Approves Layoffs, Pay Cuts.
The Miami Herald (4/13, McGrory) reported, “Without discussion Wednesday, the Miami-Dade School Board voted to cut more than 200 jobs from its facilities department and give hundreds of maintenance workers a 20 percent pay cut. The layoffs are part of a reorganization that will save the school district $27 million.” The Herald notes that $27 million “is a mere fraction of what the district still has to cut. With federal stimulus dollars running out and less funding coming from the state, the school district expects to see its overall $4 billion budget slashed by at least $100 million.”
Florida Education Budget Facing Larger-Than-Expected Cuts.
The Bradenton (FL) Herald (3/22) reports, “The relatively rosy picture a Florida Senate panel painted Friday for the state education budget quickly got gloomier Monday,” noting that the chair of the pre-K education budget panel in the state legislature had “unveiled a preliminary proposal showing a 2.28 percent cut to education funding,” but on Monday, the “plan was up to a 6.5 percent cut — much closer to the 7.7 percent number the House put out last week, though still less than the 10 percent proposed by Gov. Rick Scott. The larger cut is due to the $739 million in education funding the state would lose by requiring state employees to pay into their pensions.”
Miami-Dade Schools Face Deep Budget Cuts.
The Miami Herald (3/11, Kathleen McGrory) reports, “The Miami-Dade school system is bracing for unprecedented cuts to its $4.3 billion budget – reductions that could mean teacher and counselor layoffs, and the elimination of some arts and magnet programs.” According to the Herald, “Miami-Dade has thus far been able to prevent teacher layoffs and protect arts and music programs” yet Florida “Gov. Rick Scott recently proposed slashing $3.3 billion from statewide education spending” which would lead to “a $150 million loss to the Miami-Dade school system.”
Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed education budget: $1.75 billion in cuts
TALLAHASSEE – Is a $2,335-a-year pay cut for the average teacher worth a $44.72 property tax savings for the average Florida homeowner with a homestead exemption?
The Atlantic Journal Constitution
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Fulton County schools will abolish 202 special education paraprofessional jobs and 46 teaching positions, officials said Tuesday.
Regents hike cost of Georgia colleges
By Laura Diamond, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia students will see their college costs increase by 9 percent next fall, under new tuition and fee rates the state Board of Regents approved Tuesday.
Budget cuts mean more university layoffs
By Lee Shearer, The Athens Banner-Herald
More University of Georgia employees will lose their jobs next year in the wake of the latest round of state budget cutbacks.
Georgia Pre-K Programs Brace For State Cuts.
The WMGT-TV Macon, GA (3/9, Wilson) reported on its Website, “Teachers and parents made their voice heard at the [Georgia] State Capitol, telling Governor Deal they opposed a half day for Georgia’s pre-k students. Deal listened to their pleas, but heavy funding cuts may leave those involved searching for answers and that includes many programs right here in middle Georgia.” According to WMGT, “Deal’s newest plan will shorten the school year for Pre-k from 180 days to 160 days, a move that could impact parents heavily.”
Georgia Districts Struggling To Avoid Furloughs, Shortened School Year.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (2/14, Salzer, Badertscher) reports that Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal “received the loudest applause from lawmakers last month in his first major address as governor when he promised his education budget proposal” would not lead to teacher furloughs and a shortened school year. According to the Journal-Constitution, “Deal said districts were told to save some of the federal stimulus money they received this year to tide them over in fiscal 2012, which begins July 1. … Some systems did save federal stimulus money,” yet “even districts that saved the money told the AJC they will struggle to avoid furloughs, and none had hope of moving back to a longer school year.”
Hawaii Educators Say Funding Cuts Would Stymie Plans To Boost Achievement.
The AP (3/29) reports that educators in Hawaii are “warning deep state funding cuts projected for the next two fiscal years will likely slow ambitious plans to boost student achievement and turn around low-performing schools.” Noting that “Hawaii has pledged substantial improvements in student performance as part of its Race to the Top reforms,” the AP adds, “the department wants to see 90 percent of Hawaii students proficient in reading by 2014, from 68 percent now. It is seeking to boost the graduation rate to 90 percent by 2018, from 80 percent last year.”
Under the headline “Fiscal Woes Hobble School Reform Plans,” the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (3/29) reports that after legislators “predicted big declines in education spending” last week, “state schools Superintendent Kathryn Matahoshi emphasized the DOE ‘still intends to move forward’ on planned reforms.” However, Matahoshi predicted that officials would have to adjust the state’s improvement goals to match the limited funding.
Idaho moves to hike student tuition up to 8.4%
By The Associated Press, The Idaho Statesman (Boise)
Trustees who govern Idaho’s public universities have approved up to 8.4 percent in tuition and fees increases for next year.
Idaho Budget Would Cut $47 Million From Schools.
The Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review (3/29, Russell) reports that under a budget approved by a committee of the Idaho legislature, the state’s “public schools would see a $47 million funding cut next year,” though this is “considerably less than the $62 million cut lawmakers had been pondering, but still a big hit to already hard-hit schools that would see state funding drop for all school employees’ salaries.” Among notable facets of the budget are “teacher-pay cuts, and a 10 percent cut in discretionary funds per classroom to school districts, which already saw those funds cut 14.4 percent this year.” The budget faces other legislative hurdles, but the Spokesman-Review gives it good odds of passing.
The AP (3/29) adds that Idaho schools “will take a nearly $50 million hit in total funding next year and the state will chip in less funding per student” under the budget, which “does not include the extra money schools got from the state land endowment reserve this year. The one-time federal stimulus money that propped up previous school budgets is also gone. ‘The school districts will feel a $47 million reduction,’ said Republican Sen. Dean Cameron, co-chair of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.”
The Idaho Reporter (3/29, Iverson) notes that the cuts come “as the state expects more than 3,000 new students to attend public schools in the fall. ‘It’s still the third year in a row where schools will receive less money,’ said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna.
ID: Idaho Senate passes higher education budget cuts
By Jessie L. Bonner, The Idaho Statesman (Boise)
State support for Idaho’s public universities is down $7.6 million in a higher education budget lawmakers advanced Thursday.
Illinois Governor Signs Budget Including $270 Million In School Cuts.
The Chicago Tribune (7/5, Malone) reports that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (R) has signed a budget for next year which includes a $269.4 million reduction in school funding from the prior year. This constitutes a $376 million reduction from the budget that state lawmakers had proposed. “The latest belt-tightening brings the total reduction to preschool through high school funding during the past three years to $650 million, officials with the Illinois State Board of Education said Friday.” This could be compounded next year by the end of stimulus education funding.
Chicago Set To Lay Off 1,000 Teachers.
The Chicago Tribune (6/27, Ahmed-Ullah) reports on the “annual reeducation in teaching staff” at the Chicago Public Schools, noting that some 1,000 teachers are expected to receive layoff notices in the coming days. These “include the annual reduction in teaching staff because of school closings and enrollment declines, but they also include school-based budget cuts to about 150 supplemental teaching positions and program reductions, district officials said.” The Tribune notes that an official with the Chicago Teachers Union refuted claims from district officials, including CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, that class sizes will not increase through the cuts.
Illinois Budget Would Slash $171 Million From Public Schools.
The Chicago Tribune (6/2, Malone, 475K) reports that the Illinois budget plan “would slash $171 million in public school funding, erasing financial support for everything from teacher and principal mentoring to state writing tests for high school students.” However, Gov. Pat Quinn “said the budget remains unfinished business” and “voiced particular concern about the proposed cuts to early childhood education.” Meanwhile, “back-to-back years of delayed payments and bill backlogs” have local educators questioning if “they will collect the money on time that, on paper, they would be due in the coming year.”
Illinois District Plans To Cut 31 Jobs.
The AP (3/25) reports, “Overseers of public schools in the western Illinois city of Quincy plan to cut 31 jobs to save as much as $1.8 million, leading to a union official’s warning that such budget-slashing has produced a morale-lowering ‘doomsday’ effect among remaining educators. The Quincy Herald-Whig reported that 24 full-time employees will be affected by the moves announced by the school board Wednesday night after its more than two hours of private meetings.” The AP adds, “Lonny Lemon, the district’s superintendent, said the state still owes the district about $3 million for the current fiscal year, and the board assumes those overdue funds eventually will show up. If not, steeper cuts may follow.”
Southwestern Illinois School District Lays Off Dozens Of Teachers.
The AP (3/23) reported, “Administrators of a southwestern Illinois school district say financial problems have forced them to lay off or not renew the contracts of 71 employees, including more than five dozen teachers. Cahokia School District 187’s board made the move during a special meeting Monday night.” The AP adds, “The workforce reduction comes as the district plans to ask voters to approve a $50 million bond issue in April that would allow it to demolish the existing Cahokia Senior High School building and replace it.”
Illinois schools have fired more than 2,600 teachers this year
Fewer Illinois school districts are in serious financial trouble this school year – but apparently at the cost of more than 2,600 fewer teachers.
Maryland District Budget Would Cut Up To 700 Teachers.
The Washington Post (6/22, Samuels) reports that a $1.6 million schools budget passed in Prince George’s County, Maryland, “would cut as many as 700 teaching positions, yet salvage some transportation and education programs that residents pleaded to be saved from the fiduciary guillotine.” The Post suggests that the county council is likely to pass the measure, under which “Prince George’s schools would also lose nearly 100 librarian positions, while athletic directors would have their hours reduced. Class sizes would increase by one student in most grades.”
Maryland District Board Approves Major Budget Cuts.
The Washington Post (2/25, Samuels) reports, “The Prince George’s County [MD] school board approved on Thursday night a gloomy budget that slashes more than 1,300 jobs and increases class sizes, despite the pleas of parents and educators who begged the panel to find another way. Still, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said the 8-to-1 vote was only a first step, as he held out hope that the tough-love fiscal plan might persuade the state and county governments to contribute more money.” The Post adds, “In an effort to close a $155 million gap, the plan would cut 300 staff vacancies, 400 teachers and 92 librarians, among other personnel reductions.”
Maryland District Chief Poised To Make “Severe” Budget Cuts.
The Washington Post (2/24, Harris) reports that the Prince George’s County, MD “school system is facing a $155 million gap in its $1.6 billion budget,” which “has led schools Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. to propose the most severe cuts in his three-year tenure. Among many other cuts, Hite has proposed eliminating 259 jobs by increasing class sizes, which would save $20 million, and eliminating 233 positions for the pre-kindergarten program, which would be reduced to a half-day program, saving $10 million.” According to the Post, “School board members say budget cuts are particularly painful this year because the system has relied for the past two years on federal stimulus money that has ended.”
Maryland District May Cut 1,132 Jobs, Enlarge Classes.
The Washington Post (2/2, Johnson) reports, “Prince George’s [MD] School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. has proposed cutting more than 1,100 jobs, paring back kindergarten programs and increasing some class sizes to close a major budget shortfall. The cuts are more severe than what Hite proposed just seven weeks ago, when he presented a budget for fiscal 2012 that would freeze pay and eliminate middle school sports while also cutting hundreds of jobs.” However, “state officials have proposed lower local school funding levels than Hite expected. The budget he proposed Tuesday night includes nearly all of his previous cuts and many new ones, with the goal of saving $155 million and bringing the bottom line to $1.6 billion
MI: Senate panel cuts $1.5B from schools, revenue sharing, other programs
By Karen Bouffard, The Detroit News
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday completed its work on a state budget that slashes roughly $1.5 billion in spending and reconfigures the way education is funded.
MI: Senate panel cuts college funding 15%
By Karen Bouffard, The Detroit News
Universities would lose 15 percent of their funding under a higher education budget approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee this afternoon.
MI: State school aid budget cuts $340 per student
By Karen Bouffard
State aid for K-12 education would be reduced by $340 per student and schools would get only half an allowance for half-day kindergartners under a budget to be voted on today by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Michigan Approves Drastic Budget Measures For Detroit Schools.
The AP (2/22) reports that state officials have given Detroit Public Schools emergency financial manager Robert Bobb “approval to move forward with a deficit elimination plan that would increase some class sizes to 60 students and result in the closure of about 70 schools. That plan would eliminate a $327 million deficit immediately, as required by the state, but is not the plan desired by the district, spokesman Steve Wasko said Monday. … State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Flanagan wrote in a letter to Bobb earlier this month that the plan was approved with contingencies that include documentation of consolidation of some services strategies with the city of Detroit, Wayne County or other entities; that the financial manager is not allowed to declare bankruptcy through the end of his contract; and that the district submits a draft of its fiscal year 2012 budget by May 31 and final budget by June 30.”
MI: 150 Michigan school systems on verge of going broke
By Lori Higgins, Detroit Free Press
More than 150 school districts and charter schools in Michigan are teetering on the edge of going broke, a situation that is likely to get worse under Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed cuts of $470 per pupil.
Detroit Ordered To Close Half Of City’s Schools
DETROIT (AP) — State education officials have ordered the emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools to immediately implement a plan that balances the district’s books by closing half its schools. …
Mo. Senate backs 4.8 percent cut to colleges
By The Associated Press, Jefferson City News Tribune
Missouri’s public colleges and universities would take a 4.8 percent funding cut next year under a budget plan passed by the state Senate.
MO: Missouri Western Board approves 9.5 percent tuition increase
By The Associated Press, The Columbia Missourian
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — It appears that students at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph will be paying more tuition next year.
Lawmakers approve measure cutting state aid to schools
By Kevin O’Hanlon, Lincoln Journal Star
Nebraska’s public schools knew long ago that the amount of state aid they will get over the next two years was going to go down.
Nevada Teachers Protest Governor’s Planned Education Cuts.
The Las Vegas Sun (4/14, Hansen) continues coverage of demonstrations at schools in Las Vegas in opposition to proposed education cuts in Gov. Brian Sandoval’s (R) budget proposal, which “includes cuts of more than $407 million. It would eliminate 2,500 staff positions and includes pay cuts and benefit concessions equaling an 8 percent reduction.” Local teachers “have been handing out fliers to parents with contact information for the governor, members of the Senate Finance Committee, the Assembly Ways and Means Committee and representatives for the school’s area. Then they started taking their rally on the road, alternating days at the middle school’s three feeder elementary schools.”
Budget Proposal Includes Mass Layoffs In Nevada District.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal (3/25, Haug) reports, “School employee salaries would be slashed by nearly 8 percent, class sizes would increase and the textbook budget would be reduced by 25 percent as part of a plan to save the Clark County [NV] School District nearly $411 million for 2011-12. Nearly 2,500 staffing positions, including classroom teachers, educational computer strategists, literacy specialists and support staff, would be eliminated to compensate for declining revenues, according to a district analysis released Thursday.” According to the Review-Journal, “The School Board reluctantly voted 7-0 to allow the district to plan for a ‘reduction in force,’ with trustees clearly resentful of having to consent to deep cuts in education.”
New Hampshire District Chief Lays Out Series Of Budget Cuts.
The Foster’s Daily Democrat (NH) (2/4, O’Donnell) reports that the Rochester, NH “School Board got its first look at the proposed fiscal year 2012 school budget Thursday night which includes more than $1 million in personnel cuts. The budget was presented by Superintendent Mike Hopkins and Business Administrator Linda Casey at the end of Thursday’s Finance Committee meeting.” According to the Daily Democrat, “In order to get within the tax cap, Hopkins said more than $1.3 million in cuts would be necessary to the proposed budget. While $51,000 of that would come from eliminating one school bus, and another $200,000 would come from returning students from out of district and cutting down on transportation and other costs, just over $1 million would come from cutting positions within the district.”
Thursday, May 12, 2011
BY CHRIS HARRIS
The school board on Thursday night approved a resolution to eliminate 86 full-time classroom aide positions in an effort to save the district more than $1 million.
New Jersey District Officials Consider “Draconian” Budget Cuts.
The Record and Herald News (NJ) (2/16, Wirt) reports, “Montclair [NJ] School District officials presented a series of draconian measures Tuesday night, including plans to shut down two schools, as part of their doomsday response, should the Christie administration eliminate state school aid to the district. Schools Superintendent Frank Alvarez said the so-called ‘Plan B’ would save an additional $2,950,000 beyond the $4.5 million in cuts already incorporated in the budget he introduced just last week, and would help the district cope with the loss of $3,974,764 in state funding.” The Herald News adds, “Elements of the plan drew criticism from board members who expressed their opposition to shutting down any schools or cutting back on student busing.”
New Jersey School Districts Brace For More Budget Cuts.
The Courier News (NJ) (2/9, Method) reports, “As officials in [New Jersey] Gov. Chris Christie’s administration prepare New Jersey’s next state budget, school superintendents and school board members are bracing for another difficult budget year. That could mean job cuts, property tax increases and user fees, local officials and advocates say.” However, during “a radio interview Tuesday on WOR 710 AM,” acting New Jersey Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf “offered hope that state aid to schools will stabilize. ‘There are a lot of hard conversations going on, and everybody, including the governor, is committed to giving the schools what they need to be successful,’ Cerf said.”
Despite Preventing Layoffs, New York Schools Budget Includes Sacrifices.
The New York Times (6/28, Santos, Hernandez, Subscription Publication) reports that though the New York City Council is set to approve a compromise budget which will forego the massive teacher layoffs that Mayor Michael Bloomberg had predicted, the “plan does not spare the schools from cuts. The schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, told principals on Monday that individual school budgets would decline by an average of 2.4 percent, forcing tough choices about what – or whom – they can do without.” The Times details the programs and support positions that could end at the city’s schools, adding, “the city does not plan to replace an estimated 2,600 teachers who are expected to retire or resign this summer, so one result is inevitable: Class sizes will increase.”
Kindergarten Could Be Cut In Poor, Rural New York Districts.
WNYT-TV Albany, NY (3/16) reported, “Educators from Broadalbin-Perth joined with other districts in Hamilton, Montgomery and Fulton Counties Wednesday to criticize [New York] Governor Cuomo’s budget cuts, saying distribution of school aid unfairly targets poor rural districts.” According to WNYT, “The group says Cuomo’s plan eliminates about eleven-hundred-dollars per pupil statewide but more than $1600 for each student in those three rural counties. They said that’s forcing them to cut arts, music and sports programs, increase class size and consider cutting kindergarten.”
New York Teacher Layoffs Threaten To Increase Class Sizes. The AP (3/6, Gross) reported that as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg “plans to take more than 6,000 teachers off the payroll to help balance a strained budget, some parent advocates are questioning what the layoffs will do to New York public school class sizes. Across the country, some policymakers have turned their focus away from class size reduction, arguing that it’s too expensive and significant improvements are unattainable in the current budget climate, which already has school districts nationwide slashing jobs.” The AP adds, “On Thursday, US Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued guidance directing education officials around the country to consider ‘modest, smartly targeted increases in class size’ combined with increased pay for the most effective teachers.”
Bloomberg Says Cuomo’s Cuts Will Mean Nearly 5,000 Teacher Layoffs.
The AP (3/1) reports that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has released a budget proposal that includes cuts to around 4,675 teacher positions. Under the plan, some schools “could lose 20 percent of their current teachers” while “most of approximately 1,600 schools would lose one to five teachers.” Bloomberg “said that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget, which would cut $1.4 billion in aid to city schools, will leave him with no option but to lay off teachers. Under the state law that Bloomberg is seeking to overturn, any teacher layoffs would be governed by seniority, with the most recently hired teachers getting the ax. Schools staffed mainly with recent hires could lose 30 to 40 percent of their teachers, and veteran teachers from other schools would replace them.”
New York City Mayor To Announce Plan To Lay Off Nearly 4,700 Teachers.
The New York Times (2/17, Hernandez) reports that New York City “Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, escalating his battle with Albany over cuts to city programs, will announce plans to lay off nearly 4,700 teachers as part of a bleak budget to be released on Thursday.” Bloomberg “will portray the reductions as necessary to make up for a loss of $2.1 billion in state aid” yet the “forecast will also serve a political purpose, given the mayor’s desire to wring more money out of the Legislature and to abolish a law that protects veteran teachers”
The AP (2/17) adds, “Bloomberg has been pushing the state government to allow the city to lay off teachers without regard for their seniority, arguing that merit is more important. Currently, the city is required to lay off the most junior teachers first.” The AP adds that “United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said the city already has lost nearly 5,000 teachers to attrition in the last two years and class sizes are ‘skyrocketing.'”
The New York Daily News (2/17, Lisberg, Monahan) reports, “Despite skyrocketing tax revenues, the city still needs to ax 4,666 teachers to balance the books, officials said Wednesday.” The Daily News adds, “As part of the public negotiations over the budget, city officials are continuing to push Albany to increase funding for education – and to change state law on layoffs that requires cutting the most inexperienced teachers first. ‘The only thing worse than laying off teachers would be laying off the wrong teachers,’ Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said.”
Layoff list cuts some schools’ faculty by half
The Education Department released a bombshell list of planned layoffs on Sunday night – detailing how many teachers at each city school risk getting the boot under threatened budget cuts.
Statesville Record & Landmark
Published: May 29, 2011
The Senate, meanwhile, is proposing a 12 percent cut for colleges, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Education/Higher Education Target Comparison published May 9. Ten percent of MCC’s budget is roughly $1 million.
Education Week, May 11, 2011
New Hanover County, the coastal North Carolina district where Ms. Morgan works, will be laying off many of the teaching assistants who worked with her and other teachers throughout the 24,000-student district—victims of the “funding cliff” hitting many states and districts across the country this year. Like many districts, New Hanover County had used federal stimulus money to preserve or create special education teaching assistants’ jobs during an economic recession, but much of that money evaporates this summer.
North Carolina Budget Shortfall Imperils Teaching Positions.
The Public News Service (2/11) reports, “Education majors at North Carolina colleges and universities will be paying close attention to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s State of the State address on Monday and to her budget, expected to be released later in the week. Education programs and teaching positions are being threatened by the state’s close to $3 billion budget shortfall.” According to PNS, “Based on preliminary estimates from a report being released later this year by the National Education Association, North Carolina ranks 45th in the country for teacher salaries.”
It’s official — Schools lose $780 million
By Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch
When the dust settled on the new state budget, operating funds for Ohio schools were cut nearly $780 million for the next two years, with 17 central Ohio districts facing reductions that top 10 percent this school year.
Some Ohio Districts See 10% Cuts Under New Budget.
The Columbus (OH) Dispatch (7/12, Siegel) reports that under the new state budget in Ohio, “operating funds for Ohio schools were cut nearly $780 million for the next two years, with 17 central Ohio districts facing reductions that top 10 percent this school year.” The cuts stem from “a significant budget shortfall,” and “for many school districts, this budget means they will go four to eight straight years without even an inflationary increase in state operating funds. State-only school aid actually increases in the budget, but it is more than offset by the decision not to replace $450 million in federal stimulus money and to accelerate the phaseout of certain tax reimbursements for schools.” The piece quotes Ohio ASBO chief David Varda striking a sanguine tone about the cuts, but adds, “‘I think there will be some adjustment in staff sizes,’ Varda said. ‘And some are so tight that, even with layoffs, they’re still going to need more money.'”
Most Ohio Districts Face Funding Cuts In Proposed State Budget.
The Columbus (OH) Dispatch (3/25, Siegel, Boss) reports, “More than 590 of Ohio’s 612 school districts will see cuts in basic operational funding next year under Gov. John Kasich’s proposed two-year budget – and that does not include another $730 million that districts stand to lose from cuts in tax revenue.” According to the Dispatch, “The Kasich administration released district numbers [Thursday] showing that overall state funding for schools would increase each of the next two years. But those numbers did not factor in the loss of $454 million in federal stimulus money that schools used this year for basic operations, which turns the 1.9 percent funding increase that Kasich shows in 2012 into a 5.2 percent cut.”
Cleveland, Ohio District Chief’s Budget Proposal Includes Mass Teacher Layoffs.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer (3/24, Ott) reports, “The Cleveland school board will consider laying off 835 employees — 13 percent of its full-time work force — and closing seven schools as it claws to get the district on firmer financial ground. Interim Chief Executive Officer Peter Raskind proposed more than $74 million in cuts at a board meeting Tuesday, going well beyond a $47.5 million deficit forecast for next year.” The Plain Dealer adds, “Raskind said his plan would solidify the budget for two years and help come to terms with a decade-long free-fall in the number of students, now about 44,000.”
Published: Tuesday, May 03, 2011, 6:50 PM
The pair were briefing the school board on how they propose to serve the district’s nearly 6,000 special education students well next year even as federal funding for Portland’s special education program drops by $3.5 million.
Oregon Governor Signs Compromise Education Funding Deal.
The AP (4/22) reports that though education lobbyists say that the “two education spending bills worth $5.7 billion” signed Thursday by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) “will lead to drastic cuts including teacher layoffs, larger classrooms and shorter school years,” the bill does not include the “deeper plunge into savings to boost school funding” sought by some legislators.
Pennsylvania Officials Concerned With Impact Of Education Cuts On Poor Students.
The Scranton (PA) Times Tribune (6/30, Hall) reports that Pennsylvania education advocates are concerned that the new state budget will impact “poorer districts” more than others, hurting “the state’s most vulnerable students. … ‘The purpose of state funding for education is to close achievement gaps. It’s not to support wealthy school districts,’ said Baruch Kintisch, director of policy advocacy at the Education Law Center, an advocacy organization based in Philadelphia.” The piece explains that the study on which the new funding formula was based “provided greater funding to poorer districts for the last three years. When funding reverts to levels from 2008-09, the districts that gained the most since then also lose the most, said Jay Himes, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials.”
The Allentown (PA) Morning Call (6/30, McGill) reports that deep cuts in district budgets across Pennsylvania prompted the state’s school boards to offer “one consolation to taxpayers: Much of this can be avoided if state lawmakers pass a budget giving relief to education. That time has come, and the relief is not nearly enough.” The piece adds that Corbett’s budget plan “translated into a loss of 15 percent to 20 percent over 2010-11″ for districts. “The budget that will land on his desk lowers those cuts to 11 percent to 15 percent.”
Philadelphia Bears Brunt Of Cuts. The Philadelphia Inquirer (6/30, Hardy) also reports on the budget, which has resulted in districts being forced to make massive layoffs. WTFX-TV Philadelphia (6/30, Bomboy) reports that under the revised budget, “nine school districts closer to Philadelphia will take the biggest financial blow. The State Senate released a document on Monday…that shows state spending cuts for each Pennsylvania public school district, and how much money cut by Gov. Tom Corbett in March was restored by the state House.”
Budget Cuts Could Worsen Philadelphia School Safety Issues.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (6/21, Snyder) reports that cuts to state education funding in Pennsylvania will result in “fewer adults” In Philadelphia schools “to keep order,” adding that the cuts “could worsen safety conditions in a district already plagued by violence.” The piece details the city’s recent history of school violence, noting that “the new budget cuts $1.3 million, or 38 percent, of funding for in-school suspension, meaning more unruly students could be banished to the streets next year or allowed to remain in regular classes.”
Philadelphia Parents Express Concerns About Busing Cuts.
The Philadelphia Daily News (6/7, Tales) reports that parents of students who “ride yellow school buses” in Philadelphia are “wrestling with how they will deal with the district’s decision to cut funding for yellow-bus services from next year’s $2.7 billion budget.” Parents expressed concerns about their children using public transportation despite subsidies, adding, that parents of the “roughly 45,000 elementary-school students who primarily ride yellow buses to and from school” will have to have their children “either take the subway, walk, or both, putting them in potential danger, parents say.”
Delaware County Daily Times
Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Leach also noted that with over $1 billion slashed from education funding in Gov. Corbett’s initial budget, poorer school districts could lose 40-45 percent of their state subsidies, potentially sending them into “a death spiral.
Pennsylvania School Budgets Crashing Without Stimulus.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (3/14, Chute) reports, “When the federal economic stimulus money was allotted two years ago, there was both excitement about getting millions of dollars for Pennsylvania and fear of falling off the funding cliff when the money runs out in September. In presenting his proposal for the 2011-12 budget last week, Gov. Tom Corbett gave his view of what that cliff could look like.” According to the Post-Gazette, “The cliff for public schools is more than $1 billion compared with this year’s spending.”
Mass Teacher Layoffs, School Closings Pending In Rhode Island District.
The Providence Journal (2/24, Borg) reports that Providence, RI “Mayor Angel Taveras said Wednesday that an undetermined number of schools will be closed next year in an effort to help the School Department close a $40-million budget deficit for the coming fiscal year. … Taveras says he does not expect the closings to rival Detroit, which plans to close up to half of its 140 schools over the next two years.” The Journal adds, “Taveras announced on Tuesday that the school district intends to send out dismissal notices to its 1,926 teachers,” issued due to “a state law that says teachers must be notified about possible layoffs or terminations by March 1.”
Providence, Rhode Island Mayor Warns Of Deep Budget Cuts.
The Boston Globe (3/4, Smith) reports that Providence, RI “Mayor Angel Taveras cut a handful of city jobs yesterday, instituted a freeze on nonessential spending and hiring, and said he was working to renegotiate union contracts to help deal with an estimated $180 million structural deficit this year and next.” The Globe adds, “Taveras’s most contentious budget-cutting move was last week, when his administration issued notices to all of the city’s nearly 2,000 teachers that they could be fired at the end of the school year, prompting the teachers union to file an unfair labor practices complaint. Yesterday he also proposed closing four to six schools for the next academic year, and while he wouldn’t say how many teachers would ultimately lose their jobs, he said he wanted around a 10 percent reduction in personnel costs.”
Rhode Island District Votes To Send Termination Notices To All Teachers.
The Providence (RI) Journal (2/25, Borg) reports, “After a raucous discussion, the Providence School Board Thursday night voted 4 to 3 to send letters of termination to the 1,926 teachers in the city’s school district.” The Journal adds, “Every one of the district’s teachers received a certified letter from the School Department Thursday informing them that they might be terminated at the end of the school year” and many teachers who spoke at a forum Thursday said they “were caught off guard by Mayor Angel Taveras’ decision to terminate teachers instead of laying them off. Every speaker Thursday night questioned the mayor’s rationale for the possible firings: a $40-million school budget deficit and a March 1 deadline by which the School Department must notify teachers if their jobs are in jeopardy.”
The Los Angeles Times (2/25) reports, “The school board of Rhode Island’s financially troubled capital city has voted to send termination letters to all of its nearly 2,000 teachers after city officials said the move would give them ‘maximum flexibility’ to make budget cuts. … The financial problems in Providence, the state’s biggest city, have caused enough alarm at the state level that Gov. Lincoln Chafee has instructed two of his top fiscal officers to meet with city officials. A recent audit showed Providence, which has about 175,000 residents, had nearly depleted its rainy-day fund and overspent its budget last year by more than $57 million.” CNN (2/25) also covers this story on its Website.
Tennessee Schools Prepare To Lose Stimulus Funding.
The Tennessean (3/6, Hubbard) reported, “For two years, local schools have used that money to pay teacher salaries, buy educational materials and cushion the recession’s effect on their budgets. Those funds are fading away, and some of those stimulus jobs and programs may vanish with them.” The Tennessean adds, “Across the state, school administrators face the task of writing 2011-12 budgets without the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 money they used to prevent teacher layoffs and enact school reforms.”
Budget Cuts Place Extra Burden On Texas School Counselors.
The New York Times (7/9, Smith, Subscription Publication) reports that in Texas, cuts to state education funding will mean “fewer teachers, bigger classes and sparse extracurricular programs. For some, though, the most drastic change will come in the spring, when the state’s approximately 350,000 new ninth graders will be the first to take the end-of-course exams that are part of the new standardized testing system known as Staar, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness.” The Times notes that many non-teacher positions, such as testing coordinators, have been eliminated, and therefore “the burden of rolling out the new exams will fall primarily on counselors, who help students meet graduation requirements.” This is “a particular concern for school counselors, who have long worked to define their role as separate from that of testing coordinators.”
Texas Republicans May Face Backlash From Education Cuts.
The Austin American Statesman (6/20, Alexander) reports that after Republicans in the Texas legislature made good on their promise to “reduce Texas’ education spending even in the face of protests, negative ad campaigns and reams of criticism,” noting that some GOP officials say that “once parents see the aftermath in their child’s school of the state’s $4 billion – or 5.6 percent – reduction in what is owed to local school districts,” possibly resulting in teacher layoffs, higher millage, and the elimination of popular programs, there could be heavy fallout, including legislators losing GOP primaries. “But that will require voters to decide that they love their schools more than they hate their taxes.”
Texas Educators Worried About Long-Term Impact Of Budget Cuts.
The AP (6/13, Ingram) reports that teachers in Texas are worried that “a new measure that will slash $4 billion in” school funding will set a precedent that will “permanently handicap them” by removing the state’s future funding obligations. “Normally, a school’s funding level is determined by a formula based on enrollment, but for the first time since World War II the Legislature has reduced per-student funding, a trend that could continue under the new school finance law. Education advocates argue lawmakers could fund everything else before appropriating education money, potentially leaving schools with a smaller chunk of state money each year.”
KDFW-TV Dallas (6/13, Cutler) also reports on this worry, noting that Alliance-AFT union leader Rena Honea “laments not just a new measure that allocates $4 billion dollars in budget cuts over the next two years, but also a new formula that allows the state to legally pay schools less. Instead of school funding based on student enrollment, it would also take into account cost of living and local property tax bases. Education experts say the move reduces the overall amount of money available to schools and hurts Texas children in the long run.”
By David Harrison, Stateline Staff Writer
AUSTIN, Texas — As Texas schools enroll 500 new students a day, state leaders are lopping billions of dollars from the education budget. The courts may get the final say on an issue that could force Texas to reexamine its entire fiscal system.
Fort Worth, TX District Trims Pre-K Program.
KVUE-TV Austin, TX (3/23, Hawes) reported on its Website, “The Fort Worth [TX] school board made a tough call Tuesday night in its uphill struggle to balance the district’s budget. It will cut staffing to the district’s pre-kindergarten program, but principals may still be able to find a way around that” as principals “could still use federal funding their schools receive to keep some of the assistants.” KVUE added, “The district is facing an $80 million shortfall due to drastic anticipated cuts in state funding.”
Thousands Rally At Texas Capitol To Protest Education Cuts.
The Austin American Statesman (3/13, Kaspar) reports, “Thousands of parents, teachers and other education advocates poured onto the Capitol grounds Saturday to rally against proposed state budget cuts that school districts say could force layoffs of thousands of teachers and other public education employees. Demonstrators sprawled across the statehouse grounds, carrying signs scrawled with ‘Save Our Schools’ and ‘Fund the Future.'” Other protestors “carried umbrellas to underscore their desire that lawmakers tap into the state’s rainy day fund to help balance the budget.”
Texas Lawmaker Outlines Grim School Funding Scenario.
The Houston Chronicle (3/9, Scharrer) reports, “One of the [Texas] Legislature’s school finance experts has a new school funding bill that would create a totally equalized school funding system with no rich or poor school districts – and that he concedes he would not vote for. Rep. Scott Hochberg’s plan is intended to show the crippling effect on Texas public schools if lawmakers take nearly $10 billion away from education to close a massive budget shortfall.” The Chronicle adds, “Without lawmakers finding new revenue or pulling money out of the $9.4 billion Rainy Day Fund, Hochberg’s bill would mean a $326 million cut for Houston ISD, or about $1,328 less per student.”
Houston District Chief Proposes Series Of Budget Cuts.
The Houston Chronicle (2/25, Mellon) reports, “Fewer police officers would patrol school hallways, property taxes would rise, several campuses would close and about 300 central office jobs would be cut next year under HISD Superintendent Terry Grier’s initial cost-cutting proposals. Grier asked the Houston school board on Thursday to consider increasing the property tax rate by up to 4 cents and reducing a tax discount known as the optional homestead exemption.” According to the Chronicle, “Houston Independent School District officials are preparing for a shortfall of $171 million based on deep cuts in state funding.”
Some Texas Districts Will Close Schools In Response To Budget Shortfalls.
The Dallas Morning News (2/24, Unmuth) reports that some Texas “school districts are considering the dramatic and emotional step of closing schools as a way to slash their budgets because of expected state education funding cuts.” The Cedar Hill and Grand Prairie districts “are considering closing campuses” and the “Little Elm school district has already decided to close two schools. … Dallas schools Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said the district won’t close schools this year, but will examine the option next year.”
Massive Education Cuts Leave Texas Districts Scrambling.
The New York Times (2/15, McKinley, 1.01M) reports on the efforts of superintendents in Texas districts to cope with gaping budget shortfalls after the state’s legislature “moves to slash about $4.8 billion in state aid to schools over two years to close a budget gap. … All across Texas, school superintendents are bracing for the largest cuts to public education since World War II, and the state is not alone. Schools across the country are in trouble as billions in emergency stimulus grants from the federal government have run out, and state and federal lawmakers have interpreted the victory of fiscal hawks in November’s midterm elections to mean that tax increases are out of the question. Nowhere has that political trend been more potent than in Texas.” The piece notes that Gov. Rick Perry (R) “made it clear…that he regarded raising revenue for schools as out of the question.”
HISD approves deep cuts to bridge shortfall
School trustees slash funding by $275 per student; 4 schools targeted for closure
Report Points To “Unprecedented” Decline In Utah School Funding.
The Salt Lake Tribune (6/30, Schencker) reports that a new report from the Utah Foundation “is calling the decline in Utah’s education funding effort over the past 16 years ‘unprecedented'” and “says Utah’s funding effort has fallen significantly since 1995, placing it 26th in the nation for the amount of tax revenue public education received for every $1,000 in personal income in 2009.” The report contrasts the recent trend with “the state’s history of high proportions of personal income dedicated to public education.'”
Class Sizes Swell In Virginia District Amid Budget Cuts.
The Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch (2/11, Green) reports, “Classes of 30 students or more are ‘the new norm’ for the Chesterfield [VA] district, said School Board member U. Omarh Rajah. … According to district statistics, 470, or 9 percent, of high school classes have 30 or more students.” The Times-Dispatch adds, “The district raised its teacher-to-pupil staffing standard by one student in 2010 after two straight years of severe budget cuts, which included the elimination of nearly $80 million and close to 500 teaching positions.”
KUOW NPR; 05/27/2011
Washington state’s next two–year budget cuts about $2 billion from education funding. Most of the cuts hit programs in K–12 schools. As KUOW’s Liz Jones reports, local school districts are still counting up the losses. Steven Miller teaches 6th grade …
Rural Wisconsin Districts Struggle To Cope With Funding Cuts.
The Winona Daily News (7/6, Anderson) reports on the efforts that rural districts in Wisconsin are making to deal with an estimated $800 million cut in state funding for schools, including “layoffs, pay freezes and cheaper health plans.” Officials worry about what the cuts will mean in the next two years, noting that the “reductions wrapped in the biennial budget signed Sunday by Gov. Scott Walker could force even deeper cuts for the 2012-13 school year. Schools will have nothing to fall back on to cover increasing costs of day-to-day necessities like fuels, utilities and food.” The piece notes that many rural districts have less wiggle room than their urban counterparts when it comes to cutting programs.
Wisconsin Districts Brace For State Funding Cuts.
The Wausau (WI) Daily Herald (7/12, Uhlig) reports, “Nine north central Wisconsin school districts will receive about $14 million less in state education aid for the upcoming school year under the new state budget,” and local administrators are worried that the trend will continue. “Paul Nievinski, the president of the Mosinee Education Association and a history teacher at Mosinee Middle School, predicts school districts will face more serious financial setbacks in the second year of the budget, during the 2012-13 school year, because education funding is slated to remain flat, but education costs will rise.”
Wisconsin Schools To See Less Funding Under New Budget.
The AP (7/5) reports that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has signed a budget under which almost all districts in the state will see less education funding. Most of the 96% of the districts which will see cuts will see something like a 10% reduction. “The biggest losers in sheer dollars will be Milwaukee Public Schools, the Racine Unified School District and the Green Bay Area School District. Milwaukee schools will lose $54.6 million, about 9 percent of the aid they received last year.”
Wisconsin Schools Face Deep Cuts Under Governor’s Budget.
In ongoing coverage, numerous major media outlets across the nation continue to cover the impasse between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic legislators over Walker’s proposal to rescind collective bargaining rights. Amid the furor, Walker has now proposed a budget which contains deep education spending cuts. The AP (3/2, Bauer) reports, “Gov. Scott Walker is plowing ahead with his full plan for balancing Wisconsin’s budget, proposing massive cuts to public schools even as he faces a stalemate over his proposal to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights. With Senate Democrats still missing, Walker presented the second part of his two-year spending plan to the Legislature on Tuesday” which “relies on getting concessions from government employees to help pay for about $1 billion cuts in aid to schools, counties and cities.” According to the AP, “Walker says eliminating most collective bargaining rights for public-sector workers would give state agencies, local governments and school districts flexibility to react quickly to the cuts.”
The New York Times (3/2, Davey, Oppel) reports, “Gov. Scott Walker, whose push to limit collective bargaining rights and increase health and pension costs for public workers has set off a national debate, proposed a new budget for Wisconsin on Tuesday that called for deep cuts to state aid to schools and local governments, provoking a new wave of fury.” Walker “called for no tax or fee increases, but cuts of $1.5 billion to items like the schools and local governments – the preferable choice, he said, for solving a deficit expected to arise in the two-year budget period that begins in July.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (3/2, Stein, 206K) reports Gov. Scott Walker “vowed Tuesday to close a gaping state budget gap by reshaping Wisconsin government at every level: holding spending of state tax dollars nearly flat, slashing aid to public schools and local governments while expanding state aid to private schools, eliminating 1,200 state jobs with some possible layoffs and placing the tightest limits on property taxes that the state has seen.” The budget “was unveiled as a dramatic legal fight played out over the administration’s restriction of public access to the Capitol, where protesters have demonstrated for days.” The Wisconsin State Journal (3/2, DeFour) also covers this story.
Wyoming Officials Bracing For Reduction In Title I Funding
The Casper (WY) Star-Tribune (5/16, Borchardt) reports on the impact that Federal “budget-trimming measures” are expected to have on Wyoming’s school districts, noting that ED “notified states in April of possible cuts to the Title I grant program, which supports schools with large populations of students in poverty. In turn, the Wyoming Department of Education advised districts to plan for a 5 to 10 percent cut in their Title I budgets. Wyoming’s Title I program received $33.8 million in 2009-10,” but “lost $1.3 million for its Title I programs for the rest of this school year when Congress cut education funding in the 2011 budget measure approved last month.”