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Forget Promises to Restore School Funding


Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, americans, children, corruption, crime, culture, dishonesty, education, freedoms, government, politics, rights, society )

Kit
- 930 days ago - truth-out.org
Kansas's schools will receive a modest increase of $58 per student next year, an amount that Allison said "does not even meet inflation, and is a drop in the bucket compared with the cuts we've taken."



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Kit B. (276)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 7:53 pm
(Photo: Travis Dove / The New York Times)

When Wichita Public Schools Superintendent John Allison learned that, thanks to rising revenues, Kansas was projected to have a budget surplus of more than $300 million at the end of the year - the state’s first surplus since the recession - he hoped that the legislature would use the money to restore the hundreds of millions of dollars that it had cut from education in the last three years.

From 2008 to the end of the current fiscal year on June 30th, Kansas will have slashed school funding by nearly $700 per student, a decline of more than 12 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars. In Wichita, the state’s largest school district, those cuts came to about $60 million of its $600 million budget, Allison said, and translated into large-scale layoffs; the closure of five schools; the elimination of programs such as driver’s education, art, and music; the curtailment of professional development for teachers; and the deferral of necessary maintenance to school buildings.

“We couldn’t take another year like the last three,” Allison said. When news broke about the surplus, “We thought, ‘Finally, things are going to start getting back to normal.’”

But lawmakers in Kansas had different ideas. In the final days of the legislative session last month, they used the surplus to justify the largest tax cut in the state’s history. Among other changes, the cuts reduce the top rate to 4.9 percent from 6.45 percent, and are projected to cost $3.7 billion over the next five years, converting this year’s surplus into long-term budget deficits that could total $2.5 billion by 2018.

Meanwhile, Kansas’s schools will receive a modest increase of $58 per student next year, an amount that Allison said “does not even meet inflation, and is a drop in the bucket compared with the cuts we’ve taken.”

That has left Allison feeling betrayed. “Over and over, we heard from our elected officials that this was the worst recession since the Great Depression, and they had no choice but to cut school funding,” he said. “We were told that once the economy improves, our funding would be restored. But this year, when they did have a choice, a very clear choice, they decided that tax cuts were more important than education.”
***
By Mike Alberti, Remapping Debate | News Analysis | Truthout |

Full article at Visit Site
 

Susanne R. (249)
Saturday June 9, 2012, 9:13 pm
So, after years of cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from their education budget, Kansas anticipated a $300 million budget surplus --which could have been used to restore the school budgets. Instead, "they used the surplus to justify the largest tax cut in the state’s history. Among other changes, the cuts reduce the top rate to 4.9 percent from 6.45 percent, and are projected to cost $3.7 billion over the next five years, converting this year’s surplus into long-term budget deficits that could total $2.5 billion by 2018."

How very Republican! They screwed education and turned a small surplus into a huge deficit. Didn't they learn anything from the Bush years? People who'd rather have a tax cut than provide children with a decent education could use a little educating themselves...
 

Val R. (254)
Sunday June 10, 2012, 4:09 pm
They want us all dumbed down - but let's appease us a little - sick.
 

Janelle Wong (71)
Monday June 11, 2012, 9:59 am
See the documentary - Waiting for "Superman"
 

Janelle Wong (71)
Monday June 11, 2012, 10:14 am
See the documentary - Waiting for "Superman"
 

Kit B. (276)
Monday June 11, 2012, 10:27 am

Been there-done that.

Here's what you see in Waiting for Superman, the new documentary that celebrates the charter school movement while blaming teachers unions for much of what ails American education: working- and middle-class parents desperate to get their charming, healthy, well-behaved children into successful public charter schools.

Here's what you don't see: the four out of five charters that are no better, on average, than traditional neighborhood public schools (and are sometimes much worse); charter school teachers, like those at the Green Dot schools in Los Angeles, who are unionized and like it that way; and non charter neighborhood public schools, like PS 83 in East Harlem and the George Hall Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama, that are nationally recognized for successfully educating poor children.

You don't see teen moms, households without an adult English speaker or headed by a drug addict, or any of the millions of children who never have a chance to enter a charter school lottery (or get help with their homework or a nice breakfast) because adults simply aren't engaged in their education. These children, of course, are often the ones who are most difficult to educate, and the ones neighborhood public schools can't turn away.

You also don't learn that in the Finnish education system, much cited in the film as the best in the world, teachers are—gasp!—unionized and granted tenure, and families benefit from a cradle-to-grave social welfare system that includes universal daycare, preschool and healthcare, all of which are proven to help children achieve better results at school.

In other words, Waiting for Superman is a moving but vastly oversimplified brief on American educational inequality. Nevertheless, it has been greeted by rapturous reviews.
***
By Dana Goldstein
http://www.thenation.com/article/154986/grading-waiting-superman

The full movie "Waiting For Superman" is available on YouTube - in parts, so be ready to watch it as segments. I will not comment on my personal view of this movie, learn some real facts before or after viewing.
 

Michael Barth (43)
Monday June 11, 2012, 1:32 pm
So sad.
 

Jason S. (57)
Monday June 11, 2012, 3:14 pm
thanks
 

Robert Hardy (68)
Tuesday June 12, 2012, 6:49 am
Sure, keep them ignorant and you keep them conservative.
 

Kerrie G. (135)
Wednesday June 13, 2012, 12:24 am
Noted, thanks.
 

Azaima A. (225)
Sunday June 17, 2012, 6:14 am
thanks
 
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