Education Spending? Is it too much? Is it enough?

The school district where I work is facing significant budget cuts, like many in the state. So the article that I read that held the most interest for me currently was a conservative blog entry about the increased federal spending on education. The article’s main point was that increased spending and increased performance are not related, and it generally frowned upon the increase: “Unfortunately, the sacred cow of education has been spared of the spending freeze.” (It’s a safe guess that the writer is not in the education field.)

I obviously have a different view of the situation. The teacher I am subbing for has been told her job is on the line in this next round of budget cuts. So I’m looking at this proposed increase in spending and asking, “When is it going to get here?” I hope it’s soon enough to save my colleague’s job.

The problem is, of course, is that most of the funding for schools comes from the state level and not the federal government. States have been hit hard by the recession (decreased tax revenue from both sales and property tax, I’m sure), and that is finally starting to show in education. The sooner we can get this federal money into school systems, to make a difference and save jobs, the better.

Articles I’ve Read:

Time Magazine “Why We’re Failing Our Schools”

New York Times “Experts Say a Rewrite of Nation’s Main Education Law Will Be Hard This Year”

Boston Globe “Obama education overhaul well received”

The Foundry “Budget 2011: Education Spending Skyrockets”

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2 Comments »

  1. jlhummel Said:

    In my opinion, this question of whether school funding is too much or not enough has an obvious answer. Not enough. Today, I received the corporation newsletter for the school district where I live and went to school. In the letter, it stated that they would have to cut $300 to $400 dollars a student. In the next paragraph, they stated school budgets are going to be dramatically cut, but we have to try to do that without cutting teachers.

    I do not know where they are going to be doing the cutting. My school already has outdated technology so cutting there would not really be possible. They could cut down on extracurricular funding, but these will not be enough.

    They have begun discussions about consolidation with a nearby school. This would be a definite problem. These two rural schools have students who live all the way to the Ohio line and students who live in Henry county. I know this will save money, but some students will be on the bus for well over and hour. There will also be more students in the classroom which means less one-on-one attention.

    When it comes to this budget problem, I do not have the answers, but I do know that the approaches now are not working. I think the answer to your question is there is not enough money for schools, but I do not know what steps need to be taken next, but schools and politicians must figure it out before quality of education decreases.

  2. rpmeredith Said:

    It seems to me that this is an issue that we will continue to wonder about long into our own retirements. It never ceases to amaze me that a country whose government is supposedly controlled by the educated votes of the masses would take such little interest in the education of its youth. The old adage “Money can’t buy happiness.” may be true, but it seems to me that money certainly doesn’t hurt. I think it’s time for us to admit as a country that equal education for all citizenry is no longer a priority. Yes, money is an issue right now. But there is more to it than a simple lack of funding. If we can bail out the banks and the auto industry, spend billions on the Iraq and Afghanistan “wars”, toss around a number of stimulus bills, then there is no excuse for for the miserly attitude our country has toward educational funding.


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