Tuesday, May 26, 2009

School budget cuts

I may have too simply of a response here, but if so, I am confident readers will explain it to me.
We know that we have a major state budget crisis and a major school funding crisis. That is explored in detail on prior posts. What should be done?
I think the best response is to cut the number of school days by 7-10 days as the Legislative Analyst’s office describes. The voters, the taxpayers, and the legislature has decided to fund less education.
Such a reduction would leave in place the many valuable programs that would otherwise be eliminated. With over 36 years of teaching experience I am confident that number of days of instruction is not the key variable, it is the quality of the relationships between teachers and students. Certainly if a district chooses to cut the days of instruction, they should make parallel reductions in the administrative and support services. Less than 54% of school budgets actually get into the classroom. The other 46% is spent on auxiliary items, special education and administration. These too should be reduced in a comparable manner.
I also want to acknowledge the Sacramento Bee for having printed in their Forum and earlier post from Choosing Democracy on the May 19 elections.
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