Friday, January 16, 2009

Schools Feel the Pain This Time Around

Link to January 15 post, "Economics sore subject for public schools".

Two years ago, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) vowed that 2008 would be the “year of education.” He laid the groundwork by establishing a high-profile commission that urged an overhaul of the state public school system — and $10.5 billion in additional spending.

But that was before the nation dove headlong into economic crisis, and before California policymakers realized their state would be deep in the red. In late 2008, Schwarzenegger met with educators and dropped this bombshell: Schools needed to brace for cuts of more than $2 billion.

The story is the same throughout the country. States and school districts have begun pinching pennies wherever they can. Economy measures include changing school bus routes, forcing children to walk farther; buying fewer new library books and assigning librarians to multiple schools; and asking parents to help supply such basics as toilet paper. For the first time in a generation, New York’s Schuylerville Central School District was forced to boost its school lunch price — to $1.50 from $1.25.

I think it's disingenuous to include the two "bolded" items above, as the choking-off-the-life-of -school-libraries trend was well underway before this most recent economic downturn.

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