John Micek brings us the lowlights from this year’s very dismal report on school funding:
Here’s more about the school funding report set to be released later today by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials and the Pennsyvlania Association of School Administrators.
The third annual survey reveals “a rapid decline in school district financial conditions” that forces “districts to cut programs that directly affect student learning — including kindergarten, core academic coursses, tutoring programs and summer school,” the report concludes.
Two hundred and eighty-one of the state’s 500 school districts participated in the survey. More than half of districts anticipate financial distress within three years. A half-dozen say they’re already broke, according to published reports this morning.
Citing the $900 million cut in state support they received in the FY 2011-12 state budget, the report says districts furloughed staff and left 14,000 positions unfilled across the state. Seventy percent of districts increased class sizes, 44 percent reduced elective courses, a third reduced or eliminated totiring programs and 20 percent eliminated summer school programs
I just don’t get why Republicans want to act like we live in a poor country. The state can afford not to do this. There are plenty of stupid tax credits and loopholes that are much worse uses of taxpayers’ money than all the stuff that’s being cut here.
Also, I defy anyone to argue that this is “pro-business.” PA’s businesses are trying to recruit talented employees. Many of those prospective employees have kids. It is going to be more difficult for businesses to persuade talented people to come live and work in Pennsylvania if the state keeps gutting its public education system. “Pro-business” is about more than just tax rates.