Education Week: Schools Cope With Budget Cuts

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A high school classroom in Birmingham, Alabama. (Flickr user Dystopos)

As students across the nation head back to school, The Takeaway presents a special report on education this week. Today, we focus on budget cuts. As states continue to take in less revenue, public schools around the country are seeing their budgets slashed. It's the principal's job to examine a budget, and distribute available funding in a way that's in the best interest for the students.

Ben Shuldiner, principal of the High School for Public Service in Brooklyn, New York, and Mark Wilson, principal of Morgan County High School in Madison, Georgia, talk about how principals make tough budgetary decisions when there's little money to go around.

Comments [8]


Andy from Lubbuck makes an excellent point which is conveniently ignored in the media talking points.

Aug. 30 2011 11:12 AM
Mike from Boston MA

I was amaze to hear that Ben Shuldiner was positive about public schools in the United States at this point in time. I don't know anything about the background/neighborhood of his school, but I know that in the Boston metropolitan area, people will pay thousands of dollars per year more in property taxes for a better school than they will find just 3 miles away in a different district. In addition, they were already willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars more for a home in the "good area" to begin with. For those who do not have that option... America's public schools are not THAT great and cutting funding is not helping. Aggressive investment in teachers’ education, salaries, school buildings and infrastructure are needed. Unfortunately the people who are in public office and the people who pay them are not interested (THEIR kids are doing fine). BTW: great radio show!!

Aug. 30 2011 10:29 AM
Andy from Lubbock, TX

After listening to the positive remarks from education innovators from this morning's show, I have one blaring question. Educational cuts are the results of dwindling budgets at the local, state, and federal level; however, have these districts seen any shrinkage in the budgets of "public servants" within the same districts? The true villains here are not fiscal conservatives, but politico fat cats that remain in power for years and decades. When will the public see the true menace in our fight for America's future?!

Aug. 30 2011 09:44 AM
Jim Crumpler from Miami, FL

I can’t believe my ears are hearing principals say that the quality of education is not being affected by budget cuts. What wimps. How can cutting teachers and increasing class size improve education? Now we have cut property taxes but you have to pay for everything at the schools. This means the people of communities that do not have children contribute less to the schools than people with children. With statements like what these principals have made they should expect more budget cuts. They need to stand up for education. How can you expect to improve something by taking away resources? There seems to be a conservative movement to starve public schools into failure. They want traditional schools to be replaced with the businesses called “Charter Schools” were profit is involved.

Aug. 30 2011 09:39 AM
Joe N from Miami

Please frame your discussion at a strategic level. It's obvious that a society that fails to educate its children has given up on its own future. Why? because those children are the future of the society. Why then will Americans fight to maintain entitlements for the aging, but short-change the young and give up on the future. I'd give up my Social Security benefits if I knew to a certainty that money would go to effective education.

Aug. 30 2011 09:35 AM
Joseph Ferreira from Wrentham, MA

Budget cuts led to two positions being cut from my history department at King Philip Regional High School because ours isn't a high-stakes testing department like English, science and mathematics. My class sizes have now zoomed from the mid-20s to the mid-30s, meaning I will have little time to spend one-on-one with each student during the year. How is this either educationally or fiscally sound?

Aug. 30 2011 09:33 AM
Heather from Brooklyn

My school has had to cut all funding for after school enrichment and remediation.

Aug. 30 2011 09:31 AM

How does the budget cuts involve the teacher's unions which seem to be very politically connected and flush with funds?

Aug. 30 2011 09:29 AM

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