January 2, 2013

Survey shows that school funding crisis is deepening


A recent survey shows that nearly $1 billion in Gov. Tom Corbett’s state funding cuts continue to wreak havoc on Pennsylvania’s school districts, forcing them to dramatically reduce or eliminate student programs at the same time that the state’s academic expectations are increasing.

PSEA President Mike Crossey pointed to a new survey conducted by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials and the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators as evidence of a deepening school funding crisis.

“These survey results confirm what parents, students, and educators already know,” Crossey said. “There is a school funding crisis in Pennsylvania, and state government needs to make solving it the top priority.”

The survey results show that school districts continue to increase class sizes, eliminate program offerings, and shut down tutoring programs for struggling students. This second year of dramatic cut-backs comes at the same time that the state Department of Education’s academic achievement plan calls for sharp increases in the academic targets it expects public school students to meet.

“These funding cuts are punishing students and robbing them of learning opportunities at the same time that we expect them to meet higher and higher achievement levels on standardized tests,” Crossey said. “It’s bad public policy, it’s bad for students, and it needs to stop.”

The new survey results present even more evidence that the impact of nearly $1 billion in state funding cuts will worsen with each passing year. Crossey pointed to “Sounding the Alarm,” a study PSEA released in March, 2012. “Sounding the Alarm” illustrates that the state funding cuts threaten the financial viability of a significant number of school districts by 2014, and offers solutions to resolve the crisis.

Learn more at www.psea.org/soundingthealarm.

“The school funding crisis will get worse with each year that the governor refuses to restore the funding lost as a result of his unprecedented cuts,” Crossey said. “Educators have been pointing this out for more than a year. Now, it’s time to do something about it.”

Find complete survey results at www.pasbo.org.

 




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