How schools actually make cuts
Texas reduced state spending on education by more than $5 billion for 2010. At the time, everyone discussed the sheer size of the cuts, knowing that the quality of instruction in Texas public schools would suffer. But how school districts would actually manage these cuts and what compromises they’d make was unknown.
Children at Risk, our member in Texas, found out. Their new report, “Doing More With Less? Public Education in a New Fiscal Reality,” studied the school-level effects of the big statewide cuts and found that each district took the blow in a different way. Since most of school spending goes to paying school staff, most districts had to make cuts here, including to teachers. Although schools were loathe to increase class sizes, the ratio of students to teachers did creep up during the period. Fifteen percent of Pre-K programs also reported cuts.
It’s appropriate, then, that PBS featured the work of Dr. Robert Sanborn, Children at Risk’s President and CEO, in their new documentary on education, Dropout Nation. Dropout Nation follows four kids struggling to graduate high school and profiles the teachers and others working to save every troubled student they can. Watch Dropout Nation and consider what’s at risk when schools are forced into making massive cuts.