Report shows budget cuts devastating schools

It’s not too much of a surprise that deep budget cuts are having a huge negative impact on direct services to students and families. A new report, “Starving America’s Public Schools: How Budget Cuts and Policy Mandates are Hurting our Nation’s Students by Campaign for America’s Future,” provides the data to substantiate the effects.

The report, sponsored by the National Education Association, focuses on five states that have boasted of their budget cuts to K-12 education: Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. These states have reduced or eliminated pre-kindergarten, full-day kindergarten, technical education, foreign language, art, music and physical education. The report documents how dwindling public school funds were transferred to private schools and voucher programs.

While the states supposedly saved money in the short-term, here are some of the long-term effects of the budget cuts:

  • In a Pennsylvania district, 40 percent of the teachers were eliminated and class sizes rose from 21 to 30 in elementary schools and up to 35 in high schools.
  • Arizona redirects $61 million per year from public schools through individual, corporate and other kinds of tax credit programs.
  • Florida has cut more than $1 billion in education this year—an 8 percent drop that means a loss of $542 per student.
  • The North Carolina General Assembly approved a budget that cut $800 million in education funding and overrode the governor’s veto to do so.