What Government Budget Cuts Mean for Your Child’s EducationJun 5th, 2011 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: Issues in Homeschooling
Will cuts in education effect your child’s education?
All around the country, education has been asked to take a seat in the barber’s chair – and it’s not just for a trim. Nationwide, politics and economics have forced education to shave its proverbial head.
With Federal and State funding drying up, schools are planning for the worst and cutting programs. Remember art? How about home economics? Or geography? With all of the hoopla surrounding implementation of No Child Left Behind , many schools have already eliminated some of the important subjects we all experienced as children: science, social studies, music…you name it. It seems that everything except reading, writing and arithmetic was long ago left on the barber shop floor.
And that’s very bad news, because with so much already cut out of your child’s education, what else is there to take away? For many public school students, lunch already means two slices of bread and a piece of cheese, no paper or pencils and limited school nurse availability. So what’ll be next to go?
In fact, the news is that the situation is slated to get even worse as September rolls around and the last of the federal stimulus money that was handed out in 2009-2010 is spent. Florida will see a 10% cut in K-12 education spending. Ohio will see a 5-6% cut. New York City’s mayor is proposing laying off 5% of schoolteachers, while the State of Texas worries that a stunning 65,000 school employees could be laid off. Few – if any – states have been spared.
Recessions typically bring about austerity measures, but what’s the bottom line for your child’s education? How austere can we make our education system before our children (and tomorrow’s leaders) wind up as bad at math as the people who got us into this mess?
If your children are in public school, here are four ways you and your child’s education may be impacted:
1. Parents will need to plan on being a teacher from 3:00 p.m. until bedtime.
Yes – it already feels like that’s what you’ve been doing, but it’s probably going to get worse. With layoffs, class sizes will increase. That means teachers are going to have their hands full just managing classrooms. Kids will start seeing new material at homework time – instead of in the classroom – so parents will have to step up to the plate as teachers.
2. Don’t count on after-school activities to serve as a babysitter.
All those nifty activities the kids love to join, like sports and the Dinosaur Club? Many will go the way of dinosaurs and become extinct. After-school programs are almost always the first thing to go when the budgets get crunched.
3. No one is special anymore.
There are many kids out there who have special needs, whether it’s a learning disability, a physical disability or behavioral issues. These special needs programs have already been trimmed over the last few years. You should expect even more cuts and you’ll need to start looking for other ways to help your children.
4. No child will be left behind….much.
Unless the laws are changed, the requirements for No Child Left Behind will still need to be met. Teachers will continue to teach for the tests, with the bulk of the focus on reading and math. Instead of delivering well-rounded, educated students to higher learning institutions, our children will only receive the bare minimum in education.
Budgets reflect those things that we – as a society – deem worthy of our tax dollars. In 2010, we spent $15 billion less as a nation on education, even as our educational system continued to weaken. What does this say about how our nation views our children’s futures?
How will you help to expand your children’s education in spite of the education system cuts?
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