Funding Cuts in the News

Guest post by Jim Ryan

Seems one day there’s a story about a new federal funding program, and the next day a story about another round of budget cuts at the state or local level.  We should be approaching equilibrium at some point, no?

Today and yesterday were about cuts.  There’s a story in today’s NYT about funding for charter schools in Chicago, which is being cut.  The story also reports that many charter schools run at a deficit.

Picking up where yesterday’s post left off, charter school funding seems ripe for litigation.  Most charter schools receive less public money than traditional public schools.  Whether that’s a good idea or a bad, a state court that is inclined to read—or has already read—the state constitution to guarantee roughly equal funding is likely to greet the discrepancy with a good deal of skepticism.  In any event, charter school funding, if nothing else, is interesting because it brings out the hidden egalitarian in some who are otherwise comfortable with unequal funding for regular public schools.

Today’s story about funding cuts to Chicago charter schools comes on the heels of a story from yesterday’s NYT about the impact of budget cuts on the Yonkers school district:  fewer teachers and larger class sizes, including a class size of 36 students for summer school!

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