I am not sure whether to call the political era in which we are living the Teapot Age or the Crackpot Age, but rest assured that future historians will label it anything but Golden. The Tea Party-brewed insanity in Washington is bad enough, and now comes news that most states are still putting the squeeze on school funding, despite an improving economy.
Although it is true that the Texas Legislature this year restored most of the $5.4 billion that the legislative majority had cut in 2011, school districts still are receiving less money per student than they did in the 2010-11 school year. And, Texas schools, unfortunately, are not alone.
According to the report linked below, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has found that 34 states are spending less per student than they were before the recession. As the author, associate education professor Matthew Lynch, notes, “These dismal numbers mean a continued crackdown on school budgets despite an improving economy.”
“If we cannot fully fund our public schools how can we expect things like the achievement gap to close or high school graduation rates to rise?” he asks.
But the Tea Partiers around the country and their elected yes-people who are intent on crippling government don’t have an answer. Neither do the education profiteers, beyond milking every tax dollar they can for private schools or corporate charters.