Since Republicans major wins in 2010 handing them full control in numerous states, they have been slashing education funding at a rapid rate while at the same time cutting corporate tax rates. This is now having very detrimental effects.
In Michigan they have some of the highest class sizes in the country, and they are now in the news for hazards cited by the Detroit Fire Department for overcrowding. However, before I go into the recent news made in Michigan, I want to share with you a few examples of just how drastic these education cuts have been (click on states name for link to full articles).
Instead of continuing the temporary, three-quarters-of-a-cent sales tax that Perdue has used to pay teachers’ salaries and support school programs since the state budget deficit emerged, Republicans refused to extend the tax and cut $800 million out of education funding.
Under the soon-to-be-passed Republican budget, the education system as a whole would lose 13,000 jobs, nearly 70 percent of those from public schools. Other cuts include $13.3 million from dropout prevention programs, $92.2 million from textbooks, $42 million from instructional supplies and even more funding from teacher training, student testing and support programs.
Many Northwest Indiana schools would receive less state funding over the next two years under a Republican budget plan expected to be approved by a House committee Friday.
The proposed budget continues Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels’ $300 million annual education funding cut through 2013, eliminates small-school and restoration grants and takes the so-called “deghoster” — three years of additional payments to schools that lose students — out of the school funding formula.
Gary Community School Corp. is the biggest loser among region schools under the plan. State funding for Gary schools will drop from $94.2 million this year to $79.2 million in 2012 and $74.3 million in 2013.
Other school corporations facing significant 2012 cuts include Whiting, 5.9 percent; Lake Ridge, 4.3 percent; North Newton, 3.1 percent; South Newton, 3 percent; East Chicago, 2.8 percent; Munster, 2.5 percent; Porter Township, 2.4 percent; Hammond, 2.2 percent; and Boone Township, 2.1 percent.
State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, today plans to vote against the House Republican majority’s budget.
“Like Governor Corbett’s proposed budget, the House Republican budget still cuts funding drastically for K-12 and higher education while failing to use a combined current and projected $1 billion in additional state revenue to lessen deep cuts in education, health care and other vital programs,” Roebuck said.
Roebuck said the state has received $500 million in additional revenue so far this budget year and that figure can be projected forward into next year’s revenue base, yielding the $1 billion figure.
“I am deeply concerned about what the Corbett $298 million cut in state funding for Philadelphia public schools would mean for local students and homeowners’ property taxes. The House Republican budget proposal is nearly as bad – it would cut $276 million, or 21.8 percent, from current state funding levels for Philadelphia public schools. That is not a ‘restoration’ – that is still a massive cut,” Roebuck said.
Roebuck said the House Republican budget cuts $976 million in K-12 education funding, including block grants, education assistance, charter school reimbursement and school improvement grants – not just the one line item labeled basic education funding.
Even though Walker isn’t ordering immediate layoffs, his budget will put tremendous pressure on schools and local governments, which will be asked to shoulder huge cuts without raising property taxes to make up the difference.
Walker’s budget includes a nearly 9 percent cut in aid to schools, which would amount to a reduction of nearly $900 million. The governor also proposed requiring school districts to reduce their property tax authority by an average of $550 per pupil.
Michigan’s massive class sizes and overcrowding
James Chambers of The Detroit News reported the Detroit Fire Department has cited schools for over crowding creating a fire hazard.
Some of the worst victims of the economic crisis have been our nation’s schools. As state coffers emptied, declining revenues forced schools to lay off hundreds of thousands of teachers across the country and pack kids into under-staffed buildings.
Now, the Detroit Fire Marshall’s Office has issued a citation at the city’s Nolan Elementary School after finding so many children in over-crowded classrooms that it was become a public safety hazard: Lt. Gerod Funderburg of the Detroit Fire Department said the fire marshal’s office issued a citation at Nolan Elementary School, 1150 Lantz.
“They went out today and issued a ticket for overcrowding,” Funderburg said. […] The Detroit News reported last week that excessive class sizes at some DPS schools were still a problem six weeks into the school year.
Specifically, The Detroit News reported that Nolan had 55 kindergarteners in one class, while a DPS high school had 72 students in a science course. What kind of education do you think you get with 72 students in your class? Remember how everyone makes fun of big lecture hall classes in college? That’s what is happening to our schools.