"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Underfunded Urban Schools on the Brink of Financial Collapse

From the Connecticut Post:
. . . . Warning that education in Connecticut's cities faces impending disaster, the chief of the Bristol school system is calling on state lawmakers to suspend standardized testing, shorten the school year and authorize teacher furloughs.

Even with those emergency actions, Bristol --along with many other urban school systems across the state --will be short millions of dollars, and could be forced into layoffs and program cutbacks for the next two years, Superintendent Philip Streifer said Wednesday.

"The public needs to understand the scope of this problem. I'm not going to stand by while public education is decimated," he said. "I'm one voice, but I'm shouting."

Streifer's warning came a day after state budget analysts reaffirmed that Connecticut is on track to a staggering $6 billion budget deficit for the next two years. Gov. M. Jodi Rell has called for $284 million in state education spending next year, a measure that could knock out 6 to 12 percent of education cost-sharing aid to municipalities. That would slice into revenues for suburbs and rural towns, but would most severely hit cities, which rely on state money to pay for half or more of their school costs. . . .

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