Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Unfunded Mandates

I was planning a presentation for the school board the other evening regarding our school district's challenges to The Governor's education funding cuts.

While doing so, I was preparing a slide showing some of the unfunded mandates.

Here are just a few:

1. No Child Left Behind : I can't imagine the personnel costs that have gone into schools in recent years as they attempt to get every child to meet state standards. Reading Recovery, Literacy Collaboratives, Writer's Workshop Training, Instructional Coaches, major staff development efforts, technology intitiatives to track data, the list goes on and on and on...

2.Core 40: More and more teachers are needed in the Math and English areas.

3. Higher state standards and higher cut scores: These create more remediation classes, more teachers and more paraprofessionals.

4. Training Costs: Ask your superintendent what has happened to your school district's budget line for substitute teachers. It has gone through the roof. Release time for everything - all of it important.

5. Special Education: Yes, despite the state and federal dollars - special education is hugely underfunded. In the 1970's it was supposed to be funded at a 40% level. It has now reached a whopping 18-20%.

That means the other 22% is being subsidized by the General Fund.

There is no question that higher standards and accountibility have put a focus on school improvement, but the constant barrage of unfunded mandates has created a crushing financial burden for Indiana schools.


At Thursday, December 01, 2005, Blogger 1citizen said...

Does your definition of "cuts" mean less money being spent this year than last, or does it mean a reduction in the rate of spending increase.



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