Tuesday, June 21, 2011

School Funding: PUBLIC GOOD. PUBLIC CUTS - State budget shortfalls will bring a raft of cuts to public schools

4LAKids - some of the news that doesn't fit: School Funding: PUBLIC GOOD. PUBLIC CUTS - State budget shortfalls will bring a raft of cuts to public schools

School Funding: PUBLIC GOOD. PUBLIC CUTS - State budget shortfalls will bring a raft of cuts to public schools

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EDITORIAL FROM THE U.S. EDITION OF THE ECONOMIST | HTTP://ECON.ST/K3EL5C

Jun 16th 2011 | AUSTIN |IN 1783 Noah Webster, a schoolteacher, published the first edition of his American spelling book. It would become a standard text in classrooms around the country, selling 60m copies over the course of the next century. Webster’s view was that the new country deserved its own approach to English, more accessible than the version it had inherited. For Webster and his followers, literacy was a democratic goal as much as a pedagogical one.

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That vision of public education is a compelling one, although America has often fallen short in its pursuit of the ideal. This makes it troubling that many cities and states, struggling to make up budget shortfalls, have put schools on the chopping block. In Texas, for example, legislators expect $4 billion in cuts for schools over the next two years, a 6% decrease from the state’s projected funding formulas for 2012. The state convened a special legislative session to hash out the details, after a Democratic state senator filibustered the legislation in the regular session.

The cuts are also meeting resistance from pupils, teachers and, in some cases, the courts. In Los Angeles the teachers’

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