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Sunday, May 3, 2020

Jeff Bryant: Economic Tsunami Crashes into America’s Schools - LA Progressive

Economic Tsunami Crashes into America’s Schools - LA Progressive

Economic Tsunami Crashes into America’s Schools

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, nearly all states have ordered or recommended school buildings stay closed for the rest of the academic year, according to Education Week’s most recent count, and “schools are likely to stay shut for months,” according to the New York Times. Teachers are responding to the crisis by continuing their heroic efforts to ensure students are getting fedstaying engaged, and receiving ongoing instruction via remote learning in some form. Meanwhile, economists and policy leaders are warning that public schools are headed toward a financial crater unless governments at all levels come up with emergency funds for schools.
But instead of rushing to rescue schools from financial calamity, many government leaders—including U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos—are using the pandemic to advance their personal agendas, whether it’s to privatize public education or balance budgets on the backs of school kids.

Their proposals to privatize education and slash spending are the wrong way to respond to a pandemic.

The predicted shortfalls will compound harm that’s been done to a public education system already in financial trauma.
Public schools haven’t fully recovered from the beating they took as a result of the Great Recession, argues a new report from the Albert Shanker Institute, a research center affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. The downturn in the nation’s economy that started in 2007 hit schools hardest in 2009 to 2011, after states had slashed education budgets and aid that came from the federal stimulus package had run out. The results were “fewer teachers and support staff, larger classes, and a narrower array of academic CONTINUE READING: Economic Tsunami Crashes into America’s Schools - LA Progressive