Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Georgia "Out of it's Mind"
First, as Maureen Downey reported at her AJC "Get Schooled" blog, State funding pays for 147 days of school. Districts are on their own for the remaining 33.
Maureen tells us that state Superintendent, Kathy Cox's criticisms of state cuts to education are growing more forthright, including a statement this week that the Legislature only approved enough funding next year to cover 147 days of the mandated 180-day school year. Cox is leaving her post in a few weeks. (She announced last week that she is resigning to head a think tank in D.C. and is no longer seeing election to a third term running Georgia’s schools.)
So nice of you to finally speak up, Ms. Cox.
Jim Galloway recently posted a "Political Insider" column called, A wave of teacher layoffs set to wash over Georgia politics. Jim reports:
A wave that Georgia Republicans have feared for the better part of a year is approaching the shoreline.
This month, thousands of public school teachers across the state were formally notified that their services were no longer required. They will be joined in the unemployment line by thousands of others — school clerks, cafeteria workers and bus drivers.
Roughly 3,500 of the state’s 118,000 public school teachers are at risk, according to one estimate — although the state Department of Education says an exact count won’t be available until this fall.
State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond says his department has prepared for 8,000 school-related applications for jobless benefits this summer.
Even more teachers and school workers could lose their jobs next year, as federal stimulus funding is depleted.
Not good. Not good at all. In so many ways.
For a look at just how poorly our state has funded education in the past decade, read this report called, THE UNFULFILLED PROMISE TO GEORGIA’S CHILDREN, compiled by the Georgia School Funding Association. The report states:
The State must do more than provide enough financial support, but this is still a primary obligation which it has neglected. Even though the absolute amount of State funds for K-12 education has increased in recent years, the increases have not kept pace with the growth in enrollment and the effect of inflation, much less the needs of our students. In fact, the total amount of all funds allotted by the State to local school systems decreased on a per-student, inflation-adjusted basis by 18% between Fiscal Year (“FY’) 2002 and FY 2009.
Support for education in Georgia seems to have hit rock-bottom - or has it?
To learn how QBE (Quality Basic Education), which is GA’s formula for funding education, is figured download this Powerpoint:
Funding Georgia’s Public Schools: An Overview