PA Schools Plan to Reduce or Eliminate Art, Music, Kindergarten, Summer School & Tutoring to Face Funding Cuts
|May 30, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Budget, Education||
Data from a spring 2012 survey of school districts across the Commonwealth indicate increased class sizes, the possible elimination of art, music and gym classes as well as field trips, and deep cuts to tutoring programs and summer school as the result of an $810 million reduction in state funding. Reductions in local funds coupled with these cuts at the state level and increased health care and retirement costs have already resulted in staff and teacher wage freezes and furloughs in many districts, but now educational programming is on the chopping block.
The assessment, conducted the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) and the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) notes that 19 percent of the responding districts plan to reduce or end early childhood education programming, including Kindergarten. This is disturbing news as not only does early childhood education result in improved educational outcomes and is linked to future employability and wage earning potential; it is also an industry that employs tens of thousands of people per state and generates impressive gross revenue figures.
Governor Corbett has suggested that districts use their reserves to avoid cutting programs or academic subjects in the upcoming year. No word on how that tactic ensures that those same cuts will be not made once the “emergency” reserves (already being used by some districts) are gone.