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Readers Sound Off as Districts Face Tough Budget Decisions: ‘What Else Is New?’

Just as COVID-relief aid is set to expire this fall, some states are also looking to shed weight from their own budgets, including in K-12 education.

Although districts were advised against spending the majority of their relief funds on staff wages, some forged ahead anyway—facing seemingly insurmountable needs to help students make up lost ground academically and address their mental health needs.

Now, many positions—including teaching jobs—are at risk of elimination as districts face the double whammy of relief funds drying up and states holding the line on school aid.

In a field that has been fraught with mounting hardships since the pandemic, it’s no surprise that the looming threat of funding cuts and layoffs has been hardly well-received among educators.

Here’s a closer look at what readers had to say in reaction to recent EdWeek articles about the financial difficulties districts are facing.

‘What Else Is New?’

“We are already conditioned to not having what we need. What else is new?”

—Justin S.

“States cut schools when times are good, and cut schools when times are bad.”

—Greg S.

No More ‘Wasteful Spending’

“Honestly spending in education has gotten frivolous and the kids don’t seem to benefit anymore. Wasteful spending in education has to go.”

—Jess S.

“We teachers are given everything we need yet reading scores get lower and lower and math is abysmal. We do not need more money to teach!”

—Judith M.

Are We Spending How We Should?

“Then it’s time to cut all sports funding beyond what the sports teams can raise themselves through fundraising.”

—Tim D.

“If they really want to benefit kids, they’d build new schools. With 30 plus students in a classroom, and a lack of discipline in kids, it’s a miracle they are doing as well as they are.”

—Michelle A.

Let’s Cut the ‘Fluffy … Positions’

“Maybe get rid of the fluffy central office positions”

—Lyla S.

“They need to stop funding SEL positions and focus on core competencies”

—Kate S.

Teachers, looking for a regular dose of inspiration? Sign up for Teacher Update. This newsletter, delivered every Thursday morning, has the latest news and perspectives on teaching.

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