Upon education rests the fate of the nation.
John F. Kennedy
As the nation continues to deal with the fall-out from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, our education system is facing increasing pressure with states trying to balance their budgets. The cuts in education funding are not only resulting in larger classrooms and limited access to new resources and textbooks, but also a reduction in the number of elective courses and extracurricular activities (sports, theater, band, etc.) being offered by school districts.
Budget cuts are not just affecting the K-12 grade levels. Many state universities are offsetting reductions in state funding by having students field the bill in the form of tuition increases. This, in a time of elevated unemployment, is forcing some students and families to reconsider the value of obtaining a college degree. Additionally, many collegiate level athletic programs are also feeling the pressures of cuts in state financing leading to the demise of some teams as well as a decrease in scholarship opportunities.
It appears that American ingenuity has become doing that which is necessary to patch the system long enough to put issues out of sight out of mind, while passing the real debt on to younger generations. Unfortunately, without access to quality, affordable educations, these generations will likely lack the skills and knowledge necessary to tackle the issues they will inevitably face. If America is to remain a super power, we must find a solution to the growing education gap that exists between our students and students of developing countries such as India and China.
For your information, we have listed some articles on the dire straits facing our educational system because of the economic crisis below.
More than $100 billion in federal economic stimulus will help public schools and colleges survive the recession over the next two years, and for districts in dire straits, that money is a lifeline. But some states’ finances are so precarious their schools are still going to face large cuts.
Tough economy hammers schools, colleges
Despite stimulus, schools feel budget pain
President Obama is using stimulus funds to finance the federal government’s largest one-time investment in K-12 education. Through the “Race to the Top program,” up to $4.35 billion of grants will be distributed. The program encourages the use of charter schools.
Extra Homework Applying for Education Grants
The 32% increase in tuition fees by the University of California system is discussed.
Is a $26,000 UC education still a deal?
UC expected to raise student fees 32%
This story also points out that tuition for professional schools is increasing dramatically. Tuition to attend UCLA’s Law School will increase to $40,522 per year in 2010-11 or comparable to the $44,674 tuition to attend USC Law School for 2009-10, which, as a private university, has historically been much more expensive.
University of California students protest tuition increase
State university fee hikes are a test many families can’t pass
The devastating impact the budget cuts and related tuition hikes are having on equal opportunity education to children of affluent and poor families is discussed at:
The Crisis of College Affordability
Higher education in California should better reflect the times
The impact on sports is the subject of “Coaches as Fundraisers.”