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Lack of Funding in Education - No Child Left Behind

Essay by   •  July 11, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,890 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,682 Views

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Abstract

In addition to meeting the demands of No Child Left Behind, many school districts are facing an escalating issue of decreased revenue and funding. These problems are not limited to Illinois, but felt in several other parts of the country. This paper will investigate the way that lack of funding has affected Kansas City, Missouri.; Detroit, Michigan.; and Jersey Community School District 100, in Jersey County, Illinois. Additionally, this paper will explore the financial cuts that have been made to personnel, programs, and buildings in the Jersey School District, and the plan that the school district is considering to meet the financial crisis in the future.

Lack of School Funding

In addition to meeting the demands of No Child Left Behind, many school districts are facing an escalating issue of decreased revenue and funding. These problems are not limited to Illinois, but felt in several other parts of the country. In addition to other school districts across the country, Kansas City, Missouri; Detroit, Michigan.; and Jersey Community School District 100, in Jersey County, Illinois have all faced economic hard times. All of the aforementioned districts have had to make financial cuts to their personnel, programs, and buildings. While the districts have already made financial cuts, they continue to look for ways to cut even more and plan for a future that is financially bleak.

The School Board in Kansas City, Missouri, facing a $50 million budget shortfall voted to close twenty nine schools by the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. According to Education on MSNBC.com (educationonmsnbc.com),

The board voted 5-4 after parents and community leaders made final pleas to spare the schools even as the beleaguered district seeks to erase a projected $50 million budget shortfall. Administrators say they had no choice because without the cuts, the district would have been in the red by 2011.

The vote to close twenty nine schools will close nearly half of the Kansas City Public Schools. However, under all the scrutiny, the Board of Education voted to do so with the hope of staying in the black and continuing to provide sound education for the students of the Kansas City Public Schools.

The population at the Kansas City Public Schools has continually declined since the 1960's. When the vote to close the twenty nine schools was taken in March, 2010, there were less than eighteen thousand students enrolled in the Kansas City Public Schools, which is half the number of students enrolled ten years ago, and seventy five percent less than the peak enrollment during the late 1960's. Therefore, some of the school buildings were at fifty percent capacity which was one factor that helped the Board reach their decision. While the decision was split, five to four, some of the members of the Board must have had the same opinion as some of the community members that were unhappy about the decision. (educationonmsnbc.com).

A Kansas City Councilwoman, Sharon Sanders Brooks, said, "And now the public education system is aiding and abetting in the economic demise of our school district. It is shameful and sinful" (educationonmsnbc.com). Other community members also pleaded, but in the end the the decision was made to close the twenty nine schools. Although the decision was one that the superintendent, John Covington, researched and recommended, he acknowledged that the decision was a hard one, "It has been a difficult and painful and emotional process that affects our entire community. No one likes closing schools." (educationonmsnbc.com).

In addition to closing the twenty nine schools the Kansas City Public School District will also make teachers at six low-performing schools reapply for their jobs, and the district will try to sell its central office. The district will also cut about seven hundred of the district's three thousand jobs, including two hundred eighty five teachers.

Similar to the Kansas City Public School System, in April, 2010 the Detroit, Michigan Public Schools proposed to close forty five of its one hundred seventy two schools in June of 2010. Detroit has already closed more than one hundred schools since 2004. The Detroit Public School System is not being run by a Superintendent, but by Robert C. Bobb, Emergency Manager appointed last year by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm to take control of the schools. According to the New York Times, (Saulny) Detroit, like Kansas City, faced a financial crisis as well as declining enrollment. The district reported an enrollment of eighty seven thousand seven hundred students earlier this year. However, enrollment is projected to drop to fifty six thousand five hundred by 2014-15.

In spite of this, according to the Districts website, (Bobb) through community involvement, town hall meetings, and work by many, the plan to close the forty five schools was redesigned and the district will instead be closing thirty two schools between the years 2010 and 2012. With the closing of schools the district is anticipating a loss of approximately two thousand one hundred jobs. Detroit is hoping that the combination of these two cuts will help them face their deficit which is expected to peak at $316.6 million. (Saulny).

Yet, despite the cuts and the budget deficit, the Detroit Public Schools are gearing up for a capital improvement project. The Detroit voters approved a bond referendum last November. With the referendum passed the district acquired access to $500.5 million in federal dollars for school capital improvement projects. Detroit Public Schools received the sixth largest allocation of funds in the nation. Federal regulations stipulate the bond dollars must be spent within three years so the district is planning to build and renovate schools and includes district-wide technology upgrades and security initiatives. With the capital improvement plan Detroit Public Schools hopes to attract families to the new schools. Additionally, they are projecting

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