School Budget Cuts

The Austin Independent School District is facing a budget shortfall of close to 30 million dollars.  How does a school district make up for that size of a cut?  What can you cut back on that has not already been sliced apart?  Can you make the teacher salary lower than it is?  Can you delete books from the curriculum?  Can you eliminate libraries, theaters, gymnasiums, athletic fields or special education?  Can you raise local taxes?  Can you erase jobs and consolidate classrooms?  Nobody wants to make these decisions, and yet, here we are.  With over 80,000 students spread over 113 campuses and several thousand teachers, there is a huge shift approaching.  What can be done to simplify public schools to the tune of 30 million dollars?  It’s a number that is hard to imagine.  First, imagine a grant of 30 million.  Where could it be spent most effectively?  Who could benefit from it?  There could be better supplies, more field trips, new computers, after school enrichment programs, new uniforms or interesting guest lecturers.  There could be a fascinating atmosphere throughout the district.  Kids would be challenged in new ways and in new subjects.  Now, imagine that grant never came and in fact, the school owed money.   I can’t visualize what is going to happen next.  I can’t even figure out where they can possibly cut funds.  All I know is it will happen and everyone will pay for it.  This is one small district in central Texas, is this happening all over America?

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