What in the world...
The Dow is down almost 40% from its high just one year ago. Housing hasn't found its bottom, which means the 16% of homeowners that are upside-down (owing more than their houses are worth) will soon be joined by others; and states are taking drastic actions, including slashing budgets (Nevada just cut its budget by 14%!) and firing thousands of employees.
I knew that K12 funding couldn't keep going up at the rate we have been, but I was honestly expecting a flattening followed by a slow decline (due to pressures from Medicare and Social Security). But with the severe chaos in the market - turmoil that will literally take years to work through the system - what happens to K12 spending rates?
Just as importantly, how will schools and districts respond? Some states have already seen cuts and spending freezes, while others have put off addressing the issue by tapping into rainy day funds (now depleted). What next?
And not to pile on, but we should also remember that this is happening at a time when schools are expected to post dramatic gains in student proficiency. In the early years of NCLB, schools set very low improvement goals, with dramatic increases all set for the last few years (by which, surely, the law would have been changed). Well, here we are, seeing greater percentages of schools failing according to those standards...so what happens now? Do we reconstitute huge numbers of schools just as budgets are being shattered?
I don't have any answers - but I feel for those, educators and students alike, who are caught in this maelstrom.