‘brutal math’ of budget crisis inflicts pain, prompts visions of improvement

Economic woes focus of national spotlight: ‘brutal math’ of budget crisis inflicts pain, prompts visions of improvement

“The economy is weak and cuts will certainly be made in domestic programs. Tax cuts seem more popular than investments in urban schools and low income children anyway. But for the sake of our future, the country needs to be shaken from its complacency. Providing a quality education for every child needs to be seen as a national obligation, not a future hope or an impractical utopian ideal.”

–Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College, Columbia University, in the Los Angeles Times. (Feb. 2, 2003)

“To its credit, the White House has allowed [Education] Secretary Paige to set high expectations for how schools, teachers and children are supposed to improve. But the president’s economic advisors are unwilling to foot the bill, sticking governors with the tab. Call it federalism on the cheap.”

–Bruce Fuller, professor of education and public policy at U.C. Berkeley, in Education Week. (Jan. 15, 2003)

“Even as the brutal math of the state budget crisis has been little mote than a distant rumble to many Californians, parents in some wealthy and well-organized school districts have been shaken from their inattention … As the state launches the messy process of carving its way out of a mammoth budget hole, the expected school reductions appear to be the first to pierce the collective psyche of voters in wealthy communities often more insulated from budget-cutting pain.”

–Los Angeles Times, “Proposed School Cuts Stir Outcry in Affluent Districts.” (Jan. 20, 2003)

“I liken myself to the new CEO brought in to save a sagging company.”

–ACSA member Janice Thompson, principal of Verde Elementary School in North Richmond, in the San Francisco Chronicle. Thompson’s school improvements include efforts to reduce truants and tardies, resulting in $100,000 more In state per-pupil funding for Verde as well as higher test scores. (Nov. 25, 2002)

“We’re always going to have volatility here. We have a volatile, exciting economy. We’re not Iowa.”

–Brad Williams, senior economist for the Legislative Analyst’s Office, in the Los Angles Times. (Jan. 14, 2003)

“I hope there’s going to be some folks who step up and have the vision to make the case to raise the revenue it’s going to take for our schools to keep improving. To slash spending on education would be, in effect, eating our own seed corn.”

–Michael E. Ward, North Carolina state schools chief, in Education Week. (Jan. 8, 2003)

COPYRIGHT 2003 Association of California School Administrators

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group