As wave after wave of budget cuts hits school districts around the country, it’s worthwhile to ask who the cutbacks are hurting the most.
This piece from the Silicon Valley Education Foundation compiles a convincing array of reports and studies to conclude that the neediest schools suffer the most, with programs serving low-income students and English learners among those hit the hardest.
Among the findings cited:
- “High-poverty schools are nearly three times more likely than low-poverty schools (49 percent vs. 17 percent) to eliminate summer school outright and four times more likely (65.6 percent vs. 15 percent) to experience teacher layoffs.”
- In 2008-2009, middle schools with “more than 90 percent Latino, African American, and American Indian students were almost 10 times more likely than schools with a majority of white and Asian students to experience severe shortages of qualified teachers.”
Chances are good that school districts in your area are grappling with funding cuts. Look closely at what is being cut and who those cuts are affecting. Are after-school programs that serve Latino and African-American students or classes for English Learners on the chopping block? Are schools in more affluent neighborhoods able to offset the cuts through private donations, while schools in low-income neighborhoods are left struggling? How do those cuts affect Latino students and other children of color?