Advancing a Free Society

The New Worst Way to Deal with Budget Problems

Friday, July 15, 2011

What is the worst way one could think of to deal with school district budget problems?  Of all of the options, reducing the length of the school year must be the absolute worst – at least from the perspective of students.  But California, always proud of being a leader, has written into law that this is the preferred option if districts face budgetary shortfalls.

Let us look at what is happening, since this might be a direction in which other states consider moving.  As most people are aware, the budget problems in California were clear even before the recession put added pressure on the state.  The traditional California way to deal with these budget problems has been to shroud them in smoke and mirrors – doing budgetary manipulations that make it look like the budget is balanced but that only move the problem into the future.

Continue reading Eric Hanushek at EducationNext

(photo credit: Christopher Webb)