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Education Gets a Pay Cut


If Dan’s ever laid off or receives a drastic cut in pay, we’ll have to learn to do without a lot of the things we’re used to having.  I don’t honestly know what we’d cut first.  Maybe clothing budget, ballet and music lessons for the kids, probably salmon?

Well, the nation has been overspending for years and making far less than it’s accustomed to spending.  When I hear talk about the national budget, I feel a sort of tightness in my chest, and then by the time I’m done thinking about the debt, we’ve accrued millions more dollars of it.

I keep thinking, “We’ve got to cut something from the budget or the nation will simply implode or face a corporate takeover from China.”

But whenever it comes to actually making those cuts, I’m sort of horrified by what we’re being asked to give up.  I’m like a spoiled kid who wants financial security but also fun little things like health care and quality education for all children.

The new budget proposed by the GOP makes some massive cuts to education and it’s leaving me feeling a little bruised and battered. $4.9 billion slashed from an already tightly-stretched $63.7 billion seems like a lot.  It’s my money too, you know?  Except that it’s imaginary money that the government didn’t ever really have in the first place.

According to a blog post on, the House bill will scrap several programs and dramatically cut funding to many others.  Teach for America would lose its $18 million appropriation and The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards would lose its $10.6 million appropriation.

Several other programs would also lose partial or total funding, including special education, literacy and writing programs, programs that support math and science, the Obama administration's $50 million high school graduation initiative, technology grants, Pell Grants and school counseling. 

Now, without combing through the entire budget and reading the purposes and achievements of each program individually, it’s hard to tell which programs are redundant or inconsequential and which programs’ absence will leave major holes in our children’s education. 

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been speaking lately about the harsh reality of the "new normal" in education.  At a time when many reformers are talking about the additional funds needed to raise the quality of education in America, teachers and school administrators will need to learn to work with smaller budgets.

This version of the budget is expected to pass the House but meet major resistance in the Senate and with the President.  If it were your bank book to balance, what would you cut?

Kathryn Thompson is a mom to two school-aged kids, a toddler, and a deceased betta fish. She can also be found at The Parenting Post, and occasionally the gym.

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