School Leadership in Budget Cuts
By Charles K. Trainor
Although we officially have been in a recession for more than a year, the crushing impact on state finances only became clear during the last quarter of 2008. The National Conference of State Legislatures expects states to have budget shortfalls totaling almost $100 billion over the next two years.
At least 18 states have cut some funding to K-12 education, according to a December 2008 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and more is expected this year. The center, an economic research group in Washington, D.C., predicts fewer than a dozen states will remain within their budget this fiscal year. Another estimate predicts that there will be 36 municipal bankruptcies over the next two years.
Most school districts depend heavily on state, county, or city governments for full or partial funding of daily operations and infrastructure requirements. Given the current economic climate, local districts will face the difficult task of reducing expenditures proportionately.
The question is: How will you do it?
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