Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Economic crisis impacts nation's K-12 schools

Seattle, WA - America's severe economic crisis means less money for education and reductions in teaching and staff jobs, according to projections by Dr. Marguerite Roza of the University of Washington.

As states struggle to cut spending in this tough economy, Roza projects that nationally they may spend $54 billion less on K-12 schools this year and next.

"Revenues are down and state budgets are being cut," said Roza at the Center on Reinventing Public Education. "We can't exactly predict what each state will do in the coming years. But from a big picture perspective, we can get a sense of the magnitude of the problem."

Roza projects the number of jobs lost in the remainder of 2009 and in 2010 could be as high as 325,097, including 166,571 teachers.

"These early projections do not account for any federal stimulus money or how local funding could impact school district operations," Roza said. "Hopefully this analysis can inform federal policymakers as they deal with the next steps."

Roza's six-page fiscal analysis, "Projections of State Budget Shortfalls on K-12 Public Education Spending and Job Loss," is the second Rapid Response in the SCHOOLS IN CRISIS: MAKING ENDS MEET series, designed to bring relevant fiscal analyses to policymakers amidst the current economic crisis.

Marguerite Roza is a senior scholar at the Center on Reinventing Public Education and a research associate professor at the University of Washington College of Education.

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