A new report from the National Governors Association finds many states have been forced to eliminate school programs and consolidate school districts, and several are considering increasing class sizes and adjusting the length of the school year to save money in a rough economy.
As many as 39 states made broad program-area cuts to K-12 during the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years.
The lean era is likely to last at least a few years. State revenues aren’t expected to return to prerecession levels until at least 2013, says the report, released last week.
The seriousness of state budget woes have led officials in Florida and Texas to consider increasing class sizes. Maine officials consolidated school districts across the state two years ago. Other victims of budget shortfalls, identified by the NGA, are after-school and gifted and talented programs, and state tests in some subjects.
A version of this article appeared in the October 27, 2010 edition of Education Week as Cutting Costs