Facing the Funding Cliff

By Sean Cavanagh — April 06, 2011 1 min read
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States and school districts are staring into the abyss—the point when federal economic stimulus funding runs out.

The “funding cliff,” as it’s known, is sure to bring plenty of pain in districts around the country, as we at EdWeek explain this week, in an article produced in cooperation with the Associated Press.

The loss of that money, about $100 billion in all, is already squeezing states and districts as they draft budgets for next year. Some of those districts, such as those in Florida, are operating in states where governors and lawmakers are vowing to make major cuts in K-12 aid, losses that would compound budget woes.

The human toll?

Aside from the expected job losses and cuts to programs, consider the impact of cuts on people like Marie Stratton, the principal at Osceola Elementary School, in Volusia County, Fla. Or I should say—the principal at Osceola and Ortona Elementary. Stratton is pulling double-duty, overseeing the administrative duties at two schools, a result of some tough cost-saving steps taken by her district.

“I’m not kidding you—it’s not easy,” she told me. “I want to be an involved principal. ... I’ve never been a good delegater, but I’m delegating a lot.”

If your state or district is facing cuts over the next year, what are the areas where the budget ax is likely to fall?

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.