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Coronavirus crisis threatens education funding

Girl learning at home

An economic downturn that could rival the Great Depression is upon us—and threatening the ability of state and local governments to fund public education and other essential services. Costs are up as the nation struggles to contain COVID-19 and cope with dramatically rising unemployment—in the last five weeks, 26.5 million Americans have lost their jobs. Tax revenues are declining as consumers stop spending on virtually everything except groceries and Netflix subscriptions. The non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says FY2021 could be the worst year EVER for state budget shortfalls.

To address the looming crisis, NEA is calling for an additional $175 billion to stabilize education funding—the $30.7 billion authorized thus far is not nearly enough. The National Governors Association is calling for even more—an additional $500 billion in direct relief to state and local governments. But Congress is going to need convincing even though history shows that’s clearly the right course. A decade ago, during the Great Recession, state and local governments scrapped essential student services and laid off tens of thousands of educators. We can’t let that happen again.


Email your members of Congress and tell them to keep students learning and educators working.

79 responses to “Coronavirus crisis threatens education funding

  1. Universal Healthcare for are and Universal Basis income are what we should be working towards rather than power/control and money. These should be basic rights awarded to all people so that they have a better chance at dignity and equality of life. We try to instill compassion and empathy while teaching history, math, language arts etc. Education is the great equalizer. Please support this and the other above mentioned ideas. Thank you!

  2. We need our students to be well educated. They are the future of our country. We don’t want to end up like the movie “Idiocracy”. I am already scared we are heading there already. The technology divide is huge across the state. However people like Schurkey the Turkey are trying to get you away from the issue. There are many ignorant people in this world who don’t know much. That is just one.

    George Washington, Lyndon B. Johnson, Thomas Jefferson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Robert Kennedy had dyslexia, a learning disabiltiy. Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were/are hearing impaired. Don’t even get me started on physical disablities. But Special Education is not our issue here today. Our issue is to keep our Education system successful.

  3. Please remember that students have lost their regular school routines, and students in Title I schools have suffered a lot of loss with having to supply classroom computers for online learning. Our schools will also suffer a huge collection of books as many of our families will need to move because of losses of wages. We need funding in education for our future.

  4. The Federal Government should be very careful about who gets money to fund education.
    I just read in the Tribune Democrat that a Johnstown based non-profit received a loan, but isn’t this a Payroll protection plan that is funded. Monies should be traced and the non-profits shouldn’t be considered public education. Funds for public schools should be just that, for public education. There is a definite divide in Education between the students who have Internet access and those who struggle with just attending school. We need to address public education, not businesses who make money in the name of education.

  5. “Education” funding is ripe for a good trimming. The Virus Originating in the Wuhan Laboratory, released into the world in 2019 (VOWL-19) is making that obvious.

    “Special Ed” spends more per pupil for students who will never contribute to society except as organ donors. They’re dead weight, and ought to be cut loose. At minimum, spend not one dime more per pupil than on “normal” students. Forrest Gump was not based on a true story.

    Students that can’t–or won’t–keep up with their peers should be expelled. Fail a grade once, fine. Fail a grade twice, maybe. Fail a grade three times–G-O-N-E. Students that assault other students–or their teachers–need to be expelled. Expelled students younger than the “dropout” age must be sent to private schools at parent’s expense. NOW the “parent(s)” have a financial stake in being involved in their kid’s education. Part of the reason that the school system doesn’t expel them–the police are too lazy to track them down when they commit crimes. Forcing the assaulted students to be in close contact with their tormentors is a violation of their civil rights. We’re enhancing the school-to-prison pipeline by keeping the guilty in-school; and making it obvious when the schools are “Locked Down” every time someone sneezes.

    Physical Education is driving kids away from physical activity due to in-class physical and verbal assault and “body shaming”–exactly the kids who need activity the most. Phy Ed needs outright cancellation. It’s counter-productive.

    Fire all the coaches; eliminate the excess athletics.

    End the programs that make “social justice warriors” out of otherwise-reasonable students.

    Parents who can’t / won’t feed their kids, buy clothing, and provide shelter are UNFIT. Child Protective Services should take the kids so they can have decent foster/adoptive parents. Put the irresponsible “parents” in prison. Prosecute ten, two hundred will start limiting their tattoos and beer in favor of providing for their kids; while simultaneously decreasing the birth rate for people who know in advance that they don’t have the resources to raise kids. The kids are better-off, the parents are better-off, the schools are better-off, and society as a whole is better-off. Win, win, win, win.

    Shazam! Schools that now have PLENTY of money to do their real job for students that are willing and able to learn, in an environment free of assault.

    1. Special Ed” spends more per pupil for students who will never contribute to society except as organ donors. They’re dead weight, and ought to be cut loose. At minimum, spend not one dime more per pupil than on “normal” students. Forrest Gump was not based on a true story. YOU MAKE ME SICK. Either you don’t have children or you’re one of those parents with “perfect children“.

      1. With all due respect they contribute more to society then this comment. Spreading hate does not contribute in any easy to society and I believe history has proven that over and over. You should feel blessed for the children you and I hope and pray you are not teaching them in the same spirit as your comment. One thing special ed children have that most don’t is a kind unprejudiced heart that contributes to society ma’am

    2. WHAT?!!!!!!! You make it sound like the children caused the virus. I won’t even start to tick off each of your absurd statements.

    3. Many students who have the education promised to them by Public Law 94-142, become productive, tax paying adults.
      PL94-142 “free, appropriate, PUBLIC education”.

    4. Who the hell do you think you are????? What kind of human, no wait neanderthal are you???? You have no business saying those things about public education! I have worked with special needs students for 22years. How dare u say they are only good for organ transplants!!!! I’ll pray you one day have the struggle with raising a student with special needs. Oh wait if you know ahead of time, you will just abort it. Sad there are neanderthal s like you on this planet!!!!Hope you are Not an organ donor!!!

    5. Besides the obvious stupidity in what you’ve said.
      I saw children when I taught that were warehoused in Foster homes. The people that took them in, mostly, only wanted them for the free labor they provided around the home or farm, and the checks they received for them. I had one Foster parent that had 8 children in her home, and threw a fit every-time the school called her in about one of the children. Usually because it interrupted her trips to the Hair or Nail salon, or shopping. She bought their clothes at the Goodwill, or Salvation Army. While she shopped at Macy’s or Nordstrom’s. She had a new Caddy every year, and the children were lucky to get a new pair of shoes for the year.

    6. I’m surprised, Turkey, that you didn’t mention eugenics and forced sterilization while you are at it. You must have had a miserable childhood to have grown up to become so compassionate.

    7. I am a high school teacher, special education students contribute to students learning compassion, patience, and acceptance of other people. They see things differently and have different abilities, being different does not make anyone “dead weight.” ALL students deserve an education.

    8. Your statement is egregious and nauseatingly misinformed. It leads me to believe that you have not been in a classroom for quite some time. You seem to echo the ideals of the period of institutionalization, where individuals with disabilities were sent to live in terrible conditions in asylums. There is a documentary called Willowbrook that might provide you with some more information on why this was ineffective and disregarded human rights. You would be well served to take a closer look at the learning process. Maybe take an introductory education course or talk to a school employee?

      Degrading children with disabilities to walking organ donors is shameful. I cannot begin to express how distressing that view is. Please seek assistance, as I fear that you may be unwell. I am saddened to think that you have been deprived of a school experience that allowed you to realize the benefits of an education that would encourage you to ensure that all were able to have those opportunities.

      Special education needs additional funding to provide the many supports and related services to students with a variety of differences to encourage their success. They face additional obstacles than other students do and thus need enhanced support to enable their achievement. ALL students are able to progress (“as you so want them to”) and not all disabilities are the same. Some students with physical disabilities, such as visual impairments or hearing impairments have no difference in cognitive ability. Others who do are able to make meaningful gains with a variety of interventions. It is wrong to label all students with disabilities into one category, as each is different and students are not defined by their difference. You would not know this as your knowledge of special education seems to extend only to fictional movie characters. Again, it would be prudent to find out more about this before you form your opinions to avoid the complete arrogance of the previous statement.

      Here are some short articles to show you the success of many individuals with disabilities, since you seem to value the bottom line. There are millions of students that have overcome the obstacles that they face and live productive, fulfilling lives after having the support they needed in school. This is only a sampling of people that you might know.
      https://achievementcenteroftexas.org/2017/08/10/7-famous-people-special-needs/
      https://www.special-education-degree.net/25-famous-people-with-learning-disorders/
      https://www.sunrisemedical.co.uk/blog/famous-people-with-disabilities

      It appears that you lack the courage to include your full name with your comments; I wonder if it is because you know that they are repulsive. Please stay informed! I hope this helps.

    9. Schurkey, I’m sorry but this is ridiculous! Special Ed Students only purpose is as organ donors? They are dead weight? What is wrong with you? Many students across our state simply qualify for Special Ed based on language processing disorders and the like; so because a child processes language at a slower rate or has difficulty reading or computing math problems that should deem them as non productive members of society? and render their only use as organ donors? Good God do some research! While I would agree with the statement that too much money is spent in Special Education I would like to point out that not all money spent in Special Education goes on the student; When Special Education in schools began their was no divide between SPED students and regular ed student when it came to administrative tasks; your administrator was the same for all students within the school; districts have now created a separate entity for special ed students a whole department with their own administrators, directors, assistant directors, secretaries ect…they have basically created a school within a school; this is where money is being wasted. Pay special educator’s the teachers a stipend, hold school administrators accountable for all of the students in their buildings and that will save money…

      As for the Physical Education programs in schools…It is a proven scientific fact that physical activity releases serotonin and dopamine in the brain, it increases the ability to take in information, decreases anxiety, depression and often times it is the area that the most troubled students excel! You want to stop body shaming and the like make stricter policies regarding it and adhere to them.
      Addressing the failure rate by implementing suggestions such as throwing students out of school if they fail a grade more than once is only going to produce a higher crime rate, result in higher rates of people in social welfare program’s and increase the numbers in already overpopulated jails and overwhelmed criminal justice systems.
      Removing children from homes that can’t afford to feed their children anything is already done; However suggesting that children are removed from homes who “can not feed or clothe their children” opens a slippery slope as to whose standard are they to follow? Is a child to be considered not properly fed if they don’t have junk food in their home? or if they don’t have a constantly stocked freezer of food a child likes? Are parents deemed as not able to clothe their children if they don’t wear the latest styles? or if their clothes come from goodwill? or are hand me downs from relatives or if their sneakers are torn on the side? Who sets the standards for this? Placing responsibility onto parents is necessary but not by prosecuting them it would actually increase expenses on the states someone has to pay to prosecute them, jail them; we have not helped their children in doing this we have actually created more trauma for them and created yet another social cycle of failure in a new generation. Just for the record not all foster and adoptive homes are better than where a child came from; many children who are in foster care continue to experience the neglect physically and socially and emotionally with foster families because it becomes a business for the foster family and they take in too many children and can not care for them adequately; many foster children are sexually assaulted by other children in their foster home, further victimized by foster parents, peers and foster siblings. The DCF system is already overloaded understaffed social workers often have up to 30 cases on their case load which leads to improper case management and results in children slipping through the cracks of the system generating yet another cycle. The same is true of adoptive parents many adoptive parents think it is great to add a “foster child” to their family however the reality is that these children come with baggage that adoptive parents are not prepared to deal with and many of these children actually end up in the Special Educations Programs within the school districts. Not to mention by following your suggestions above it would actually increase costs to tax payers as they would need to increase services and staff with in the Family Court systems as DCF system, which incidentally is a system in need of it’s own overhaul in every state not just Vermont.
      So while you think your solutions are great and will cut the school budgets you have actually just added trauma for children, increased taxes for communities and added to an already overwhelmed family court, criminal court systems as well as social service agencies and incarceration facilities. But then again I am probably one of those Social Justice warriors you also suggest was created from an otherwise reasonable student…
      For the record my father actually left school in the 6th grade, because he was picked on because his family was poor, his clothes were too big for him being hand me downs from the neighbors, did not have a winter coat, walked to school over a dirt road that actually was 4 miles each way and had a very hard time reading and writing. He went on to own his own successful business within his community, was highly respected by all the members of his community and did not die a pauper; he was very well off financially; In the modern school system he would have been put into a special education program and under your view of special education he would have only been used as an organ donor…He was much more than an organ donor; he was a successful business owner, wonderful husband, fantastic father to four daughters all of whom are successful educated humans and frequently donated his services for free to those in need and always hired the underdog to give them the chance to become successful actually giving his business to one of his employees upon his death because he too had a rough time during his childhood his family life not meeting the standard you seem to think is necessary in order to garner success; however he too is successful. so in short your plan is not acceptable…

    10. Let me guess– you just came off a recent “Open Up ” rally – and then carefully folded your Nazi flag to keep it nice and pressed for the next one.

    11. Let me guess– you just came off a recent “Open Up ” rally – and then carefully folded your Nazi flag to keep it nice and pressed for the next one.

  6. Support our students. They are our future. Education is the key to a healthy economy. aOur children need to be educated. But, without funding that will not happen. Please suppoert public education by funding properly funding public schools. Do the right
    thing . Act now!

  7. Teachers have shown themselves to be vital during this crisis. They are so important to our state and country! We have also seen how different it is between racial and low income groups. The students need our support. We must also consider the higher risk group of the retired teachers. They have put in time, money, and resources. We can’t turn our backs on them now.

  8. The urban district I work for already is in crisis due to a long history of unfair funding of public schools in PA. Without additional support, the crisis will increase and our students will not get the education they need and deserve. Do what is right for our future. Do what is right for our students.

  9. Not giving the required funds to state and local governments necessary to fund public education during and after this crisis would damage the foundation for our future as it always has. Teachers and students need to have the necessary resources to continue their education during the pandemic. The pandemic will not last forever and the economy will recover. Students missing essential parts of education due to a lack in funding, will be affected for the rest of their lives.

  10. I certainly hope Betsy DeVos will support this funding. Not all children are privileged to attend privatized charter schools. There is a population of underprivileged students who rely on the tradition that EVERY CHILD deserves a FREE PUBLIC EDUCATION . We indeed will reap what we sow and nurture as we sew.

  11. Like it or not…in every culture, education and educators are the true hands that rock the cradle. Educators have more input to shaping and molding the lives of every culture’s citizen base than any other entity. Everyone in a position of power yesterday, today, and tomorrow will have to concede that much of their development (if not most) is due to the relationships they had in schools with powerful and knowledgeable educators. To not treat education and educators as a #1 national priority is as absurd as cutting one’s own legs off and then wondering why they can no longer walk! There it is…

  12. Any thought of cutting funding for public education endangers the already shaky foundation of our country’s future, which is educating our youth. If there is to be any “adjustment,” it should be sending the public funds that go to private education back where they came from, to fund education and educators mandated to serve all of our children. Public monies should be spent on public, not private education. And, using the costs of the virus as a political ploy to threaten funding for public education is both short sighted and serious breach of ethics.

    1. Agree! Public education teaches all students no matter their economic status, ethnicity, religious affiliation and immigration status. We as public educators welcome all students into our classrooms with open arms. If any parent does not think public education is the “road to success” for their child, then you have the right to enroll your child in private education, however at your expense, since you have made this individual choice!

  13. Anxiety, social loneliness, reduced motivation and other mental health issues are prevalent. Mental health practitioners and support people are needed in every school. They need to be available to any student so assistance can be given in the school. Either because of schedules or transportation challenges, many people cannot travel a distance for care.

  14. If we don’t have any funding for education it will be a disastrous effect on the future of our children
    And the country. The students of our country have suffered enough.

  15. Public Education has been extremely overburdened ever since “no child left behind.” No child left behind, other unfunded mandates, an emphasis on testing, and the tea party school board “No votes” have all pushed public education toward a tipping point. Republicans have undermined programs that promote the greatest good for the greatest number of citizens / students. It now appears that all those politicians voting for a program entitled “no child left behind” are perfectly fine with leaving millions of children behind. Mitch’s hypocrites leading the way looking to help a gas and oil industry that has posted scores of billions in profit for many years while ignoring the problems with public schools.

    1. While I don’t disagree with you, Mr. Rafetto, I don’t think your devisive rhetoric serves the cause to unite people to support education. It won’t reach those who you want to shift their perspective. Generally, people don’t respond well to outrage. We need changes and shifts to take care of all people, the Earth, and the economy. Let’s offer suggestions with well-reasoned argument. Thanks for listening.

    2. The “no child left behind” policy is a great inclusion to have in our public schools, however to implement this policy, we educators need the support of para educators and special education educators to help in making this policy a successful one for each and every child! It always amazes me when individuals who have the power to implement such policies, without ever putting a foot in the classroom. I would be more than glad to have one of these politicians take over my class for just one day; while implementing this “no child left behind” policy at the same time!

  16. We want the best for our students. Because of the virus we will see a gap come Fall 2020 due to it. Cutting any school budget will only hurt learning moving forward due to lack of funds to run a district properly and bring our students forward in learning.

  17. Arizona’s public education funding was already in crisis. Nearly 2000 classrooms without a certified teacher. Plenty of teachers but low pay, classroom size, crumbling schools and classrooms drive teachers away.

  18. Research clearly shows that one of the main reasons for most poorer students staying behind their more affluent peers is a lack of access to summer enrichment programs. Therefore, funding should continue for those programs, too (even if they also have to be provided digitally this summer).

  19. It is time to invest in our future. Students of today need the security of good public schools and good educators. When school resumes, students will need resources. So, secure their future by putting the financial resources into eduction.

  20. A nation, like a chain, is only as strong as it weakest links, or in this case, it’s uneducated citizens, and, somehow, one of them may ascend to the highest office of the land with the result of this country’s current situation. Education is the key to restoring this country back to its former position of reputation and worthiness. With this thought in mind, all governments should strive to insure copious funding of education for every state to elevate the education of all American citizens. This should seem obvious; however, due to the lack of education of many, it is not. All state governments should be striving to insure the funding of education to generate an educated populace that will be prepared to face the detrimental challenges left by previous generations for them to manage and, hopefully, solve for their sake. Again, I urge you on behalf of the people of this country, particularly the children, to make funding of education of the highest priority.

  21. Schools will need money to provide more services for students so we can close the gap from this extended closure. We need money to offer small group instruction that focuses on reading, writing, and math. By having smaller groups and more teachers to offer instruction we can individualize the instruction and close the gap quicker. One classroom teacher will not be able to do it alone with out help!

  22. Schools will need money for technology that has been loaned to students but will be returned broken and unusable or will never be returned.

    Half of my students borrowed technology from the school. Some have reported their devices are already broken.

    I have students who have already moved due to lost jobs and the technology has gone with them, never to return.

    Technology funding to replace these devices is crucial.

    1. We do not have technology for our kids in grades pre-k through 4th grade, they do not have chrome books to take home, a great number of our kids do not have internet access, we can reach them through mobile spots to pick up work when they pick up their meals.
      Our kids already do not have the tools they need, and our teachers supply most of their classroom.

    2. There is a huge technology divide in our country. All students need a computer and to be able to go online to learn.

    3. I am an PE teacher and our work is vitally important we teach them team work skills and get them active so they can learn at their desks. Please continue to fund education .

    4. Please this is crucial. In the past teachers without enough books could make copies and create lessons but teachers can not create lessons today that fill gaps of technology. We need virtual images and technologies. Ex. Seeing elephants live on the internet is different than seeing one in a book or copied on a handout. Math tutorials are vital. So much more! We need money for devices, internet, programs and educational development of educators. The Covid-19 has pushed education into the area we were headed before we were ready. But now there is no going back. We need to keep going forward.

    5. You hit the nail on the head. There are so many disadvantaged areas and cities all over the country that do NOT have access to good technology and equipment, if at all. I just wish those Senators and Representatives as well as the Secretary of Education would pay attention to their disadvantaged students and constituents as much as they do their friends and inner circles.

    6. Funding should come from the parents of the careless kids. “You broke it…you bought it”. Yes, this will likely interfere with making the next payment at the Tattooist, and they may have to stifle the drug cravings. Gosh, it might even mean…A FLIP ‘PHONE and broadcast TV instead of the high-priced bundle! (The horror…the horror!)

      One of life’s lessons: Take care of your stuff.
      Another life lessons: Take >>better<< care of stuff you're borrowing.

      1. I have a question for you SCHURKEY. Since you are too much of a coward to leave your full name but obviously belong to the NEA (or you would not have received this email) , I would like to know at what capacity you serve in education?

  23. We teachers desperately need your support in the midst of this crisis. Thank you for your work on our behalf, in all adversarial environments posed by the opposition party. Without you, our Education system crumbles, and our students suffer in spite of our best work!!!! Thank you. From an NJEA member and a proud, passionate Public school teacher in the Lakewood Township School District. Thank you for your tireless efforts on SoundCloud behalf.

  24. It’s says a lot about society when we defund schools and leave the next generation behind while never increasing a penny of tax to wealthiest 1 percent. We must invest in our future to avoid the mistakes of the past!

  25. It is critical that state and local governments have resources needed to fund the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. Our children are relying on it and it is the key to a future vibrant Maryland economy. Please make sure the federal government supports the $500 billion requested by the governors and that much of that relief is directed to the public schools.

  26. Support our future…our students, and those who sacrifice a lot to teach them not only “facts”. but about life and how to succeed in life, a life that is getting progressively more difficult. We as a society reap what we sow.

  27. Support our future…our students, and those who sacrifice a lot to teach them not only “facts”. but about life and how to succeed in life, a life that is getting progressively more difficult. We as a society reap what we sow.

    1. Everyone should get a $1,200 monthly payment, because 30,000,000 people are unemployed and no one has any money to buy food or pay rent! Stop giving money to business and give it to the people! Andrew Yang has it right!

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