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ERIC Number: ED521335
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Strained Schools Face Bleak Future: Districts Foresee Budget Cuts, Teacher Layoffs, and a Slowing of Education Reform Efforts
Kober, Nancy; Rentner, Diane Stark
Center on Education Policy
Many school districts had to cope with shrinking budgets this past school year, but the effects of these cuts were cushioned to some extent by the availability of federal economic stimulus money. In 2009 and 2010, school districts received about $80 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). These funds were intended to stave off teacher layoffs, stabilize declining state and local education budgets, and blunt other negative effects of the economic downturn for schools. In the summer of 2010, districts received an additional $10 billion through the Education Jobs legislation to save or create education jobs for school year 2010-11. Now that the ARRA and Education Jobs funds are nearly depleted, what do school districts expect their budgets to look like for school year 2011-12? This report by the Center on Education Policy (CEP), an independent non-profit organization, describes the fiscal condition of school districts for school year 2010-11 and the anticipated fiscal condition for school year 2011-12, the extent to which ARRA and Education Jobs funds are making up for funding shortfalls, and the types of cuts being made to balance district budgets. The authors' data were drawn from responses to a survey administered to a nationally representative sample of school districts in the winter and spring of 2011. This is the second CEP report on the financial status of school districts and their implementation of ARRA; the first was released in July 2010. Two other CEP reports have addressed state fiscal conditions and state ARRA implementation. Seven key findings are evident from the district survey data: (1) A grim situation is expected to worsen in the coming school year; (2) Districts are compensating by cutting jobs; (3) No type of district appears to be immune from budget reductions or staff cuts; (4) Funding cuts are hampering progress on school reform; (5) Most districts have reached the dreaded "funding cliff" with no ARRA funds left to help ease funding shortfalls in school year 2011-12; (6) Most of the districts that received extra funds through ARRA for the federal Title I and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs used at least some of these funds to save or create teaching or other staff jobs; and (7) Districts believe they are better off for having received ARRA and Education Jobs funding. (Contains 8 tables, 5 figures and 3 footnotes.)
Center on Education Policy. 1001 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 522, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-822-6008; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; George Gund Foundation; Phi Delta Kappa International
Authoring Institution: Center on Education Policy
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009