Home > Uncategorized > An Merging Perspective as an Austerity Mindset Emerges: School Funding as Fee For Service

An Merging Perspective as an Austerity Mindset Emerges: School Funding as Fee For Service

I had a second takeaway from Jeff Bryant’s recent Common Dreams article that dealt with two mindsets emerge from austerity budgets. The first mindset is the sense that school children are a burden on taxpayers. Thus, schools should be funded at a minimal level to relieve businesses and taxpayers. The second mindset is that cost shifting to parents is acceptable for schools the same way it is acceptable for other services like trash collection,

While I’ve written many posts about the first mindset, it dawned on me that the second mindset is more subtle and more insidious. As we slowly adopt a fee-for-service mindset for schools, differences in services a community offers for schools will increasingly reflect a community’s wealth. This is already underway in New England. Just as the garden clubs in affluent small towns in New England make sure the medians and small public spaces are lined with flowers, parents in those same communities will make sure their schools provide excellent opportunities for their students. When I drive through small towns where the garden clubs beautify their communities I appreciate their effort and have no expectation that every town should have the same kind of flower beds because beautification is nice but not necessary. But when I drive through small towns with decrepit schools and forlorn playgrounds, I invariably feel dismay.

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