Our state budget (AZ) is in the red. Not an unfamiliar tune in many parts of the country this year. But our wise leaders are seeking to balance the budget in part by taking back money allocated to our universities and schools for the current and future fiscal years. Not smart!
I’m no econonmic guru, hence the subtitle of the blog just to clarify that fact, but I do know that makng education more expensive and more inaccessible is not the best way to improve the enonomy of a state. If our state wants more taxpayers, they should be helping more kids grow up big and smart so they can contribute to the state coffers rather then waiting around for handouts. Our universities have already responded by canceling courses, laying off adjunct faculty, and even combining departments in an effort to cope with decreased funds. ASU recently stated that if they had to make up the proposed cut backs by raising tuition cost, the cost would be an addition $11,000 per student!
This is a huge problem for our universities and schools, but an even bigger problem for our EBD and special education students. At less then 10% of the population, they already hold a minority interest in many schools. With such broad cutbacks, will schools be able to meet the requirements of IDEA or will they choose to spend their money on due process lawsuits instead of servicing students properly in the first place? Your guess is as good as mine.