Detroit: Budget cuts
The district will have to cut 4,000 jobs and shut down as many as 40 schools to close a $198 million deficit, according to the Nov. 16 Detroit Free Press. Parents angrily charged the appointed school board with trying to ruin the district in the wake of voters’ decision to institute an elected board. The district already cut $76 million from the budget, which initially had a $274 million deficit. Schools CEO Kenneth Burnley says Detroit has lost 33,000 students since 1999 and has lost state funding as a result.
Ohio: Head Start
Enrollment is down statewide in Head Start because of new restrictions on eligibility and a more difficult approval process, according to the Nov. 12 Akron Beacon-Journal. The new rules require single parents to work and the county to determine eligibility, rather than the Head Start agency. Parents must fill out an application that asks for a range of personal information, including income, for the county to verify. Only 3,400 of 8,500 slots are filled.
Indiana: More efficiency
A state commission recommends a sweeping overhaul of the education system, according to the Nov. 9 Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. Among the proposals: giving districts a single pot of money to allow for more spending flexibility; tying teachers’ raises to student achievement, or else eliminating collective bargaining; consolidating districts to save money; and outsourcing food, facilities and transportation services. The commission included business leaders but no education officials.