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Education budgets are tight and state and district leaders must make tough decisions about where and how to save. But is the public willing to accept cuts? Which ones? Where?
Today, the Fordham Institute is releasing a new report by the FDR Group's Steve Farkas and Ann Duffett that uses the results from a nationally representative survey to help answer these questions. From cutting central-office staff to reforming retirement benefits, How Americans Would Slim Down Public Education outlines how voters think spending should be reduced—and what programs must be protected. What exactly did the authors find?
Sixty-two percent of respondents described their local district’s current financial situation as very or somewhat difficult, with 77 percent of these individuals reporting that the financial challenges will last for quite a while.
Almost half of respondents (48 percent) said that, if their own district were facing a serious budget deficit, the best approach would be “to cut costs by dramatically changing how it does business.”
While the public is amenable to change, many of education reformers’ pet proposals face skepticism, particularly reducing non-teaching staff and tapping the potential of digital learning.
What policies had the most public support?