Our public schools are at a crisis point. Federal funding for public education has remained at 2% of the federal budget for decades, despite the increase in public school enrollment and the rising cost of education resources and services. This disparity between funding and actual cost means that Congress has essentially made cuts to classroom budgets across the nation.
These overall classroom funding cuts couldn’t be coming at a worse time. Today’s classrooms are more in need of funding than ever—most public-school students are now from low-income families, yet federal spending for high-poverty schools has decreased by more than 8% in recent years. There are also more students with special needs in our nation’s schools than ever before, but funding to serve these students has also decreased.
Congress must agree on the federal budget by Oct. 1, 2017. With restrictions on how much the government can spend in fiscal year 2018, there is a strong possibility that funding for education will be cut.
Already this year, President Donald Trump proposed cutting $9.2 billion. More recently, the U.S. House of Representatives proposed a cut of $2.4 billion. Both proposed cuts would be extremely damaging to public schools that already struggle to give students the education they deserve.
All PTA members and education advocates must take a stand. Tell your friends and family to demand that Congress “STOP Cuts to Classrooms” and invest more than 2% in public education before the Oct. 1, 2017 deadline.
One way to spread the word is by doing the National PTA #STOPCutsToClassrooms social media challenge. It’s easy!
- First, sign the #STOPCutsToClassrooms petition
- Then, take a picture and/or videoof yourself holding the “I signed the petition to #STOPCutsToClassrooms” official sign and post the image on your social media platforms.
- Finally, tag up to three friends to encourage them to do the same.
For those who have already signed the petition and taken the challenge, please continue to participate in Funding Fridays every Friday until September 29. Also stay tuned for the release of a #STOPCutsToClassrooms letter to Congress in September.
For more information about the #STOPCutsToClassrooms campaign and to learn more about the state of federal funding for education programs, visit PTA.org/STOPCuts.
Joshua Westfall is the government affairs manager at National PTA.