Trends in the News

Local Education Funding

All Posts

Bloomberg Business, 2/16/16

School of debt: How to bankrupt public education, Chicago-style

How did it come to this? Among the many culprits, real or perceived, are recalcitrant unions, inept administrators, feckless politicians and self-interested bankers. But, in the end, the simple answer is this: too much debt. The budget math is sobering. Since 2007, actual district spending has soared by more than a third, even as enrollment has fallen 4 percent.

Education Week, 5/16/16

Long building, Chicago Schools’ fiscal crisis reaches boiling point

By the end of the school year, in late June, the Chicago school district will have just $24 million in cash—enough to support two days of operations. Without a fresh infusion, next year’s budget will include devastating cuts of thousands of positions. It has already started preparing principals for the possibility that their budgets could be cut by more than 20 percent without state aid. Perhaps the biggest tragedy of all: The slow-moving debacle, decades in the making, was also foreseeable to some extent, observers say.

L.A. Times, 5/16/16

Detroit schools’ decline and teacher sickout reflect bad economy and demographic shifts

The walkout was yet another troubling episode for a long-beleaguered school district that is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and behind on payments to its retirement system. It was also another reminder of how the destiny of schools is guided by shifting demographics, the growing charter-school sector and poor economics, though Detroit is an extreme example.