Last March, Voices for Illinois Children, a child advocacy group, called expected FY 2011 budget cuts "doomsday" ones that include:
-- $922 million from elementary and high schools, disproportionately harming low and middle income districts;
-- $144 million from universities and community colleges;
-- $254 million in scholarship awards; and
-- $386 million in various services, including alternative education for teen parents, after-school activities for 25,000 at-risk youths, and other children's programs.
Given a deteriorating economy, these are for starters, much like for other states dealing with intractable budget crises, cuts so far haven't resolved nor will for the foreseeable future.
Education, of course, will be greatly harmed given the rage for privatizations at the expense of a bedrock public institution on the chopping block to be eliminated, the Obama administration spearheading it by forcing strapped states to go along. In New York, for example, 15,000 teacher and support staff cuts were announced, the same pattern throughout the country.
Last winter, the Kansas City, MO school board endorsed a plan to shut 28 of the city's 61 schools and cut 700 jobs, including 286 teachers. In Michigan, an "Excellent Schools Detroit" program calls for closing 70 public schools, replacing them with charter ones. The city's Public Schools Emergency Financial Director, Robert Bobb, wants to charterize the entire system, selling it to profiteers.