Tax revenues are down and, like in so many sectors of government and public service, Indiana schools have suffered heavily.
Indianapolis Public Schools alone are making $27 million in cuts for the coming school year. At other schools across the state, we've seen staff reductions by as much as 20 percent.
But there could be a light at the end of the tunnel for Indiana teachers. According to today's Star:
About 5,000 to 6,000 teaching jobs will disappear this year and next, said Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association.
But a proposal before Congress would use federal money to help states avoid those cuts, pumping $300 million into Indiana's schools and saving as many as 7,200 jobs, according to the unions.[...]
The money for next year wouldn't be a permanent expectation, he said, but a stopgap measure until the economy improves and tax revenues in Indiana bounce back.
Already, Indiana just dropped the ball on getting some of this round's "Race to the Top" funding — a move that drew heavy criticism from national teachers leaders for its failure to better include Indiana teachers in the application process.
It would be a shame to see the ball get dropped again, albeit on the federal level. This money is part of a $23 billion emergency bill in Congress that would save teachers' jobs across the country. The Obama administration supports the bill. But, as expected, the bill is meeting some pretty fierce resistance already, from those who oppose what they characterize as just another bail-out.
Outrage over government bail-outs is understandable and largely justified. But Americans will have to decide whether or not saving their children's education is really on par with bankrolling Wall Street dishonesty and malfeasance.