Survey of PA School Districts Signals More Cuts to Classrooms on the Way
More cuts to instructional programs and school personnel are on the way unless state and local funding improves, according to a survey from the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) and the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO).
Of the state’s 500 schools districts, 281 responded to the survey, which asked questions about districts' financial health, the impact of state budget cuts this year, and the anticipated impact of proposed cuts next year. Districts reported declines in local revenues as well as impacts from state budget cuts.
According to the survey, school districts expect to make even deeper cuts than those made this year:
- Class sizes will increase in about 60% of the districts surveyed.
- Students in 58% of districts will face reduced instruction in art and music, reduced physical education classes, and fewer elective and advanced placement course
- Nearly half of the districts are delaying textbook purchases.
- 46% are trimming or eliminating field trips and extra-curricular programs, including sports.
- 37% are cutting tutoring programs and 34% are eliminating summer school.
- Research-proven early childhood education programs such as full-day kindergarten will be reduced or eliminated in 19% of responding districts.
In nearly half of the districts responding, financial distress is anticipated within three years if state and local funding does not improve.
Districts also anticipate using three times more fund balance money in 2012-13 than they did in the current year.
Three-quarters of the districts reported that they will furlough or not fill vacancies in their district for 2012-13.