Administration - cut ESP's first

Despite analysis and news reports to the contrary, the administrations education Czar continues to state that school districts can and should meet their massive budget shortfalls without local tax increases.

Mr. Sommers said the budget proposal is as much about trying to correct a faulty funding system as it is about a lack of money. "We're real clear: Don't raise taxes at the local level either. It's time to think about ways to be more efficient in our production of educational success."

A report from the political think tank Innovation Ohio said the cuts to schools would result in the layoff of 30,000 teachers and support staff. Mr. Sommers said the administration's message has been to not start cuts with teachers and principals.

"I think any school that starts by cutting teachers is short sighted," he said.

Schools should instead make reductions in non-instructional costs such as administration, food service, transportation, human resources, etc., he said.

Clearly as much as the focus has been on teachers, this reckless budget also impacts education support professionals too. Indeed, if you take Mr. Sommers at his own word, ESP's would be first on the chopping block.

On top of the errosion of these middle class jobs, a lot of parents are going to struggle to find ways to safely get their kids to and from school because they have inflexible work schedules.

The services ESP's provide to both parents and teachers, often unrecognized, will come into stark relief if no serious adjustments are made to this reckless budget.