Shock Doctrine Summer

As American public education arrives at the summer of its discontent, we have to contemplate how a system that has already had over 201,600 jobs wrung from its payrolls since August 2008 will handle the prospect of having to shed nearly a quarter of a million more jobs.

The litany of deep education cuts being forced on public schools is prompting many educators in cut-happy states like Texas , where the state legislature reduced per-student funding for the first time since World War II, to wonder if under-funding schools has become a "chronic" condition. School children in at least 21 states are looking at "identifiable, deep cuts in pre-kindergarten and/or K-12 spending," with states like Mississippi proposing school budgets that "fail to meet statutory requirements," and states like Florida enacting legislation that takes school spending back in time to 2005.

But it would be a mistake to assume that deep cuts in direct services to school kids mean that increases in education-related spending aren't occurring somewhere else. In fact, many of the very same governors behind draconian cuts to classrooms and schools also muscled through state houses new legislation to increase spending on new programs for charter schools and vouchers.

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