Public School Enrollment Is Down And So Are The Budgets — Here’s The 411

Written by K. Walker on May 2, 2022

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It looks like people are voting with their feet when it comes to public schools.

One unexpected benefit of the pandemic is that parents finally saw how much the woke indoctrination in public schools has ramped up in recent years. Parents saw that children were being taught bizarre teachings on sex and gender as well as the neo-racism of “anti-racism” along with the alternative history of the “1619 Project.”

One school district in Tennessee had the gall to try to get parents to sign a waiver promising that they wouldn’t listen in on virtual classes. After a significant amount of pushback from parents who asked what the heck they were hiding, the district said that parents could help their children during virtual lessons but only with permission from the teacher. That’s still outrageous.

The Associated Press reported that schools all over the country are losing students and it’s resulting in cuts to their budgets.

A school system in suburban Kansas City is eliminating over 100 jobs, including kindergarten aides and library clerks. Oakland, California, is closing seven schools. Other districts around the country are merging classrooms, selling buildings and leaving teaching positions unfilled in order to close budget gaps.

Public school systems are beginning to feel the pinch from enrollment losses tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

Money for schools is driven partly by student headcounts, and emergency provisions in many states allowed schools to maintain funding at pre-pandemic levels. But like the billions of dollars of federal relief money that have helped schools weather the crisis, those measures were not meant to last forever.

So, where are those students going?

Families opting for homeschooling, private schools and other options sent enrollment down sharply in the first full school year of the pandemic, and generally it has been slow to recover.

In Houston, the largest district in Texas, enrollment tumbled by more than 22,000 to around 183,000 in fall 2021 and only about half of those students have returned. The district was shielded from making cuts in the first two years of the pandemic by what are known as “hold harmless” provisions, but those protections are expected to end. Superintendent Millard House has asked departments to cut $60 million from next year’s budget.

Other school districts the AP says are feeling the pinch:

  • Olathe, Kansas. Enrollment peaked at over 30,000 students in the fall of 2019 but dropped by 900 in the first full school year after the pandemic. Only around 100 of those students returned. Millions are being cut from the budget along with 140 jobs.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico. The public school district announced this spring that it anticipates a budget shortfall of about $25 million.
  • Oakland, California. Seven schools are slated to close which is leading to protests and condemnation from the ACLU which said that black students were disproportionately affected by the closures.
  •  Minneapolis, Minnesota. A teachers’ strike led to a new contract but the district will have to make $27.1 million in budget cuts to pay for it. The district lost more than 4,000 students and the funding that came with them.
  • Lawrence, Kansas. The district cut $7 million from the budget and they’re now creating multi-grade classrooms that will require fewer teachers.
  • Des Moines, Iowa. The district lost over 1,600 students since the beginning of the pandemic and made $9.4 million in spending cuts for the next school year, but expects more cuts will be needed.

But not everywhere is hurting for students.

Amid the upheaval, some states have gained students. Florida was among the leaders, according to the data-tracking site Burbio. And some districts’ headcounts benefited from new families, including some who moved to less costly areas as work went virtual.
Source: Associated Press (Emphasis added)

*Laughs in Ron DeSantis*

It looks like Florida’s commitment to parental rights in education is a pretty popular position. Now that the state has passed the Parents’ Bill of Rights, the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, and the much-maligned anti-grooming bill Parental Rights in Education Act that prevents instruction on sex and gender to students below Third Grade.

Families are making choices and that’s precisely the way that it should be. It doesn’t make sense that kids should be stuck in a terrible public school based on their zip code. Parents should be able to send their kids to the school that is the right fit for their child.

Charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling are all options that parents are giving closer examination now that they’ve seen that public schools are pushing extreme political and social views on kids rather than just teaching them literacy and numeracy.

But it isn’t just the curriculum — parents have also had it with entitled teachers’ unions that pushed for school closures that hurt children’s education and are gaslighting on CRT and gender theory in classrooms.

In the New York Post on Sunday, Karol Markowicz wrote a piece that makes it pretty clear that parents are tired of being treated like they’re stupid by teachers’ unions and school districts who continue to insist that the leftwing indoctrination isn’t actually happening when we know it is.

Markowicz, who recently moved to Florida in large part because of the way New York schools continue to handle the pandemic, cites the passage of the aforementioned Parental Rights in Education Bill that is popular even with Democrats in Florida.

But this actually isn’t a free-speech issue at all. Schools have always had set curricula, and teachers were not free to simply veer off into pet topics or ideologies. The growing movement comes from parents who think teachers and school administrations have strayed way too far from actual academics.

Opponents of these bills are caught in their own circular logic. If these topics aren’t taught in schools, then why are the bills even contentious?

Two weeks ago, Weingarten appeared on a podcast on which she said about the new laws: “This is propaganda. This is misinformation. This is the way in which wars start.”

The destruction of academics and the replacement of math, science and literature with woke theorizing on race and sex is worth fighting against, and parents shouldn’t shy away from it.

It is a war. We’re fighting for the culture, and we’re fighting for our kids. And we’ll win.
Source: New York Post

That’s a rallying cry to the new voting bloc of Frustrate Parents if ever I’ve seen one.

School choice is the civil rights issue of our time.

Corey DeAngelis has been tireless in his work pushing for school choice. It’s paying off.

DeAngelis is not wrong. Neither is Karol Markowicz.

This is a war for your kids.

Psalms of War: Prayers That Literally Kick Ass is a collection, from the book of Psalms, regarding how David rolled in prayer. I bet you haven’t heard these read, prayed, or sung in church against our formidable enemies — and therein lies the Church’s problem. We’re not using the spiritual weapons God gave us to waylay the powers of darkness. It might be time to dust them off and offer ‘em up if you’re truly concerned about the state of Christ’s Church and of our nation.

Also included in this book, Psalms of War, are reproductions of the author’s original art from his Biblical Badass Series of oil paintings.

This is a great gift for the prayer warriors. Real. Raw. Relevant.

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker