Recently, a tech director I know was sharing with me how many positions she would lose as a result of NCLB Title 2, Part D (Enhancing Education through Technology) cuts. With 10 staff members, she would lose 3 people funded via T2PD. “If that’s not bad enough,” she pointed out with a wry smile, “if the Texas budget projections get any worse, the state technology allotment might go, too.” And, as I quickly surmised, lose of the state technology allotment would spell disaster for Instructional Technology staff members across Texas, perhaps eliminating entire ed-tech programs altogether and severely under-cutting the support school districts can provide to maintain the thousands of computers in Texas public schools today.
One of my commenters on Buzz pointed out that it’s not Obama’s fault that NCLB Title 2 Part D is being cut. Rather, it is Congress’ responsibility. It honestly feels that after years of tearing down the infrastructure–the slippery slope mentioned only a few pages into in George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant–for Education Service Centers, school districts, diverting funds to private and charter schools, leaving the public school system–the system for the “rest of them” that lack–in the hole. Consider the following assertion by Gary Orfield (Source: Democracy Now):
Basically, what we find is that although public schools have become much more segregated since the Supreme Court changed the law in the 1990s, charter schools are vastly more segregated than that; and that it’s segregation not just by race, but also by poverty; and that there are not only segregated black schools and some segregated Latino schools, but there’s also segregated white schools that overrepresent whites in some states, including California, and some of which have no—appear to have no free lunch facility. So, basically, the system of choice that’s used here doesn’t have the civil rights protections that good magnet schools have, for example. And the Bush administration, as it pushed the growth of these policies, really stopped trying to enforce civil rights in this movement. . .I was surprised by the emergence of what appear to be white flight schools. You know, there was a Supreme Court decision back in the 1960s that said if you create a new school district and it increases segregation, it violates the Constitution.
As we look forward to budget cuts, I can’t help but wonder if the only ones in public schools will be…let’s see here…ah yes, here is my adaptation of Emma Lazarus’ poem…
Unlike the brazen giant of Ozymandias fame,
Whose overweening hubris–in time–made the proud, lame.
Here in our dirty city streets, faded doors open against futility
A beleaguered teacher with a pencil perched, whose words
Kindle the heart, spanning the unfair fjords
From her ink-stained hands, luminescent tenderness
Bearing a precious, oh so precious, load with gentleness.
“Keep charter schools, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to be free,
The wretched rejects of your white-flight, locked doors.
Send these, the homeless, whatever the cost, to me.
For them, I give, endure all beside the faded classroom door!”