The worst way to balance school budgets

Cutting the school year is the worst way to balance the budget — and it’s California’s preferred strategy, writes economist Eric Hanushek.

About Joanne


  1. Government bureaucracies ALWAYS do it this way. If the budget is short and you want the people to cough up more cash rather than trim government, you start trimming the most desirable items first. For city governments, this usually means defunding parks, road maintenance or mass transit: whatever causes the citizens the most pain. For states, it’s trimming education. For schools, it’s shortening the school year or growing class sizes. The cuts are never to unneeded, behind-the-scenes paper shufflers or executive staff – they are the last to get cut.

  2. I’m totally opposed to the teacher protection signed into law. That said, I think fewer school days is a perfectly good way to cut costs. Schools waste a lot of time, and so long as they’re wasting it, why not pay for less of it?