A Big Investment with Long-Term Dividends


Yesterday the U.S. House Appropriations Committee unveiled a massive, $550 billion economic recovery package that includes nearly $100 billion in K-12 spending. The spending plan would double funding for Title I and IDEA programs and provide $14 billion for local school construction.

In a statement, ASCD Executive Director Gene Carter applauded the resources for public education and urged Congress to expedite the passage of a recovery package. Carter said, “We are encouraged to see the federal government make a strong commitment to fully funding IDEA as well as Title I—not only as a short-term stimulus but also as a long-term investment in our human capital that will continue to pay dividends long after this crisis has passed.”

The proposed investments align with the funding requests made by superintendents in response to a recent ASCD member survey, which asked a sample of the education leaders about their school systems’ greatest needs during this fiscal crisis.

The Senate has yet to introduce its economic stimulus plan, but the new administration and Congressional leaders have expressed a strong desire to enact a recovery package by the end of February.

In your school or district, what is the most immediate investment Congress can make in education?


  1. Many schools, some of which do not qualify for federal funding under Title I or other programs, need “makeovers.” Congress, with the help of district and state leaders, should identify these schools and provide turn-around assistance or direction for closing, reorganization, etc.

  2. Congress must ensure that ALL children receive EQUAL CIVIL RIGHTS TREATMENT in schools and have equal access to a healty, safe and supportive educational learning environment by ABOLISHING PHYSICAL (CORPORAL) PUNISHMENT (PADDLING) OF CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS IMMEDIATELY! The cost of eliminating teachers’ right to assault and batter schoolchildren with wooden boards is $0.

  3. We must do more than throw money at the problem. Staff development needs are great, as are teacher mentoring programs; we also need to take a closer look at teacher prep programs. Parenting programs are essential, too. Schools cannot do it all. Meanwhile, the work of teachers must be regarded more highly by society, with teachers being lauded more instead of bashed.

  4. Read READICIDE by Kelly Gallagher and see why NCLB must be recognized as the worst thing to ever be foisted on American education and must be dismantled. It can be found on the Stenhouse Publisher’s website.

  5. Hire a paraprofessional teacher’s assistant for every classroom. This would create jobs, help recruit future teachers, cut student/teacher ratios in half, allow teachers more time for instruction and planning, and support students with cultural and learning differences.


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