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March 10th, 2010
09:02 AM ET

Budget Woes Continue to Trouble Education

Slashed budgets, layoffs, and a shortage of classes are all symptoms of an increasingly challenging time for education in the United States. In Kansas City, 26 of 61 schools may have to close to eliminate a projected $50 million budget shortfall.

 Tell us your thoughts: How has this affected your community and what are some solutions?

Leave us your comments. We’ll share some of them on air in the CNN Newsroom, 11am ET — 1pm ET.

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. michael armstrong sr.

    Out country is being ran buy yellow belly dogs and rattle snacks democrats and republicans flew out the window its every man for himself screw the people on Social Security and hand out I.O.U.'s for tax return's but what ever you do dont reduce government pay for wrecking our economy .

    March 8, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  2. Charles M Jacques

    I know it is a sore subject, but if we took all the money we are spending on both wars and applied it to American's problems we could eliminate alot of our short fall. We have been taught all of our life to get your own house in order, before trying to straighting up someone else's house. ALL OF OUR LEADERS HAVE TAKEN THEIR EYE OFF THE BALL AND FORGOT ABOUT WHAT IS IMPORTANT. People in other countries did not put our elected officials in office and we as a country need to learn to say "NO". For once we need to take care of ourself FIRST. If we don't wake up, stick together, stand together and fight together as Americans for American we just might see our way of life slip away.

    March 8, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  3. kent, nj

    Education is not bankrupting the government but rather the way it is managed. First we need to eliminate mandatory education instead of spending money on 50% of the students who don't want to be in class. Next we need to stop spending millions of dollars in every community accross the county building new school buildings. We can cut down on new buildings by school consolidations, and having on line classes. Admininstrations need to be consolidated, and benefits for teachers need to be revised so that they pay 40% of their health benefits and enroll in 401 k plans rather than pensions. NJ for example provides both pensions and 401 k plans, and teachers pay only 1.5 % of their medical, dental and vision care. Lastly the federal government needs to get out of education completely.

    March 8, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  4. Mikey

    I think you need to vote in some more Repubs and then you can give some tax cuts to the top 2% and forget about public education or any other social program no matter what the need.

    March 8, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  5. michael armstrong sr.

    Its time for our glorious leaders to recieve pay reductions for a job badly done .

    March 8, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  6. michael armstrong sr.

    There making our money's from invisible ink .

    March 8, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  7. frank in kansas

    I watch and hear each day that we are lossing more and more jobs, but one thik i do not hear or see is where our cutting back or taking a cut in pay to help our country. Also i would like to see ali search to see just how much pork is in the health care bill. That pork would go a long way to pay for some of these programs that our gov. want to force the american peple to pay for.

    March 8, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  8. Andy D.

    Tony, you and CNN have an obligation to inform us about what happens to the national debt, our economy in general, and the projected uninsured, if we do not pass the health reform bill. We know the numbers if we do pass it, but what are the numbers if we do not.

    Then we can make our own fair evaluation of the choices.

    March 8, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  9. curtis

    just curious on health care cost rising compared w/ the increase of immigrants in the US ! think this is the real reason for 90% of US economy! when will the government realize this!

    March 8, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  10. Linda

    you are criticizing the health care bcz you have the big time job with the best insurance, so why care about poor people or middle class, so what the premium will go higher, people who can afford premium that means they need no assistance they can help others by little higher of what they use to pay.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  11. Nancy

    Health Care: Next time someone says "The Democrats lost their super majority with the election of Scott Brown", please, please ask them when we EVER had the 60 seats? Lieberman can not be counted as a Democrat! For the longest time, Al Franken wasn't even a sitting Senator.

    Secondly, the next time a Republican talks about "government take-over of Health Care", confront them. This is not a take-over! Private insurance willl simply ....AND FINALLY.....have some monitoring of what they have been doing to the public for decades.

    Finally, Presidents CANNOT hire people for jobs. The President establishs an environment for corporations to hire people. What better motivator for businesses to begin the hiring process is to get a health care policy allowing them to make longer term decisions.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  12. gina doran

    i saw a women on the new during one the education meeting and she
    said that her daughter was in 5th grade and could not spell the word
    girl we it's to me that she and other parents hold some blame here, a lot of parents use school as a daycare they do not get involved or help thier children study or with homework parents should be held more responsible than teacher !!!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  13. BTH

    Maybe the new model for paying for primary education is that parents with kids in school need to make up the difference. I don't have any kids in school, but still pay for the communities children's education.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  14. michael armstrong sr.

    Wheres our 250.00 stimulus on social security that was just another government lie .

    March 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  15. Jeannie

    Dear Tony: You asked for "Republican Push Back" and got a typical Republican on the air. You asked him for a "specific reason that we all might understand" regarding the CBOE cost projections vs. the Republican mantra which says Health Care will bankrupt the country and cost millions of jobs" Your guest DID NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION - HE JUST CHANGED THE SUBJECT**...but you let him go on and on - so he was able to use the Republican phrase "GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF HEALTH CARE" again and again. When our media is as numb to blatant propaganda as you were in this case...the American public will continue to be misinformed and confused.
    ** (when I say "he just changed the subject" note that his answer had nothing to do with the cost of health care...he just started telling you that Obama should have emphasized job creation instead of trying to push through a Government Takeover of Health care. ) This kind of nonsense has been going on for over a year. Did anyone in the media ever take logic 101 - know the difference between a rhetorical argument and serious debate??

    March 8, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
  16. scott

    If 85% of school budgets is going towards teachers and administration, why not address that number? In all discussions concerning state and local government, it seems salaries and benefits are not being reduced. Why not eliminate or freeze all benefits for teachers?

    March 8, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  17. laura

    Its unfortunate that schools are being cut down. My hometown, Vallejo, Ca., has declared bankruptcy, has some of the highest paid law enforcement and firefighters, per capita, in the country and now the schools will suffer, The plan is to close some schools, combine two rival high schools, rezone the districts, open a 9th grade school for all 9th graders in the city, a language specialty school, and a physical education school. So, where are the priorities. There are ways the city can save money and not have the schools suffer. What about ideas from the local population. I don't know. I believe if they tried hard enough they could find other ways to help the schools and city.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  18. Bill Sanders

    Tell Schools not to use children to voice the school budget problems. These are adult problems and we should not burden children with writing letters to our congressmen/women.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  19. Cindy Hopponen

    This story really gets me fired up. Where is the TARP money now? If the money was supposed to be used in "shovel ready" projects that create jobs, why not give the schools the money to hire teachers, who then educate our children, and further create jobs for support personnel like secretarial workers and custodians???IThat would be a "WIN" all around. No, out government would rather hand it over to already fat bankers and insurance companies. I am outraged!!!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  20. Ray

    Tony I will never vote in another school millage as long as teachers that are teaching the children of laid off auto workers drive imports at a rate of approx.65%.


    March 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  21. Orion

    I have a solution, lower all Congressional Members Salaries.........

    March 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  22. Debbie from CA

    In CA, One issue is that closing schools and letting teachers go impacts the local economy as now you have thousands go on unemployment come July 1st. The quality of education will decrease as class size will double. In CA we pay $50,000 per prisoner vs $3,000 for each student. Our legislature values prisons over education, evidenced by not cutting the prison budget. Last, we still have social promotion and that ultimately costs us more $$ trying to keep the student from dropping out of school or helping them pass the exit exam.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  23. Elizabeth Wilson

    Dear Tony,
    As a young mother, with a child who has not yet reached school ag, I am seriously concerned about the state of education and the lack of funding. As I understand most of the state lottery's were created in the spirit of having a large of amount of money going towards education funding. It seems to me that there would be a huge amount of revenues available and I would compell you to do a nation wide study to find out just what is happening with these funds.

    Elizabeth Marie Wilson

    March 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  24. Deaundrae Glover

    As a high graduate in a poverty community in Shreveport,Louisiana and a child of 10 kids. I truly believe Slashed budgets, layoffs, and a shortage of classes are all symptoms way to attack to poverty community. And its sad that kids dont have a right to an free education now. The kids are the victim now!!!!!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  25. Telluride Independent

    You do a good job of promoting Obama's party line. Great arguing and putting down all and any descent
    !!! No matter what the subject is !!! Shame, shame, shame....

    March 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  26. Vince

    I truly believe that we should dismantle the department of education and give the funding to the cities to manage, The cities has a vested interest in their communities. The Department of Education has never been accountable to their taxpayers, They have never given us a report of how they are cutting their operating cost. Now its way to late. We have too many highly paid administrators that do nothing to add value to our education programs. They don't even have a budget to maintain facilities. If the cities manages the schools you would get my for your dollar. Taxes come from local business and the middle class , we need to cut out the middle man Department of Education and give our community what they are paying for. the Department of Eduction is an extreme example of Broke government

    March 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  27. Waqas

    It's sad that our federal government is willing to INCREASE MILITARY AID TO ISRAEL and give them $30 billion over the next 10 years, yet claims that it is "unable" to fund our education systems. We're willing to spend trillions in Iraq and Afghanistan and we are clamoring for war with Iran, yet we barely even care about our our future generation's well being. People need to start bringing this issue up more to our "representatives".

    March 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  28. Mr Dean n Seattle

    what the republicans continue to say is that the american people are against the health care then state the town hall meetings reflected their thoughts but we are not stupid we know the town hall meetings they refer to were not the average american they were staged events by the republicans

    March 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  29. CB

    I think it is ridiculous that we can afford to bailout corporate crooks so that their companies can stay in business but we can not keep public schools open for our kids. What does this say about our country? This is so shameful.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  30. Edward

    I have seen the salaries paid to local school officials in my area, and they are extremely high. I keep hearing the various boards/committes say, "we have to pay higher prices to attract a high quality individual". While a part of this is true, Nationwide, I think we need to let the "top heavy-administrative" personnel to retire, and replace them with a more moderate salary. If nationwide, school districts would set a REASONABLE SALARY, then recruit the best person who will accept this salary. Reinforce this with proper close direction and followup to insure high academic standards are met. Refrain from automatic increases, and stay within the confines of what the taxpayers can pay/afford.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  31. Patrick Belon

    I am an engineering student attending a university in California. The budget cuts have severely impacted the quality of my education. It's easy to say this when half of my classes are taught by teacher assistants.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  32. Jeremy Bilbo

    Education will never be equal in this country. Wealthier districts can provide a more quality education than poorer districts. Everyone in Congress knows this and continues to do nothing. If federal financial help was given to education; how can the state governments disperse the funds where they deem appropriate? What if we lived in a country where education was competitive, and equal. My opinion is that apparently not having an equal educational system across the board and opportunities is conducive to making money.... It's all about keeping money in certain places.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  33. renee

    Hello Tony, this may be off the mark, but I have a question. Years ago when the focus was on all the illegal immigrants who were coming across the Mexican border, the people were saying that they were helping the economy. The way they were helping was by taken care of our children and taken on alot of the jobs that Americans would not take. What I found was that alot of them were sending the money back to their home land. A great number of them even purchased homes and then moved away. Could this have any thing to do with our falling economy?

    March 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  34. Patrick Scoles

    Education has been a federal political disaster for the last 60 years. Education is the silver bullet to poverty and crime. I would like our federal government to wean moneys from entitlements such as welfare and redirect the money towards education. Schools should be cathedrals, with school districts competing for the best teachers and the ability to give them the salaries they deserve.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  35. Buddy

    Is there a time limit on how long the Senate Healthcare Bill can be before the House before it dies or the House votes on it? What is the process of the House to bring the bill up for a vote. They can't change it or it has to go back to the Senate for another vote, so why not vote!!!! I think the American people are sick of this whole thing and deserve a vote so this issue can end.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  36. EDDIE Olin

    Could (for profit )Charter Schools be one of the problems causing the decline in student enrollment and also revenue away from the public school system. The charter schools in our area receive public funding.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  37. Spenser Calvert

    You can spend billion and billions of dollars on American education and test scores won't get any higher, as history with this issue has shown us in the United States. They need to get good teachers teaching these students and giving bonuses to these good teachers for doing a good job and fire bad teachers as well as make it easy to remove bad teachers who could not care less about the education of these students, as well as give the parents choice of schools to go to instead of being stuck to a single school cause of there zip code, competition motivates teachers and staff to do a better job cause there paycheck is on the line.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  38. Jim Sarro

    I think if the schools would bring parents into the school for ways to get the programs back to what they should be and I think if they would ask parents like myself if we would be willing to pay more in taxes for education and not for the salaries of superintendents i think if you tell parents this they will be wiling for paying higher taxes i know i would

    March 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  39. jerry totten

    tony- just listened to republican rebutle on the presidents town hall on health care. sounds like they are grasping at anything to hold up reform. they think the american people are too stupid to understand what's happening in this bill. come on gop get over loosing.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  40. Fay Simms

    Why is it bad to close schools which have halved their enrollment? Is their not more funding then available for those schools left after consolidation? think of the savings in administrative and clerical costs? Keep most of the classroom teachers and maintain smaller class sizes. Administrators with seniority could return to the classro if they did not want to leave the area.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  41. Judith

    The President gave a good qaulity speech on Healhcare in Pa. today.
    Your program was interesting, but there was too much time given to the opposition. You asked your guest very good questions. I think you and all the programs should have more people on who are pro Health Care Reform. I don't mind hearing an opposing view, but I think there is an imbalance. Thanks!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm |

    n the US we are operating our schools in a 1950's model and actually some of the buildings are still that old as well. Our schools have become urban wastelands and we have turned to simply babysitting our students and kicking the achievement gap can down the road. We simply do not have the resources to meet the needs of today's students and city and county government political turf create gaps in badly needed human services that children need to develop, learn and grow. Through a integrated approach health, academic and life skills and vocational development are aligned with workforce objectives and the new economy we can collectively do much better together. Schools are only as good as the community that supports them and educators are not business, policy and funding experts. However, educators must allow transparency in resolving the tough issues facing urban youth which make up the the majority of public school attendees. The drop out rate and juvenile crime supports this sad fact.
    We can use technology to accomplish this but there is no "political will" to make school reform in the United States a reality. In the meantime, other countries are preparing their populations to take the lead in science, technology and innovation. All I see is another conversation and a "knee jerk"reaction from yet another administration. America its time to get it done and get it done now! Our future is at stake!

    I am a former 7 year school administrator.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  43. Scott Stodden

    Tony your the best first and foremost! It hasn't affected my area where I live right yet, we have the best schools in our city. However, I wouldn't doubt that alot of states are in financial jeopardy but to cut school districts or close them is ludacris in my opinion!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    March 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  44. Michael in Seattle

    Tony Harris or Rick Sanchez,

    Please tell us viewers how the insurance companies can increase Medical insurance rates so high? Dont the Sate Insurance Commisioners have to approve the increases? This begs to ask: Is it the States, or the insurance carriers we should be at odds with? We cannot blame it on the Insurance Companies if the Insurance Commssioners are allowing the increases for future Quid Pro Quo! If they allowing (the increases) for future Employment opportunities, There needs to be something done.

    Just a thought

    P.s. I watch both of you every day, Keep up the great work

    March 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  45. Wayne

    I feel for Tony when he talks with folks that talk around the question, instead of answering them.My concern is that the people in Congress care more about re-election then about the American people. Health care is a major priority that MUST be ADDRESSED! Now is the time for us to grab a hold of history & think generationally. If we were to think in that manner, both Heath Care & Education would not be treated like the "Red-Headed Step-children".

    March 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  46. Laurie

    For anyone who is commenting on K-12 education, I challenge you to serve on your local school board and see how your local district is really managed. Even going to board meetings would be an eye opening experience. The teachers in our district have not had a raise in two years, but they have had their retirement contribution rate go up 1/2 percent every year. They will pay 14% toward their retirment next year, plus 1.45 % for medicare, compared with 7.65% for those that get Social Security (teachers here don't get Social Security). In addition, only the employee's health insurance is paid by the district; family insurance runs about $500 a month with high deductibles and co-pays. Starting salaries in our district are less than $30,000 a year and only go up to the $50,000 with 30 years experience and a doctorate degree. Class sizes go up and up and oportunities for the children go down. Personally, I would welcome an increase in my taxes to support schools.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  47. Trish McGuire

    Hi Tonny,

    Just saw the interview with the republican about healthcare. I loved it, and I thought it was great when you told him to give a response with details. Way to go!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  48. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Tony, we put three boys through the education system in the United States, two in private school, one in public school. One son attended Catholic School at a 10th of the cost of public education and it was far superior than the education our other son received in public school. In addition there was discipline and longer school year which is sorely missing from the public school system for the most part. Teacher and administrators salaries are what is killing the public education system. The real estate tax funding for public school education has to be taken out of the mix. ALL schools must recieve equal funding no matter the wealth or poverty of any area in this country.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  49. Tony Segura

    Hi Tony I see you all week, good work:
    The party of NO and their deciiples are not only vicious but a bunch of biggots. As long as they have Insurance they can care less about the unfortunate until they become unemployed. I say BIGGOTS because these are the same people who go to church and pretend to be prolife deciples only when we are about to have an election.

    Also these are the same people who cheered JOE HORN whe he murdered two men in cold blood with a shot gun.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  50. TEHNC

    If we do not embrace, support, and fund education we will overtime continue to suffer as a society from more poverty, crime and ignorance. Are we as a society going to embrace and value education which will make us stronger as a society or will we continue to sacrifice our future by not providing the funding at every level local, state and federal sources. Congress will need to rename No Child Left Behind to Every Child Left Behind if the trend continues.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  51. Sam Peca


    I just heard your interview with the Republican congressman regarding Obama's healthcare rally. Thanks for trying to force substance and detail from the Republican opposition instead of just accepting the vague, scare-tactic, talking points that are being used as dis-information on the public. Please continue to force substance and accountability, especiially regarding issues so critical to all Americans. Thanks again, Tony!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  52. Robert Medina

    Just to say that your interview was one of the best as a REPORTER and pushing back and making the Dr. explain his point of view he was trying to pass off as responsible opposition. I truely appreciated your style and courage to pursue and question the Drs. argument. Good job.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  53. Theresa Welsh

    To Tony Harris,

    Tony, I just heard your interview with Rep. Boustany and I want to thank you for challenging him and not letting him get away with vague statements about health care reform. You were cool and professional but firm in wanting real answers. I am tired of hearing lies from opponents of health care reform, and the press should not facilitate misinformation. Thank you for your excellent reporting/interviewing; please keep up the good work.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  54. Dean Roberts

    Tony, One of your guests said education had a credibility issue. Maybe this is why. We currently rank number 3 in spending per student in the world. While we rank 12th by grade 4, 500th by grade 8 and 461 by grade 12. Washington state is looking at raising taxes while giving state workers a 5% raise in this recession where the rest of us are just lucky if we remain employed. We have a several billion dollar short fall but you can bet that the government will black mail us with reduced necessary services if we don't agree to raised taxes. This even though our Governor said during elections that this is not the time to talk about taxes. After the election it's OK. I say throw all the bums out and get legistlaters that will be fiscally responsible.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  55. Augustine Yao, Dallas Tx

    Tony, Thank you for asking relevant question about the health care reform to the congress man earier today during the 10am hour. lets see more of that, let them clarify what they say and not hide behind slogans and short phrases to give health care reform a bad name. i've been waiting for long time for one of your fellow journalist to do that.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  56. Tammy

    Louisiana Rep. Boustany just called into CNN to assert why the democrats health plan will hurt home healthcare and rural care. This is a misreprentation. Gov. Bobby Jindal has just cut areas of home health where even my cousin who is in a wheelchair with cerebral palsy and needs assistance to eat, bath etc. is expecting to see his services cut in Aug, 2010. It is our republican governer who is making these cuts (specifically to the developemental disabled) and people need to know and not let it be implied that the suffering and cuts in our state are due to the Obama adminstration. They are due to the coices made by our governer, Mr. Jindal.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  57. Judy in Chicago

    Tony- Greed is the problem. We pay tons of property taxes here in Chicago. Enough to almost "break you" . Yet they keep spending and spending and spending. There in lies the problem. Greedy politicians who keep voting for more and more programs and more and more spending. Get the picture

    March 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  58. Leonard Batson

    Mr. Harris I am a avid viewer of CNN, the best educational news
    program in media today. I have (4) questions;

    1) No one talks about the poor and the working poor, how the economy affects this population, what is being done to help in all
    areas of the economy and politics. All focus is on the middle class.

    2) What is happening to the lottery money that is raised? The whole idea of the lottery when it started was to raise money for schools!!, no
    one speaks on this issue, where is the money going?

    3) No matter how bad our economy is, we are still the richest country
    world per many wealthy idividuals. Why can't these people donate
    money to pay for issues of education etc. We have Billionaires tht can pay for some of these problems without missing a luxury step. The personal wealth in this country alone is more than our national

    4) Where is all the money and supplies being raised for Haiti going?
    It certainly is not going to help the people!!


    Leonard B.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  59. Dave, Michigan

    We shouldn't be looking for ways to cut spending for education (and health care, public services, etc). Instead we need to focus on identifying and cutting all of the unnecessary spending in our government. This isn't a partisan statement – there's waste & corruption on both sides of the aisle and it needs to stop.

    Our so-called "leaders" have the us so busy looking for more ways to cut spending towards our basic needs that we are blind to the amount of money that is being wasted at the higher levels. Something needs to happen to change this before we run out of things sacrifice!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  60. Matt

    As far as California is concerned, much of the problem is illegal immigration. How can criminals/felons be eligible for a free education at the taxpayers' expense?

    March 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  61. Nerlyn Jestine

    Obviously the governemnt is having a hard time educating our children. Our nation is behind many poor countries when it comes to education and now many schools are closing. I would encourage homeschooling through funding and currriculum for elementary school. Parents should be accoutable for their childs' education, not the government. Many parents want to homeschool but dont have the resources or community envolvement. If we come together as a community and teach our children the fundametals, I beleive all of our children can succeed. This is not to say that everyone should homeschool, only that those who want should be given the support. This would also save the government millions of dollars by decreasing class size and decreasing energy consumption.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  62. Megan B.

    If we stop building new schools to be monuments to architects abilities we would save a lot of money. I have seen schools come through my office that incorporate a mixture of expensive materials (large spans of glass, composite parnels, etc. ), and elaborate forms and shapes. These are unneccessary in schools and just act as a pat on the shoulder for those who designed it.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  63. eric brown


    Institute a national lottery for healthcare and public schools,
    Institute a internet sales tax on purchases for health care and school.
    insure that the taxes owed are paid by those that effectively dodge their obligations.
    Stop the subsidies that exist that are not needed to Pharma companies, oil companies etc.
    Stop Nation building and start building our Nation with that money.
    We are to smart and resourceful to let these problems linger.
    This are just a few things to get us on the right track.

    I enjoy your show!



    March 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  64. Al

    The piece on saving Carlos presented a hear-rending situation in which the teacher, who had "already written off" the boy, at age 8, is a malign influence. Let me describe my wife's experience in a 4th grade classroom in an inner-city, poverty-ridden school district. First, she is alone in the room–no aides, no assistants, nothing but the single teacher. She has 28 kids. Because this is in PA, the school is inclusive–she has kids who read at a .5 grade level and kids who read at a 7th grade level, and she has kids with documented learning deficiencies and kids with documented psychological problems. Of the 28 kids, in fact, five have bona fide, documented behavioral problems. Individually sometimes, but often in concert, they regularly make it impossible for the teacher to teach. And it's not a matter that my wife cannot impose order: again, the kids have documented psychological problems. So my wife has a choice: either she attends to the kid who starts acting out and elicits the same behavior from his equally emotionally challenged buddies, or she sends the kid off to the office while she attempts to teach the other 27 kids. She's not writing off the kid she sends to the office. She is instead attempting to teach the other 27 kids. Add to the mix the threat that not making AYP presents–and keep in mind that AYP means that the kid who begins the school year reading at a .5 grade level must end the school year reading at an end of 4th grade level–and you begin to get an idea of the actual working conditions in which my wife finds herself. She really loves her work, and loves to work with the kids. But in any objective sense it is an impossible job that she's supposed to perform.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
  65. Dave

    Tony, after watching your interview of the congessman, it's very obvious that you support the current bill and that you were aggravated with him.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  66. Cecelia

    I am a single mom... have been unemployed for some time, and am trying desperately to continue my education and get my degree. The budget cuts in Georgia would really hurt our University system, and completely devastate people like me. ( I do not qualify for financial aid). The proposed cuts will include (last I heard) a mandatory $1000 student fee on top of a 35% tuition increase– not to mention the elimination of over 4000 faculty and staff positions. This results in fewer classes being made available to me, possibly pushing back my graduation date. So I get to pay MORE money, for a LONGER period of time, and have fewer resources made avaiable to me????? I don't think so. If people think this doesn't effect them... it will at some point. There are plenty of other ways to help with the trouble this state is in financially. Someone isn't doing their job! Hey- I'll take it!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  67. Grady, CA

    Why are we talking about laying off teachers and not the administrators? Does a High school really need 2 Principals, 4 Vice Principals, and 10 Counselors in order to function? If so necessary then why not create interim, lessor positions of assistants, like assistant Counselor to help balance the workload. I can see the rational of increases in class size from when I went to school but doesn't today's technology balance out a majority of that? I also feel the notion of teachers also being laid off based off of tenure rather then merit illustrates where these unions have failed, but maybe my logic is folly.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  68. Antone Jenkins

    I listened with disgust as John Covington gave you what he knew was bs on declining school enrollments in KC. The truth sir is the KC school district has not been accredited by the State in more than a decade. Covington himself just stated a few days ago at UMKC that "diplomas from the district were not worth the paper they are written on." Truth sir!!!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  69. Harold

    Comments on two issues; First health care, "The American People" and "Let's start over and go step by step". Every Republican starts every interview with the same scripted propaganda statement. This is just a ploy to impede the President push for health care for all Americans. Who is so shallow to think that the Republican party speaks for all Americans?

    Education Crisis; As a 30 yr. high school teacher in a major urban system I have watched this occur first hand. Our urban schools are suffering academicaly, because teachers are often not meeting students where they are on the learning scale, mainly due to state educational guidelines. High school students often don't have basic skills they should have acquired in middle school. Teachers often leave these students behind for all the wrong reasons which leads to discipline problems, truancy, poor scores, failure, high dropout rates, Ergo a failing school system. Parents that want a good education for their child if they can afford to, leave the district. A good place to start in urban schools is, we need to get back to basics in education and bring the students along with care and dilligence . Time passes rapidly in education . One would be amazed at what can be accomplished in 4 to 8 years with a solid well implemented plan.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
  70. Richard Owen

    Want to reduce the cost of education? Look closely at how much we spend to pay for the massive number of tests children have to take and how much we spend to have those tests scored and how much of the precious time of teachers is devoted to prepping children for the test instead of focusing on teaching. Richard Owen

    March 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  71. Debra

    No one seems willing to admit that the strain on our economy is aggravated by millions of illegals. We are educating their children and sacrificing advanced classes in our area to pay for "English as a Second Language". Their parents are not paying their fare share and many demand wages in cash to avoid paying taxes. If we enforced our laws and stopped making the offspring of illegals citizens we could dramatically improve our economic future.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  72. steve

    If Obama doesn't forget health care reform until our economy is ready to deal with it, it will be more lost jobs and more governebt hand outs to the un-employeed. As far as the under served, well I guess they will just have to suffer with less free rent, free utilities, free food, free phone and less access to an emergency money supply.

    If I had not already worked for 43 years, I would consider the welfare plan myself. Don't work, let uncle sam me take care of you. You have nothing to lose.

    There should be no free lunch for those who can work. I don't mean th

    March 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  73. John Chambers

    I am a 61 yr old Phoenix native, who just retired a week ago after 32 + years on the job. I have 4-generations in my part of Phoenix. There is no nearby hospital within a 100 square miles area and appx 75,000 residents. My aging parents, myself, my children and grand-children and thousands of tax paying, law-abiding citizens are all at risk without a regional hospital in our community. The Mayor or Phoenix City Council, County, State leaders or the so-called compassionate hospital and medical experts have not gave use a 2nd thought. There is not even a sign saying " Future site for the South Mountain Regional Hospital. This a beautiful and growing community. I guess that there are not enough Republicans in our area. There is an abundance of hospitals in their neighborhoods. If we don't make it to one of their hospitals in time, oh well, we are just dead! Where John MCCain when you need him? JC

    March 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  74. Ron

    It is rediculous that education and public safety are not exempted form budget cuts in America. It is, also, rediculous that US GOVERNMENT officials are more instesrted in financially interested in personal gains then doing the right thing. We are losing ground worldwide in education overall, and in technology in particular, yet, education in this country is now a priority. Politicians are giving away this country for financial gains: this trend must change. we must begin to vote out these politicians, no matter who they are. Our only priority in voting for and supporting representitives should be is in their there vote on issues: nothing less!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  75. Sophia

    I am very disturbed over this entire situation! I have 2 children in this district, and I as well as my two brothers graduated from this same school district, I understand why we have to make such a crucial decision, but the school board is to blame for this! How did we get here to begin with? And once we make these changes, how do we know, we wont be right back here next year! Closing all these schools are only going to affect our children, which by the way they are our future! They want to put 7th graders with our HS students, they want to mix our neighborhood schools, meaning, Central, Westport and East as one, its bad enough that our children have problems with kids in our own neighborhoods, now we are gonna just throw them all together? is that smart? NO. So this is what we are looking at; teenage pregnancy rate, our children killing each other, and our young men will make it to jail before they can get a diploma! you can not put 7th graders with HS students, how are we protecting our kids?
    Now lets talk about our IEP students, they are not telling us whats gonna happen to them, we are taking the stability that they need away from them!!!!!!!
    In all, I believe we are making the wrong choice, there are other ways to go about this! Once again we are rushing into something, with out taking our time!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  76. Rex

    Consolidation of schools, increase in class sizes, and general belt tightening is a good thing for the public schools to do in hard times. They are not exempt from the recession. Be careful though; there is a limit to how many children can be in a class and have the class still be productive. Unfortunately, the loss of productivity in a class or school may not be felt for many years. We must keep some minimum standards today, to protect the future. The children of today, are the leaders of tomorrow. We must maintain our QUALITY of education while we learn to be more efficient with our funds.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  77. RS Ellis

    Educational program shortcomings are not a new phenomenon, however the depth and breathe of severe revenue shortfalls is indicative of the extent of our economic woes and a dysfunctional educational model. Schools, like all taxing entities, have become immune to our economic realities thus their fixed capital expenses and significant outlays for extracurricular activities reflect this sense of immunity. Mission creep and the visceral tug of providing a better environment for our children has obscured the primary mission of educating tomorrows workforce. All of us must assume our share of the blame for our acquiescence to vocal minorities who control the agenda. This is true on a national as well as local level. Focus on the primary mission, identify and eliminate "nice to have" extracurricular expenses, and drastically rein in capital expenditure. How many coaches does the average school district employ? Cut the fat not the muscle

    March 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  78. Jonathan Day

    Education is not a commodity. Teaching one person takes the same resources as teaching ten. Education is also not about standardized tests, dogmatic instruction or 'discipline'. As these are expensive items, getting rid of them would help. Education is about learning what and how to learn. You will never be competitive in industry or the sciences by training for yesterday's race. That means not only investing more, but also eliminating wastage such as SATs. As bad teaching methods and overconsolidation are the two biggest causes of disruptive behaviour, investing in those will eliminate the expensive and rather naive 'fixes' in place, producing superior minds at lower cost. Better minds equals better industry and more industries equals more tax revenue equals significant return on the investment. The added cost of doing it right is insignificant, the rewards are huge and the cost of failure is for the US to be a wholly-owned subsiduary of China or India.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  79. Luther

    Good morning Tony!

    1. Why can't the Republicans show the taxpayers that they are serious about what they are preaching? Those that have over $250,000.00 of worth in saving accounts or in the stock markets cut their pay by half.
    2. The politicians could save money and prove a point by, getting off the Federal Healthcare plan and pay for their own healthcare plan like the rest of us. How can people follow those the lie to us and say "do as say and not as I do"?
    3. The politicians could save billions of dollars by taking less vacations and received their retirements like the rest of us after 65 years of age.
    4. Billions of dollars could be saved by having cuts in the Congress and Senate positions. It is a known fact having too many individuals in public office is why nothing can get done in the Congress and Senate. They ask us to take cuts and should show us by example.
    5. The taxpayer suffers greatly, because of career politicians. The Senators and Congress(men & women) should be limited to 8 year terms. Many times career politicians think about the past and how great it was in the past. Many of the things that worked in the past will not work today, because each time period had conditions that favored the solutions of the past.
    6. Most of the Banks should be up on criminal charges, because part of the stimulus plan was for giving loans to businesses. What I see is wrong by big corporations making huge profits from the taxpayers by having a zero interest loans and only giving loans to rich friends and relatives,

    March 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  80. Mr. John A. Estes, II (L)

    "Only thingthat can be "done" is PARENT's join PTA's 100%. Register to Vote, with 68% not registered in the U.S.

    March 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  81. Walt Cochran

    What ever happened to the White House party crashers ?, or was everything just swept under the carpet, both from the governments side and CNN's side ? It would be nice to see a follow up on this

    March 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  82. Roy


    I wish CNN would do a segment on what is happening to the value of the US dollar and what is going on in economies around the world. We keep printing money like there is no tomorrow. With giant deficits and debt, I think a subject like this would be very beneficial to your viewers.

    Economists on the internet are predicting a "bellyflop" for the dollar followed by massive inflation. We never hear the subject mentioned by the politicians.

    Thank you

    March 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  83. A. Smith, Oregon

    Of course educational programs are cutting back. Bush-Cheney gutted educational funding, pell grants and a wide range of public funding to rebuild dilapidated schools, update school text books, equipment and add teachers. ALL to generate more available money under the 'guise' of funding both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The US Military is rapidly building 700 bases across Afghanistan, some as large as America citys, given the logistics of virtually flying in all of the building equipment, it is extremely expensive to build huge construction projects in Afghanistan. Meanwhile the new Billion taxpayer dollar embassy in Iraq is almost open for business! Does this sound like America is pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq?

    Thanks entirely to Bush-Cheney pouring 1 Trillion dollars directly into the greedy hands of the Pentagon, America has lost an entire generation of higher educational students. Hundreds of thousands of familys are now unable to afford sending their children to college. Those in college are finding it impossible to pay for their sudden large tuition hikes and there are no federal educational grants available to them.

    This educational crisis might 'APPEAR' to have just occurred, however it happened well over a full year ago when Bush-Cheney was gutting all domestic spending to funnel the funding into the greedy hands of the US Military and Cheney's buddy's at Blackwater, Xe, KBR, Haliburton contractors.

    Because of the Republican lawmakers, Many States are very close to utter bankrupcy forcing them to slash educational spending, limit public school days from 5 to 4 per week and some States are considering doing entirely away with the Senior year in High School!

    It appears the Republican lawmakers feel it is cheaper to push mass numbers of America's teenagers into America's vast prison system where taxpayers pay 75,000 dollars per prisoner rather than help provide those same teens with educational grants and federal college aid.

    I urge all students of voting ages to vote every Republican lawmaker out of office and vote for the Democratic candidates across the board.

    March 8, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  84. james Barham


    We can continue to sit here and play politics and bicker back and forth while our children and their educational future are being toss causually to the sideline or we can begin to offer concerete , viable , tangible solution to the crisis.the school system need money not word or finger pointing.....The solutions is simple, refuce funding for correctional facilities and take that funds and apply it to our nation children, as it is a well documented fact that it is more economical to educate than to incarcerate. For well over twenty years we have been constantly increasing funding for prison while at the very same time reducing funding for education, this has transpired in-spie of overwhelming evinence that there have been an decrese in violent crimes. also why not raise taxes on fast food, cigaretttes, gas, and alcohol , although most american are agains increase taxes, I am virtually certain that no one would really object to paying a few pennies more if they knew for a fact that the funds was being set aside exclusively for the purpose of educating our children, saving thier school and retaining our nation educators......The funds and solutions are right here in front of us, all we have to do is view everything in retrospect to what is best for our childrens. and thier future....also what is the problem with tapping into the revenues from the lotteries, casinos, and river boats gamblings? once again the funds are there so why not simply tap into it for the sake of our children? whenever we need a new sport arena, they are ble to find the funds so why not use that same energy to save our nations schools ? The time for talking and finger pointing is most certainly over, if we are not will to take a stand, fight and go to war for our children and their future , then please tell me ...who will??????????...
    take care and god bless our children, as you do to the lease you do it unto him

    March 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  85. Mary Likins

    I just caught an interview on your morning news program. The woman being interviewed (Randy Weingorman?) says the answer to the school crisis is more federal stimulus money to offset budget crisis caused by less property tax revenue.
    In Illinois, our illustrious Governor, Pat Quinn, used the federal stimulus money that was allocated for our schools to pay the pensions of state workers.
    In our school district, 74% of the school budget comes from property taxes, 26% comes from the state to pay categorical expenses. We now have a $1m shortfall due to Pat Quinn not using the stimulus toward the general education fund.
    We are letting 30% of our teaching staff go, and class sizes are expected to rise to 42 students. The taxpayers came up with their fair portion, the state of Illinois is still playing a shell game with federal stimulus money, at the expense of our children.
    How can they do that???? When will the corruption end???
    By the way, the lottery is supposed to fund our schools; however, it's just another shell game on the backs of our children....who only get one chance!!!
    Yesterday, UIC students protested in Chicago. It's time for parents to stand up and fight for the students.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:56 am |
  86. Ken

    It is time to get the mothers back home. This could be done with federal tax credits and online school at home monitored by parents who stay at home to educate their children. It wold also help to solve the unemployment problem. We are paying over 20,000 per pupil and we rank 26th in education. Taxpayers can no longer afford to pay teachers salaries, health benefits and pensions. Why not give parents some cash incentives to assist with the education of their children at home. Outsourcing education to private contractors is another good option. Maybe wal mart could get into education. They are non union and their prices are low. That is what the taxpayers need at this time.

    March 9, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  87. Mikey

    Americas deficit is directly related to the two wars we are fighting and the Bush tax cuts that went mostly to the top 2% of America.
    When you patriots get patriotic enough to pay for them along with all the other military programs that our defense requires and we require more defense funds than the rest of the world uses combined.
    It is then we will have education funds.
    It is the cities that are using the stimulis money now to survive ,to keep on police, fire,teachersect.ect. These are jobs paid for out of our tax dollars .
    If you want them you are not going to pay for them with tax cuts .
    I am amazed that the Repubs are still campaining on tax cuts.
    America figure it out ,two wars and tax cuts for the rich that is why we are in this mess, I would think the last place to cut would be Education based on the above.

    March 9, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  88. Kurt

    To stop a Toyota that is out of controll, HOLD DOWN the Start/Stop button FOR 3 SECONDS or more. It will kill the engine. Why doesn't CA 911 know this, and why isn't CNN mentioning it EVERY time they report a Toyota story??

    March 9, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  89. Carol Simonis

    Hi Tony, I just don't get the polls, we voted for Obama because we wanted health care reform and jobs and he's done a great job. Maybe he's too nice! I think the republicans are scaring people. I've heard them say, "Would you like to wait 9 months to see your doctor!" Shame on you repbuplicans!!!!!!!!!!! Carol from Wisconsin.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  90. Cathy C

    Mr Harris,

    Keep doing what your doing. When other reporters take over for you, it's just not the same. I really really enjoy you style of reporting and your show. It did take me a few months to get use to it, because when you were interviewing someone your mic was on and it sounded like you were either grunting or trying to interupt what your guests were saying. Now I realize you were just agreeing, or possibly you were listening to someone in your ear they couldn't hear and acknowlegding them. Anyway, it doesn't matter, I really look forward to your show. Again, keep doing what your doing. Your great!

    Cathy C
    Denver, CO

    March 9, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  91. Leslie

    I'm a nurse in California, I work in long term care, the waste is out of control, I work with mainly medical residents and their families request all these tests that are not needed, of course this is all paid for by the tax payors, if I would had them a bill for the amount due they wounld think twice about it. I do not have any insurance, I work to eat. Tax payors should be very upset.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  92. Sheron Fraser-Burgess

    Dear Tony,
    Your recent segment today on the possible profound effect of sustained unemployment on American culture is interesting. It should be said however that the consequences need not be as dire as your guest predicts. Two precedents are telling:
    1. The Great Depression, which did reform or social structure but in a positive way
    2. African Americans who have endured multiple generations of economic marginalization and yet have developed an incredibly resilient cultural identity. (We can teach white America a thing or two about how to sustain social cohesion in economically lean times.)
    Perhaps the implication is that we as a society should never have placed so much of our identity within our professions or possessions but upon what kind of people we should be.
    If the tough economic climate motivates reassessment and reflection in this regard. It would be a good thing for us all.
    Thanks for the opportunity to be involved in the conversation!
    Best wishes,

    March 9, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  93. william ryals

    Nearly every problem now comes back to the jobs problem. I do not understand why some attention is not being paid to the idea of requiring retailers to make a percentage of their purchases for resale in the form of american goods particularly in certain categories. This would be by far the simplest and easiest as well as the cheapest way to get manufacturing going again.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  94. Fred

    One of the protesting students was holding a hand written sign, "Save are teachers." Maybe they do need the money.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  95. william ryals

    some states are using stimulus to pay teachers because those states will not raise property taxes. Why not compare the property tax rates of states like Arkansas and Missouri to other more affluent states. I think you will find that these states are not paying their fair share here. A while back there was a report that showed that some states were recieving 2 dollars in federal money for every dollar they pay. I think you will find a relationship between those states and the ones that are paying low property taxes.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  96. ladams

    when the people move(white flight) they take the money from the present school budget and build new schools, thus leaving budget deficits, then complain about the taxes it takes to support the overbuilt school system, these are the so-called smart people, i think not.


    March 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  97. peggy pick

    I am unable to express my views directly to CNN so I want you to know that CNN has made a big mistake in not renewing Heidi Collins contract. I have enjoyed turning in to CNN for years because of professional manner of giving the news. Not only does she always looks good, but she shows she has brains. I noticed that all the ladies of CNN have spruced up their looks, but no one there could take her place. CNN goofed big time on this decision!!

    March 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  98. Scott/minnesota

    Why don't we just give all americans 145,000 like I have heard talked about before.(the people deserve it)Then people could pay off their house/have food going through these rough times/and give our children the education they deserve!
    The stimulous could of helped us instead of what is going on now.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  99. Regina

    I have been watching this story for some time now and as of yet not one person has addressed cut backs on transportation. I live in a small town in Illinois, my daughters school is less than 5 miles from our house yet her morning bus commute is 48 minutes! Would going back to neighborhood schools help? Also why are we not cutting back the sports programs? Why is it always the arts that get the axe?

    March 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  100. Rick

    Hey, how about you pass a levy to keep your schools afloat? We did and imagine that no cuts needed. Our excellent rated schools are now set to remain excellent rated schools!

    March 9, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  101. iggy

    By continuing to extend the unemployment benefits, the government is restricting the natural process of this economic collapse.
    Wages and jobs are in a employers market, wages are significantly down.
    Until the extensions are completed, and those receiving up and over $500.00 a week being on unemployment, the bottom of this economy will never hit, which is a natural cycle to rebuilding.
    Ask how many people simple are not looking for work right now, due to the fact they can make $15.00-$17.00 an hour sitting at home...

    March 9, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  102. David b.

    You had someone on today who apparently does not know how to interpret data correctly. He was also on last night. This is about the school week changing from 5 days to 4 days in which the 4 days would be longer. He repetedly stated that this would decrease the amount of class time and shorten the school year. Am I the only one who gets it?? This guy needs to understand some simple conceptualization. IT IS THE SAME CLASSROOM TIME.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  103. Bobbie Rosario

    Teachers do not get paid enough as it is. How about taking some of the excess bonuses and put it into the education system? Our priorities are so upside down! Quality teachers will be attracted by higher salaries.

    On the effects of unemployment: Historically, it has been African American women who have held down the jobs. Minorites have always had a higher unemployment rate. Now that whites have a high unemployment rate they are screeming. There is a reason for our prisons being overly populated by African American/ Hispanic men. More white guys are going to end up there too? One of the problems is gender role stereotyping. Yes, our culture is going to change. It has to if we are going to survive as a nation.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  104. Meredith

    Since Arnold the governator took over Sacremento in California, he has been taking money in the millions from each of the different School Districts in California to balance the State's Budget.

    The Governator Swatzenhanger did that More than Once, for Six and a Half years.

    It is always the same, He Never Repaid the School Districts the money he took, after promising he would each time.

    Teachers having to take pay cuts, pay freeze.

    In those school districts there are courses that were erased from existance from different schools. Some include gym, sports, driving, art, music and so on.

    And this began 6 1/2 years ago. Welcome to our world.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  105. Jean

    I had a fabulous education in the early 1960's when teachers were 'old school' in how they taught grammar, in discipline, in teaching honesty and integrity. It started to change before I left high school and it's become much worse since. Why isn't the media naming and shaming the Administrators and others who were responsible for racking up unnecessary education debts in each school district in the nation? I noticed years ago the tendency for US schools to concentrate more on sports and building ugly and unhealthy new schools than on education. Look what's happened. We have some of the most ignorant populace of any western country. And don't ditch Band – music education is important – it teaches mathmetics and really can soothe the savage beast. It is ridiculous that Administrators earn such high salaries at the expense of students and teachers. Also, the Republican party for decades has discouraged education in various ways, again with disastrous results. An uneducated pupulace will not question 'authority' as much as an educated populace will. Education should take priorty over sports (not to be confused with Physical Education, which is important for exercise) and over the cost of war. Regulating Wall Street and reining in the reach of lobbyists could save billions of dollars that could be used to help educate our children. Finally, good teachers should get good salaries but poor teachers should be encouraged to leave or get further education themselves and prove that they can teach beyond an adequate level. Testing can encourage cheating by both students and teachers. Surely there could be an independent body that could observe teachers in the classroom and in a more comprehensive way ascertain which are the truly excellent teachers and which are the truly inadequate teachers and pay them or hire/fire them accordingly.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  106. mike saunders

    It is hard to offer a solution without knowing more information. for example when i was young we moved into a newly constructed neighbourhood. As time went by 20 years later the kids moved away and people tended to stay in their homes. Without new construction home sites the local school I attended simply ran out of new students.The building was shut down in certain parts to conserve energy etc but the building cuts were not enough to justify the schools survival. Rural areas probably suffer more as more people are growing up and moving to the city. Demographics and population play a big part vs new home areas with young parents. Sometimes there is no choice but to close schools and bus kids to another location. Howeverif the problem is a money problem due to budget cuts then the Federal Government needs to buck up because education is the antithesis of ignorance and is key to the betterment of the society in the future. Taking steps backwards in education at a time when western society is already behind Pacific rim countries is a huge mistake. The future jobs require a step up in education with better teaching methods. Too many kids are left behind. I would like to see the classroom where the curiculum is taught by a teacher who is known to be a great communicator on a large screen tv. The classroom would have 1 or 2 teachers in the classroom to ask the kids if everyone understsads the lesson while being taught by the TV teacher. This of course requires more teachers but education is about communicating knowledge. Again the government is formed to help enable it's people for their's and the benefit of society. The better the education , the better the job, the more taxes they will eventually pay that will pay back fheir education to society. After all it is not the governments money it is the people of the United States, the taxpayer. I think it is a great investment that eventually will pay for itself.

    March 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  107. mike davis

    why not put the bible in school as a requirement.if you can teach big bang. which isn't proven.and the lottery was suppose to add millions for schools,but they use every where else. goverment can'T BLEED US FOR EVER.

    March 9, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  108. william ryals

    School finances will improve with more jobs but that will not happen unless we take steps to make it happen.
    I advocate that we require retailers to make a percentage of their purchases for resale in the form of american made goods particularly in certain categories. This is by far the simplest, easiest, and cheapest way to get manufacturing jobs back in this country.

    March 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  109. Gene Lucas

    Chico CA is a college town, and K-12 and college education is our biggest business by far. Cuts to education will be devastating to the local economy at all levels.

    March 9, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  110. Richard Cwiakala

    We're ignoring the ELEPHANT in the room. Why is it that ALL teachers get automatic increases per year?. With teachers loosing or potentially loosing jobs and people in the community, who are funding the schools district, loosing jobs or strapped by a failing economy, perhaps it's time for teacher to FOREGO salary increases, for a year, for the greater good. I realize this will require a teacher vote to rescind a contractual obligation but it would show that they are vetted into the solution. Teacher unions will have kittens with this approach but it would show a desire to be part of the solution and not the problem. Salaries and benefits are 80+ percent of a school budget. Without this willingness, I know how I vote on this year's school budget. Tenure and across the board salary increases is a topic for another day.

    March 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  111. Mike T.

    You interviewed the Fairfax "supe" this morning and you discussed trying to use volunteers to teach "dropped" classes after school hours. Don't try to do that in New York State! Here, the unions have the schools so tied up that my wife did an after-hours class on choosing a college and the union protested that she was actually teaching and that was "their" job. Good Luck on getting volunteers....

    March 9, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  112. dave in des moines

    We need to rethink, rezone, rebuild school buildings into multiuse buildings. Schools, businesses and individuals need to redraw their uses and customer base into the 21st century. They need to trade real estate and rebuild those buildings one new classroom at a time.
    First, many school’s enrollment are decreasing. Many schools are located conveniently in many neighborhoods. At the same time, the number of baby boomers retiring will soon skyrocket. Many will soon need assisted living. Many will soon not be able to drive safely. Many retail stores and malls are sitting empty. Many fitness places are usually empty during school hours. Many convention centers sit empty during school hours. Many mall eateries are unusually idle other than lunch and dinner hours. Why can’t we rebuild our school buildings, retail spaces and malls into multiuse buildings?
    Many schools are located conveniently in many neighborhoods. As they say in business it is location, location, location for businesses to thrive. Is there a way to rebuild some schools into multiuse buildings? These buildings could be built to include retirement apartments with high tech classrooms and fitness facilities. Other businesses could include a small pharmacy, doctors’ offices and a healthy foods convenient store with a small drive through at some schools’ locations? Perhaps people could pick up a gallon of milk, some eggs, bread and some healthy snacks at these stores.
    Perhaps some strip malls and regular malls could be converted to include high tech classrooms. Some fitness places could rent out its low use times to schools. Other food serving restaurants could cater its foods to students at low peak times during the day. Many of these new former retail stores/now high tech classrooms could be built with new safe sidewalks for students to walk to school.
    We need to rethink, rezone, rebuild school buildings into multiuse buildings. Schools, businesses and individuals need to redraw their uses and customer base into the 21st century. The end result would be sharing of services such as fitness, food services, and health care. The end result would be higher tax revenues if these areas are rezoned and rebuilt right. Let the schools, businesses, and homeowners, trade without fees to make this happen one new classroom at a time.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  113. Sherry Graham

    Why is it that Education is always in trouble financially? Education is the second most important thing necessary to sustain any society and it makes the world a better place. Education helps to feed us, minimizes criminal activity, protects our rights and takes care of us when we are ill. President Obama's first priority is health care, but if we were all a little more educated, we would know how to take care of ourselves. Oprah, with all her money, built a school, not a staduium. The first thing after having a child is to plan for their education. Education prepares them for life and teaches the skills necessary to succeed in life. How can it be that our elected leaders are missing this? Many states keep cutting their education budgets and can't take care of their educational systems. They canot fund their schools at an appropriate level. Maybe they need to have different priorities. They would rather did up a 3 year old road and put down a new one or build a new sports stadium just to squander stimulus money and make it appear that something useful is being accomplished. Just for comparison, let's take the salary of a movie star or an athlete, (sometimes used as a role model) and give one tenth of their salary to the teacher that is teaching our chiildren how to read and count. Gee, imagine that! Now there isn't a problem with cutting teachers or closing schools. What does that say about our commitment to education? Teachers help mold little minds to do great things. They are role models for our children who may not have the best parents at home. They will shape their attitudes and characters so they will value education. This would be a great thing, By the way, my husband is a first grade teacher at a Title 1 school and my son is a high school English teacher.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  114. A, Smith, Oregon

    President Barack Obama said Tuesday he'll bring in high-tech bounty hunters to help root out health care fraud, busting corrupt Doctors, Insurance Agency's and Medical Centers that over-bill, milk their patients for unnecessary treatments and phantom charges.

    I hope President Obama makes it very easy for students and laypersons to police and detect fraudulent medical doctors that have made millions by fraudulent medical claims which the Insurance industry and American taxpayers ultimately must pay for.

    Bust a fraudulent Doctor and receive a reward for doing so? This is clearly a winner for all law abiding Americans.

    March 10, 2010 at 4:23 am |
  115. Gary Corbin 21

    All budget shortfalls are a direct result of wasteful spending and mismanagement at the top levels, but then the cuts are done from the bottom of the ladder. That's how education is affected, and a page should be taken from Mr. Perry's book on how they should shape the education system throughout the United States.

    March 10, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  116. Glee

    Will the new unemployment bill assist those of us who have exhausted our past unemployment tiers, as the last bill did not add $$$ for us for continued benefits. Also, we are therefore not counted in any jobless %'s nor any jobless numbers. [even though we are still unemployed]

    Thank you.

    March 10, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  117. Sharon Jaffe-Johnson

    I live in the poorest county in Nevada...Lyon Co., Northern NV. The crime rate has increased (credit card fraud {even got my step-dad 2 weeks ago}; crimes against women increased; theft, etc...they arecutting state employees, postal services, police, firefighters & EMT's. This wonderful, rural place I live in, is mostly elderly & disabled people. We NEED those EMT's, police & firefighters. Hopefully, Gov. Jim Gibbons will lose next election, so someone younger & smarter can step in....I am disabled, get $16.00 in food stamps and Social Security Admin. got slammed w/ 750 more cases! My worker has fibromyalgia..yet keeps smiling & working.Thanks, Sharon

    March 10, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  118. Glee

    There are people amongst the states where they plan to close schools, education as a whole. The suggestion that the Powerball could be shared to benefit education. As there is always 2 sides to each idea, many folks object against this and I really believe education should come before more outdoor projects. The 3 r's are your ladder to success more so than a new bike path.

    Thank you

    March 10, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  119. Rebecca Hirst

    School Budget Crises

    So, what are parents to do with their children that extra day while at work?


    March 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  120. Mark McCumber

    Does anyone understand the law of Cause and Effect?

    March 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  121. Deb

    Hi Tony,
    The school budget getting cut??? well I would start with the
    sports football,basketball,baseball, track,socer ect and use
    that money to retain teachers..........oh big surprize!! I have been
    watching and not one person even suggests this!!

    March 10, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  122. Justin

    I would think the best way to manage budgets would be to consider online courses for high school programs. This would lower energy costs as most rooms may not be needed as well as costs regarding food (i.e. lunch) as fewer students would be in school and thus lowering the amount of food needed as well as other costs. Granted this may affect students' ability to socialize, but this is an area where students can work/collaborate on homework and work in teams, etc. outside of the classroom. Students would only have to come in for testing and such.

    Online programs would be relatively cheap and if colleges can do online courses, why not high school? This might be a good alternative as well as take advantage of technology today. Maybe online schooling is the 21st century of education?

    March 10, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  123. Rodney Wooten from louisiaina

    Hey Tony, What ever happen to the money that every state was suppose to receive from the lottery dollars for education?

    Know one ever talks about that. Has anyone ever received any money? If so how much?

    March 10, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  124. max

    I thought the purpose of state lotteries was to support education! So where does these millions (daily/weekly) go?

    Must be like the new bridge or road tolls......that go away when paid off. The only people being paid off are the politicians.


    March 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  125. Sam Hendrickson

    We are seeing cuts in education and community services across the board. It is past time to re evaluate our national security needs. End the wars, bring the troops home, close all over seas bases and determine how much military is actually needed to protect our borders. Use the funds to meet our domestic needs.

    March 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  126. David L Storch


    Two things concerning the funding of schools in the State of Florida:
    1. When the state lottery was proposed and passed the funds from the lottery were to go to education. These funds DID go to education, but the state legislators DEDUCTED a like amount from the state education funding! These funds were then used for other projects in the state.
    2. Taxes ARE NECESSARY for the funding of public services such as schools. The politicans, in order to get elected or stay in office, have proposed TAX CUTS that have the effect of causing deficits in state services. The public needs to be reminded that CUTS in taxes (i.e., real estate taxes that were passed in the last couple of years) directly affect the funding of schools. Tax savings need to come from pork in the budgets...

    March 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  127. Jackie Nicholson

    I don't think that cutting the number of schools is the answer. That just means that the good teachers will have an even harder time teaching twice as many students. As far as funding is concerned... I believe the only way that all schools will receive equal and adequate funding is to implement a national tax that will go to fund our nations schools. Clearly this is a matter that states can not handle b/c every state has trouble with managing their education budget and ensuring that all schools have equal funding.

    March 10, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  128. Sharon

    Brady is the man for asking the most legitimate question of the decade and Tony you are the man for picking it to air! My question is if Mr. Notter is in such agreement with the "blogger" as he phrased it, then why has nothing been done before now? Because the exact opposite has been happening. There are pages of Teacher Assistant positions paying $9-$11per hr, yet full-time teachers and clerical staff are the ones being laid off. I live in Broward and have a daughter in HS in the Broward School District. OUR KIDS AND SCHOOLS HERE DEFINITELY NEED HELP!

    March 10, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  129. Bonnie

    Sadly, the issue with Toyota cars is not only mechanical, but "computerized"

    March 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  130. David Bergstrom

    I have been asking for years why we dont have a boiler plate design for schools based on locaton climate.
    In the state of mn. where I live we have multiple school districts each with its owne superintendent and administration, What a waste!
    As for funding I like to tell people that seven years ago we entered the race to the bottom. We are Gov. Tim Pawlenty wise and dollar stupid.
    Wake up america!!!

    March 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  131. Walter Moreau

    A month or so ago in connection with cuts at colleges and universities, CNN reported that for every new student added at colleges or universities, two employees were hired by the schools. This seemed to me outrageous and reflected the fact that cost swere being increased for the students without enough effort to reduce costs at the colleges and universities. That was the last time I heard that figure mentioned at CNN but it seemed to be one that should have been pursued since increased student costs is a hot topic today.

    March 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  132. Steven Geary

    With respect to our "doomed education system" ... Although budget is noteworthy, I do not think it is the sole factor for our failing schools. Has anyone considered the inequity of teacher pay verses administration? Of course there are those who will qualify it like the corporate executives ... higher pay = the "best personnel" ... shouldn't this be the same for teachers? Or, that the student to teacher ratio is a sham considering a number of staff position are allocated as teachers?
    Then there are the ridiculous decisions to implement the idea of "social promotions" – why should a student work hard if he/she is moving on to the next grade regardless? Which raises another question, "where are the parents"?
    It seems that most often teachers (once in a while administrators as in the RI case – but rare) are seen the root cause of failure – "they aren't educating our youth" – I have a great deal of trouble accepting this just as I have accepting "all to most" doctors or lawyers fail us – but they still command high salaries.
    So, when the "educational talking heads? speak, they should address the "real issues" surrounding the failures ...

    March 10, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  133. Lucy

    The expert forgot to mention that Florida public get funding from lottery and also have a great thing which is competition. In Florida as a parent we have MANY programs that allow us to choose which type of school works best for our family situation. That may be a public, private, charter school, or K-12 online school (where teachers work with students not home school), and a mix of home schooling and classroom. The point is we have a choice of what is best for our family, our child, and are no longer required to send our child to a school where we might feel the environment (education, safety, staff, & supplies) is substandard. This does force public schools to ensure they are as good as all the other choices, since every one in Florida has a choice. Giving parents a choice is A GOOD thing and if you review the test scores of public schools, you will see the budget is effected because they have to step up to be a prime choice and in my area many still are.

    March 10, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  134. Ron Diaco sr.

    Tony, I know students and teachers in K-12 don't like the idea, but for many years now even when I attended school back in the 60's, the talk of longer school days was a solution to todays education for our children. Students have much to learn to be competitive in todays' world and teachers only work about 10 mos. of the year. they make good salaries with good benefits and children don.t need 2 mos. vacation of walking streets and playing video games all day! Children will be more productive in school then by being home alone doing who knows!

    March 10, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  135. Connie Sakleh

    I live in Addison, Illinois and our school district (Addison School District #4) is facing huge budget cuts. The state of Illinois owes the district $1.3 million and we also may get a decrease in General State Aid of $3.5 million. Needless to say, this will result in the layoff of many teachers (potentially 48), increase in class size, reduction of support staff, elimination of Art and Music classes, etc.

    The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act (H.R. 2187) awaits passage in the Senate. This bill would provide $6.4 billion for projects that meet green building standards. While I know the importance of going green, maybe some of this money can go to help the school districts in the United States continue to operate?

    I know we are not the only district suffering and I think the United States Government needs to step in a do something, quick. The State of Illinois ranks 49th in the nation in funding of public schools.

    Thank you for your time.

    March 10, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  136. Rory D Welper

    Representative Kennedy has it right. The media's focus on Representative Masa is over and above the significantly more important issues of the day is abominable. Do we the public want to know about Representative Masa or does the media want us to know about Representative Masa? The answer to this question is more than obvious. Let's get refocused on what is really important.

    March 11, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  137. Deborah in Blue Springs, MO

    I live in the Kansas City area, Tony.
    Many millions of Americans are in favor of raising money for education by applying the State Lottery model to cannabis regulation and taxation.
    Industrial, medical, and recreational cannabis can raise potentially billions of dollars in taxes which could be used to support education.

    March 11, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  138. Juan

    If the poorest of the school districts loose half of their schools they will be Poor forever. Somthings got to give, because higher test score requirements with massive school closings does not sound possible.

    March 11, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  139. Kelly

    With the high school in Central Falls, Rhode Island in the news so much lately, I wonder why no one is asking why the schools in Rhode Island are suffering so much. Could it be because Rhode Island is the only state in the country that has no funding formula for schools. Year-to-year, the schools in Rhode Island get what the state legislature decides is left over for education funding.

    March 11, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  140. sarah

    for the closing of schools, how about dropping sports? what is more important? education for the future or if your child scored 10 pts at a basketball game that will not have an affect on his life as an adult. maybe this will 'free up' money to keep teachers so there won't be a 1 teacher to 40 children, some child will be left out with that ratio. keep the teachers, drop the sports.

    March 11, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  141. Chris Smithson

    I am on my lunch break watching your broadcast on the ongoing demise of education in the U.S. and it sickens me to see how far this country has fallen. Schools are closing all around America while fat cat CEO's sit comfortably on their salaries and huge bonuses. This nation is home to some of the richest people on earth, yet the education of our children hangs in the balance for want of funding. Explain that to me Tony!

    School Teacher in Kissimmee, Florida

    March 11, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  142. Juan

    obviosly the schools need more money! i dont understand why people are blaming this on the studets, saying half of them dont want to be in school... BLaming it on the teachers, Ha! administrators, parents...

    its MONEYS fault. they need more money .. No one made that choice but bad managment... We need something that will educate everyone the best way possible. Money should not be a problem in the worlds richest country

    March 11, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  143. Arine Ward


    I totally agree with you...the monies that are being infused into these sports, and extracurricular activities should be cut out...and it should be restarted again in 12years after we have devoted time and hands on learning techniques to the next generation starting with the 1st graders 2010-11

    March 11, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  144. Gary

    Instead of focusing on Kansas City School District's current budget problem take a look at how much money they wasted between 1985 and 1999 because of the court ordered desegregation judgement. $1.5 billion was diverted from other Missouri schools to fund outrageous budgets for KSD. The result: fewer students, lower test scores, higher segregation. It is clear that more money is not the answer. in 2007 KSD received more money per student than our local school but while their district failed ours ranked 5th best in the state.

    March 11, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  145. Dave Paulson

    The America people are the frog in the kettle. The growing crisis in education is just one symptom of a nation that's been sold out. It is the gradual erosion of prosperity for the many brought about for the benefit of the few. It's time we as a people accept that the future of our nation depends upon the success of or schools, not on the DGI. Make no mistake about it, public education needs serious reform, but it also needs more funding. It's time to reverse the tax reforms of the past 30 years and call on America's most wealthy to pay their fair share. There's no excuse for having 90% of American wealth held by only 1% of its people.

    March 11, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  146. Bruce J.

    We have more access to information now than at anytime in world history. Why are we having a discussion about getting an "education".
    As a former Instructor of AF pilots, I found motivation is the primary factor in a student's success.
    A national on-line H.S. provided by the federal government could provide a quality education for anyone with internet access.
    If you just want knowledge then go to i-tunes and pick from on-line class videos from Stanford, Yale, MIT.....

    March 11, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  147. Suhaylah

    We wonder why American kids are "Far" behind other students in different countries. Decisions like this is part of it. Also why is it when something needs to be cut schools and libraries are the first to be cut.
    So much for " No child left behind".

    March 11, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  148. Frank

    Hey Tony–regarding class action suits: about 15 years ago I was notified that my mortgage company had been overcharging for the escrow portion of the mortgage payment and that a class action suit was afoot. I thought to myself that even if the overcharge was $10 a month, I might walk away with a thousand or so. Three years later I recieved a check .. I remember staring at the check in total confusion trying to figure out the amount. Where was my money? Well, it was in the little box to the right–my award was 85 cents.So much for class action suits and the lawyers that get rich filing them.

    March 11, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  149. Anna Cora

    Your program is very informative.

    Every year there are fires in California and floods in other parts of the country. I would like you to start an investigation that will see how much money is spent each year because of fires and floods.

    The money that is spent each year can instead be used to solve the problem as follows:

    Link the sewer drains from the flood prone areas to the fire prone areas.
    This will create more jobs, create more sewage plants, more irrigation in the fire prone areas and dry areas to help farmers.

    I asked this question before, to a radio program and was told that it would cost too much money. How much are we spending now!!

    March 11, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  150. frank

    Take all the sports off the tax rolls.
    sell off all the playing fields.
    no more bus riges libiable ins.cost

    March 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  151. Bruce from Hawaii

    Why are we looking for a "carbon" based solution to getting a world class education. Education should have a free on-line option provided by the federal government. I am blown away by both the quality and quantity of information available to people today. Save the green house gases and get an on-line system going today.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  152. Sharon Davids

    Is there a list somewhere of the states that are still in the running for the federal funding? I understand there are now 19. Is Arizona in the list? Thanks. Sharon

    March 11, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  153. R.J. Klapproth

    I am a retired School District Manager having worked in the US as well as abroad in both public and private school systems. My comments are the result of actual on the job experience. However, I would REQUEST THAT MY NAME BE WITHHELD. Thank you.

    Not to be critical of Kansas City School System's problem but it is not unique. The problem has been forced on the district partly as the result of the current economic situation, but should have been addressed much earlier. As a School Business Manager I had to convince the school board and the community at large that it would be necessary to close approximately 45 percent of the district's schools. Several of the school buildigs should have been closed several years earlier and resulted in operations and salaries that could have been avoided incurring substantial avoidable debt. In general, school boards as well as teachers and the community at large are often reluctant to reduce their capital holdings. The issue is quite emotional and, again, put off until there is no choice but drastic reductions. Kansas is not alone now or in the immediate future of being alone on this issue.
    The best, and most successfull way to deal with the issue is as open and honest a dialoge within the school district and as quickly as possible. Parents are reluctant to see their children bussed to another school but are also reluctant to support a property tax increase to help keep their neighborhood school open with a low building utilization.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  154. Bruce from Hawaii

    It has been my experience that motivation is the most important factor in education. It is nearly impossible to hold smart motivated people back. If you are not succeeding in getting a quality education in this country and you want to know why that is, then you should go out and buy a mirror.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  155. Arine Ward


    I totally agree! Eliminating school sports...would then place those activities back into a private sector...thus focusing on academia! Then when colleges, scout for athletes they would be forced to offer them academic scholarships with the chance to try out for a team...

    Thus sending those monies into school budgets to educate them in seeking a college future

    March 11, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  156. Ed Richen

    President said US was worlds biggest exporter of "goods and services" not just of goods. You gave the info for goods alone showing EU, China and Germany ahead of US. What about this? Please retract if you are incorrect.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  157. Stephanie Sledge

    The school closings are a result of failure on the Department of Education in regards to not changing their ways through the economic fall. One way to help the districts and other schools that will soon follow are to put High school online. Almost all universities and colleges across the nation offer online schooling and public schools need to move students that do not need to be physically in school in order to learn. It is time for the schools to update the available technologies that would help lessen the financial burden on the school systems. Online schooling can be taught to students from the comfort of their own homes and on their parents electricity, food bill, etc that would help keep the ones that need the classroom setting environment. Children would benefit more to be home schooled and taught from an online environment rather than send them to over crowded schools and alternative school settings that are going under in the economic fall

    March 11, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  158. Dave Paulson

    For Bruce in Hawaii,
    You're right, it is about motivation, but not all people are motivated by the same thing. When we turn our focus from forcing what academia holds important to teaching that which stimulates our students, when we start making education relevant for everyone, we'll finally find success in education.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  159. William

    I wonder how many of the scrooges voting against education received their degrees from Land Grant Colleges that were heavily subsidized by their parent’s generation through taxes. Their parents saw the value of investing in their children’s education as a way to ensure America’s future. Since my 30 year old education at Colorado State University, I have developed new contact lense materials, protected people from the effects of oil and hazardous material spills and cofounded a small business that employs people. Do you think that my education was a worthwhile investment by the taxpayers?

    We lost our future when we stopped seeing taxpayer investments in education and our infrastructure as ensuring our future. Scroogonomics abandons the middle class’s children to allow the wealthy to evade paying their fair share of the cost of running our nation including Social Security and Medicare.

    Ask yourself before you pull the TEA Party lever; Do crumbling roads, higher tuition and poor schools really benefit me? Do the rich bankers that got us into this mess really deserve to pay lower taxes than you do? Is it right to spend 10% ($383 Billion) of the whole budget making the minimum payment on the National credit card? Only wage earners making over $106,800 would pay more if the current Social Security threshold was increased. Do you earn that much?

    Educated people do actually work and create jobs. The uneducated are permanently unemployable and are burdens to society for life.
    Make a choice; Invest in education and our future now or Pay for a lifetime of welfare and crime. Which is better for America? Which option really costs our nation less?

    March 11, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  160. Max

    It's not all about money Tony. NY state spends $14,884 per pupil on school aid, more than any other state and well above the national average of $9,138. The parochial schools do a better job educating students for a fraction of NY's cost.

    The issues are complex, troubled kids, bad teachers, bureaucracy of the Board of Education, corruption, fraud and plain old inneficiency.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  161. Dan Lafayette,IN

    I say if your paying taxes you should be allowed to go to any public school and not have to go to one that does not perform up to standards. When teachers are paid for performance they will be more willing to help those who are having problems in schools. Sometimes they just give up on certain children who do not live up to getting through school and would like better to hang out with others on the street. We as parents need to show our children how important school is for them to succeed in life and the city or state should not close schools that are declining but make standards for teachers to teach those who would rather be on the streets. It's up to parents and teachers to show how important school is. We should not close schools but make them more efficient for our children! This is why we pay taxes! For the future of our children and the needs of the population

    March 11, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  162. Gloria

    I went to school in Detroit in 63. When I handed in my homework I was called a "scab" by the other students. Many of the students talked back to the teachers, often adding that they would make more money (working in the automobile plants) than the teachers.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  163. Michael

    An earlier comment noted that wealthier school districts would always get better education. But our school districts did not evolve to favor the rich. Our school districts evolved over the last 100 years with the main purpose of keeping blacks out of white school districts. Separate but equal would have been better than separate and sub-standard.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  164. Lynn

    If you want to fix the education system, try a nationalized education system. This would provide the same education to all students at each grade level. This also helps when students have to move from place to place because the family needs to relocate to find employment. The student would easily be able to transition since the curriculum would be the same from school to school all across the country.

    It would also help to determine which teachers are not as effective, and provide the support or actions necessary to remedy the situation.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  165. Bob Cummings


    I have followed with interest your Education in America series. The gentleman who was on talking about the Kanas City School District is taking the correct steps. The enrollment is shrinking, but not the school infra-structures. Consoldation is a good start to the solution. Now, to my main point. I live in a upper middle class school district. My taxes support this district, and I don't want my money getting funneled to poor districts. That doesn't make me a bad guy. I just have the best interest of my children in mind. Don't put this on the affluent, it isn't about that. They pay their fair share to educate their kids. Seems to me some in this country want a free ride, expecting the rest of us to pay for poor school districts. I have to ask, why? Where is their responsibility in all of this? You have a problem in your community, fix it, don't expect anyone else to. Also, and here is the most important point I can make, if you want better schools and students, get better parents. We want to legislate everything these days, so why not parenting. Students with parents that don't care, aren't interested in their children's well being and grades are going to start acting like their parents and not caring themselves. You should focus your attention on that.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  166. Ted

    Tony, what does it say about our priorities when we have the funds to bail out AIG and big banks but we can't find the money to keep our schools open? It's shameful.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  167. tom mccorry

    Education Problems: Apparently everybody is running around in circles blaming the other guy when the three main points in securing a good education are the student, parental involvement and the teacher. If the student is not willing to work and prefers to goof off until he drops out he is going nowhere and it's too late to do anything about it – not all students are destined to become brain surgeons. If the parents don't take an active interest in their child's educational progress, the goof-off factor increases and most importantly, if teachers don't teach and adopt the same attitude as uninvolved parents the kid's a gonner! I was the worst reader in my class until a dedicated teacher stood me by her desk and showed me how to make sounds from the alphabet become words. I was embarrassed by my failure but that day Miss Brown gave me the gift of her time and taught me to read. I rocketed to the top of my class. I now have three degrees and have always been a voracious reader. It teachers can't teach and parents don't care we'll produce nothing but complaining idiots who blame everybody else for their problems. Parents, not all your kids are smart or ever will be. Thank you for a good life Miss Brown, wherever you are. Respectfully, Tom

    March 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  168. Deb

    Can someone please explain to me why my school system has money to fund bussing, and to build new schools.....but cannot use that money for the backbone of education, TEACHERS ??
    Laying off nearly 200 teachers here, yet just began construction on new Elementary.
    Am I missing something here??

    March 11, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  169. Kelsey

    It is sad to see that during these tough times, we choose to cut money from the most important thing in our budget: education. When the economic collapse hit, we chose to give 800 billion dollars to car companies who asked for it, but refused schools the money they needed. Now our schools are left to fight over the scraps of a pathetic fraction of what the car companies get, as well as a fraction of what our military gets as well.
    Education is the one thing that will save us in the future. The future of a country depends on its education to grow the next generation to make the country prosperous and safe. Not cars, not wars.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  170. Luke

    I agree with the online courses idea but mainly as an option for the well performing students. It would reduce class size by taking care of the needs of the students who don't need extra attention (save for maybe 1 day in class for every 4 offline to make sure they're keeping up,) and free up teachers in class to help those who really need it.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  171. Bill

    If the federal government & the states, and the cities are funding the schools, why are they running out of money. Unless, the states the cities are cutting off the tax money? What is happening?

    March 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  172. Bill Crose

    Countries that choose to fund decade long foreign wars lose their ability to fund education, health care, infrastructure, etc. at home. Like schoolyard bullies, countries that don't fund schools must increasingly depend on fighting to maintain their position in the world. By electing Obama president, voters chose to end the ongoing wars and re-direct funds to homeland uses. We're still waiting.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  173. Brad

    By expelling students who are in the country illegally, we could fix the schools budget. We pay taxes so the government will educate our children. So why then, if we gave them enough money (Taxes) to pay for our children’s education, do they ask for more? When they have misused the funds by giving the illegal immigrant children, free education they should not force deep cuts against our children’s schools. It does not make sense.

    March 11, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  174. Dirk

    how many administrators did they have @35,000 students vs now with 17,000 students?????

    March 11, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  175. Chuck

    Budget shortfalls especially in education and health in the United States is not acceptable if you understand that the U.S. dollar is no longer tied to the gold or metalic system. This provides the Treasury Department with the unique opportunity to print more money to cover these essentials. Recall that many countries during and after the great depression of 1929-1933 removed their currency from being attached to the metalic system, the U.S. did so latter than most other countries. Governments have three methods to derive revenues (1) RAISE TAXES (NOT RECOMENDED AT THIS TIME) (2) borrow (NOT THE BEST CHOICE NOW) (3) print more money (THIS IS THE ONLY FEASABLE VENUE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION TO GET AMERICA OUT OF FINANCIAL AND SHAMBOLIC WOES).

    March 11, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  176. mike saunders

    Perhaps the Israeli's do not want a 2 state solution. The Israelis became the indigenous people of the land after war with the cananites. There were no arabic people in the land. The Romans took over the land as they did throughout the known world, making Israel into a vassal stste requiring them to pay tribute. In 70A.D. Titus destroyed the Jewish temple and carried off the Jews to Rome, leaving 10% of the population in place. With the rise of Muslim Arabs, Jerusalem was taken over ,with Muhamed rising to heaven at the current location of the Dome of the Rock according to their religious tradition. The palestinians are not the Philistines which is a common fallacy. The Arabs and jews share a common ancestor Abraham. Abraham's first born son was Ishmael who's mother was Hagar, the concubine of Abraham'. All inheritance was normally given to the first born son by right, however Sarah drove them off when she gave birth to Issac, the father of Israel, God tells Hagar that Ishmael would have descendant's that would be in number like sands of the sea. The promise of the current land of Israel is found in Deuteronomy, where The Isralites displace the Cananites because of their black art practices and their religious practices of sacrificing their children to the cananite false Gods Baal. They had many other gods as well. The end time conflict will be fought ,will revolve around this issue. What will happen is the U.S. will not support israel in the end time conflict, i am not sure why. However in the conflict the King of the North(Russia) the king of the east(China) the king of the south (Arabia, probably a representation of Muslim's as the Hadj is the central Muslim meeting place. The King of the west is conspicuously missing. This is quite understsadable because Israel has a history of relying on her own strength and not on God. So the final lesson will be seen by all and it is close at hand. Israel will attack Iran, the cooling of friendship with the U.S. will take place when this happens. This will polarize the Muslims which will result in moderate Muslims taking up arms against Israel. The apocalypse is at the door, get ready.

    March 11, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  177. Michael Crill

    Here's what will help fix education. Get rid of 1 size fits all for every kid and teach them, not a subject. Have 3 year families in elementary school rather than grades 1-6. Let some kids stay with one teacher all year no matter what the kid's age. Forget 18 as the magic age for graduation and let it vary from 14-24. Use adult-student ratios, not student teacher ratio. Use divergent as well as convergent objectives. Teach for democracy as well as business needs.

    March 11, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  178. Ron Diaco sr.

    Every day it's Republicans this and Democrats that! Are we not tired of these elected children who deserve being spanked and having their allowance taken from them! Most if not all are liars and thieves. I am ashamed of them all! This coming election, we need to vote them all out and select a government for the people by the people. We can't wait another term of lies and hollow promises. We have let government run our lives to long and you can see what the last president did to ruin this country in 8 short years. It doesn't take long and they still won't admit it!

    March 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  179. Sherrie, from NC

    CNN's focus on Education in America is wonderful! I think Education needs more attention than Health Care. For years, mopney has been thrown at Education without really doing what is right for the students and not that there is an economic crisis in the USA and especially at the State Level where Education is largely funded, now it is time to examine where the money is going. Sports should NOT be funded by the taxpayers. In our county, only Basketball and Cheerleading are paid by the school while the rest are pay to play. Music and the Arts should stay funded in school – we need these in our culture.
    Education needs to be reformed more than Health Care. We need to think "outside the box", allow more charter schools, more choices for a superior education f or our children who are the future of America.

    The Kansas City School Board did what they had to and the community should support them and get involved and make a difference. Volunteer. Propose new ideas on how to do things. Put the CHILDREN first. Demand change for the better.

    March 11, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  180. A. Smith, Oregon

    America is slowly waking up to the FACT that an entire generation of America's brightest future in higher education has now been lost.

    The question is was this by design? Did the Republican lawmakers purposefully torpedo the public education sectors and purposefully gut higher education grants so they could more further rely on overseas immigration of lower waged college grads, and off-shore more wage paying jobs under the excuse of not having qualified applicants here in America?

    I find it ever more difficult to accept losing an entire generation of America's students into higher education was a mere accidental result of the Republican lawmakers and the Republican led administration of Bush-Cheney's economic train wreck that is wreaking havoc on nearly all States economic stability.

    March 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  181. Dave Paulson

    To Michael Crill,
    Absolutey! Of course we still need adequate funding, but you're spot on with many of the changes that must be made. Our current system was designed to create factory workers, abd in case nobody's noticed - we don't have any damn factories anymore. We need to make school relevant again.

    March 11, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  182. Chuck Lentine

    Several posts referenced Internet classes and that reminded me of the OVER THE AIR SCHOOLS they have in Australia. Since so many kids live areas that aren't populated enough to have a school they have school over the Internet. When I was there they we using short wav raio signals for voice communications between the teachers and students. By now they might be doing it all on the internet too. They had students all within a 500 mile radius but still no more than a handfull (about 20) in a class. Classes didn't last as long because a lot of the work was to be done on their own. Parents and/or friends were required to be the onsite teacher aid for non air time problems and homework. It sure fixes a lot of the problems and reduce costs. In Alice Springs they only had one broadcast classroom studio. Different grade teachers used the room at different times of the day.

    The building heating, cooling and lighting saving alone would probably slove all our budget problems. Plus not more fights, arguing noice, disruptive students.....

    It's time to reinvent education.

    March 11, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
  183. Gary

    I have really found your education segments this week fascinating. I've done a lot of looking around on the internet at the different cost of education in various districts. It's become apparent to me that the main recipe for success is students that want to learn, parents that support them and good (not necessarily great) teachers. It is apparent from Kansas City's $2 billion dollar experiment and from various other urban school districts that receive a lot more money per student than suburban districts that money is not the answer. One great example of why student/parent/teacher is so important is to look at successful charter or magnet schools. Typically when you highlight an inner city success story at a school it is a special academy/charter school or magnet school. The key to these schools is that the parents have to make an effort to get there kids into these schools, all the kids want to be there, the teachers are teaching children who want to learn. The question is how do you make all the kids overcome the peer pressure in Middle School and High School and want to learn?
    My daughter attends a Suburban school that spends less per student than Detroit, Kansas City, Pittsburgh or Providence but it is ranked as the 5th best district in state. The reason is because the parents really push their kids, the teachers take that cue and really take an interest in teaching the kids and the kids compete with each other. The pressure is pretty high sometimes but I know my daughter is getting a great education.

    March 12, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  184. Constantine

    How can we even consider laying off teachers and closing schools? All our efforts now to rebuild the economy will be for not if the coming generations are less educated. How can we say creating jobs is a top priority while teachers are losing theirs?

    March 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  185. william ryals

    In many states there there is so much dislike for taxes that people just won't vote for the money that is needed to fund schools, police, fire fighters etc.. In some of those states they have decided it is easier to hold their hand out to the federal government to fund these things. I dare say that it is time that states be made to fund their needs instead of taking federal money and then complainiong about federal taxes.

    March 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  186. Dana

    Regarding the story you just did about childhood obesity: I recently subbed in my middle school cafeteria and was horrified that the choice of fruit given to students by our district included apples, oranges, or fruit pie!!! No wonder we have a problem in this country!

    March 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  187. Frank Johnson

    Mr. Harris, I agree! Lock up the best minds in a room and let them work it out, but I would suggest we pay the top minds, top dollar for their contributions to the evolution of our society. God Bless America!

    March 12, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  188. kevin

    Here’s a two fold issue with education.
    I was laid off in 2009 and went back to school to finish my degree to become a teacher in I critical need area. I am anticipating graduating this May but because I am using an online program, I am finding it extremely difficult in landing a student teaching assignment. The program I am using is nationally accredited through NCATE – National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Ed. this is only the beginning. Most states have certification exams that are not recognized by other states. Some don’t have their own so use a national test that may or may not be transferable. For example Texas only recognizes tests from eight states. Washington has their own test the WEST (Washington education standards test). Which is not recognized in several other states. This is just a small sample. I’m sure if your research team looked into this they would find many more disconnects in trying to become a teacher in math and science.
    President Obama asked us (mid career professionals) to get involved in teaching. It’s a shame that the rules are so varied that it makes it almost impossible for us to do so.

    March 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  189. Gene Lucas

    If what is doing in Kansas City and Detroit is simply consolidating schools due to falling enrollment, that's O.K. But mixing little kids with high school kids isn't appropriate – just poor planning. All school systems are taking a hit right now, and it could get a lot worse when the stimulus money runs out – it could be real bad. Even in the depression we had schools, and times were much worse then. Maybe we've made our schools too complex, both in administration and curriculum. Here in California we've "dumbed down" to the point where we're at the bottom, where we were once near the top – during the depression too.

    March 12, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  190. Fredrick Bertz

    All chronically underperforming schools share one thing, large numbers of poor and minority students. Rather than getting rid of the teachers who provide the primary source of stability for many students, we should be providing the support they need to succeed. Studies have shown that we should fund smaller class size, school psychologists, and social workers to help these students succeed. Unfortunately, state budget cuts are taking these supports away, just as they are starting to show some level of success.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  191. Eugene

    The only way to fix our education system is to privatize schools, but with vouchers. This way, parents can choose which schools are best for their children and the schools that are failing either have to fix them up or simply bankrupt and open a pathway for new schools to arrive. Through this, we can make sure the best schools thrive and failing schools die out.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  192. Caroline Ellis

    Yes, the problems with college rate hikes is an issue that needs addressing. I wonder whether these students and others realize that the bill passed by the House contains meaningful changes to the student loan system that will help $ with college costs - and that bill is one of the 250+ bills now stalled in the Senate!!! Where is the protest about THAT?

    March 15, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  193. Michael

    At the current rate of school closures and budget short comings, continuing tuition hikes, this country will become filled with uneducated, inexperienced, lemmings. Nationally as well as locally, parents, students, and instructors need to step up to their senators and congressmen to stop making things more difficult. To give you an example, my food stamp budget has been cut in half because I am trying to better myself. What has this country come to when the people who want to better themselves have to pay the price for those who don't.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  194. Dave Gee

    As an educator in a middle school in New York State, I am personally affected by the cuts to education. Why is it important to maintain proper funding? Why does it matter if we cut a few here or there? I had the opportunity through increased funding to be a part of a team of teachers that were able to split a math classroom into three groups. The direct result was a great increase in the students achievement on the State Assessment. It works and it is important. We can either pay for education now or social programs later. The choice is ours to make.

    March 16, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  195. Marie

    Hey Tony, nobody talks about fixing the waste of education spending on bloated bureaucracies of too many administrators. Look at all the news stories with groups of education officials- none of whom are loosing their jobs- talking about making cuts in the classroom. It's time to put our money where it matters- in the classroom. Put all these talking heads back in the classroom. For each inflated administrator's salary we could fund three teachers! There's the way to spend our bucks most effectively!

    March 16, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  196. Richard Stewart

    I just caught the end of you interview with the person from the Maryland education system regarding "Are teachers performing?" and would like to comment. I live in a rural section of eastern California and taught for 5 years. Teachers need to be evaluated for computer skills and knowledge about current trends in social media, since most students are light years ahead of most of the teaching staff. The situation may have changed since I was teaching (10 years ago), but I have experienced through my youngest daughter her frustrations of teachers not relating to their student's needs. I could continue, but I'll leave off here.

    March 17, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  197. Richard Stewart

    This is the story I referred to in another comment, this story wasn't up yet. Teaching for some teachers is not necessarily a "passion" it is simply a J-O-B with health benefits, tenure and a retirement program. And as is the case in this area, access to great skiing, mountain bike trails and rock climbing – they're not here to "teach" so much as they are for the recreational weekend opportunities, a bit harsh, but the public is no different, they're just "working for the weekend", remember that song?.

    March 17, 2010 at 11:01 am |