The Great Recession of 2008 drastically reduced education funding and forced school budget cuts throughout the country. Over 10 years later, many states are slowing adding back revenue, while others have kept their education budgets low. School districts in both groups feel the continued pressure to stretch every dollar, as even increases in funding may not be enough to cover rising costs over time.
School systems face a choice: do more of the same, or seize this moment to re-envision schooling to better meet student needs. This means thinking strategically about the resources school systems have and ensuring new funds go toward powerful ideas that will increase student achievement—not toward the same practices and policies that haven’t gotten us where we need to be.
School systems need to do two things: 1) empower strong, redesigned schools, and 2) strategically invest and organize resources. School budget cuts are never ideal. But if they are the reality, it is important for school system leaders to take the opportunity to prioritze what matters.