Op-Ed: What happens when public schools lose students?
Wednesday, July 05, 2010 | By Tom Walsh
As President Obama prepares to deliver his first State of the Union address Tuesday, millions of American students could face massive losses of education. They can’t wait to hear the president’s proposals for their return.
And there are those who want his plan.
President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan unveiled their education framework in June, pledging more money and resources to make up for the education losses of the past four years.
Many school districts across the country are looking to see what Obama’s plan could mean for them.
And the response from Washington is a resounding yes.
In a telephone interview with the News-Press, John White, executive director of Public Media Center for Education Reform, said the White House’s plan represents “a historic opportunity” to address and fix America’s broken education system.
“If this president’s leadership, with the help of the secretary of education and his staff, can provide some stability, a plan that could bring some stability to the system, then we can have a constructive dialogue on what it is the president’s administration is going to offer in terms of a plan that serves students,” White said.
And the president has a history of delivering on his promises.
In 2008, Obama promised to invest in education. He delivered on that promise. His education plan called for $2.5 billion this year for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and $2.6 billion next year and $1.9 billion over the next 5 years. In the years before that, Obama proposed $4.2 billion for IDEA. In his first year, the president proposed a budget of $4.6 billion, which would make the largest increase in education investment since 1976.
In September 2008, when Obama signed into law the American Recovery and