Austerity Politics and American Education
Co-Sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers.
A decade after the start of the Great Recession and eight years into the U.S. economic recovery, almost half of the states have failed to restore K-12 education spending to pre-recession levels; almost all states have yet to restore higher education spending to pre-recession levels. Over two-thirds of the states are spending less in overall per-student funding than before the recession. At the same time, the states that have made the heaviest cuts to education funding have used increasing revenues to cut state income taxes rather than restore education dollars. These developments have led many to argue that it is not the effects of the American economy, but the political imposition of a policy of austerity, that has led to the current state of fiscal affairs in American education.
What are the politics of austerity? Who are their main advocates, and why have they adopted them? What is the impact on education quality and educational equity? And what can educators do to respond? From a variety of perspectives, our panel examined these questions.
Ivy Bailey, president, Detroit Federation of Teachers
Michael Fabricant, professor, Hunter College School of Social Work, City University of New York
Gary Miron professor, evaluation, measurement, and research, Western Michigan University,