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Is Admitting You'll Cut Education the New Political Kiss of Death?

Mitt Romney's claims that he won't cut education are already coming back to haunt him.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SHm17h5R_k
Ever since President George H. W. Bush made his "Read my lips: No new taxes" promise at the 1988 Republican National Convention, only to raise taxes once elected and get subsequently booted out of office by Bill Clinton, it's been conventional wisdom that if a political candidate admits he plans to raise taxes on middle class Americans, he might as well forget about winning. With communities reeling from years of education cuts, could saying you're going to slash funding to public schools be becoming the modern "no new taxes" death wish?

If a new television advertisement running in swing states from Priorities USA Action, a pro-Obama Political Action Committee is any indication, the answer might be "yes." The ad hammers Mitt Romney on statements and policy proposals he or running mate Paul Ryan have made that indicate they would cut early childhood education, money for K-12 schools, and cut college aid—all of which directly contradicts Romney's claim in the first Presidential debate that "I'm not going to cut education funding. I don't have any plan to cut education funding and—and grants that go to people going to college... I'm not planning on making changes there."

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Why the Ticking Time Bomb of 'Sequestration' Could Decimate Education

A legislative practice of cutting funding after its already been budgeted will affect up to 7.5 million students unless we demand action.


Congress has concocted a ticking time bomb that is set to go off on the nation's K-12 schools, colleges, and universities in January 2013. "Sequestration," a term you will be hearing more about in the coming months, is a fancy legislative word for cutting funding after it has already been budgeted. In practice, what this means is that Congress takes back federal funds after they've been dis­bursed.

How we got to this point is even more complex and convoluted than the word itself. As part of last summer's debt ceiling deal, congressional leaders were required to come up with a plan to trim $1.2 trillion from the national debt by Thanksgiving. As an incentive for both Republicans and Democrats to reach a deal, automatic across-the-board spend­ing cuts were to be initiated if the dead­line passed without a budget agreement. Of course Congress failed to strike a deal.

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A Grassroots Group Demands Legislators Stop Education Cuts

After $18 billion in education cuts in California, parent group Educate Our State has had enough.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5P5gfyu7rk
Can a grassroots parent group convince California's state legislators to create a balanced budget without deeper education cuts? That's the goal of the "Stop the Circus" public service announcement produced by Educate Our State, a 3-year-old 40,000-member organization hoping public pressure can force legislators to protect schools from the latest wave of slash-and-burn fiscal policy.

The PSA—which features a little girl getting the run-around from politicians when she demands to know who is responsible for fixing the education system—was created by Greg Bartlett and Brent Jones, both dads of Los Angeles public school students and Educate Our State members. Like many parents across the country, Jones and Bartlett are frustrated with the struggling education system and the political infighting that has hindered any attempts to fix things.

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Why Extracurriculars Shouldn't Be the First Budget Cut Victims

Participation in after-school activities may be more influential on a person's future success than academic experiences.

As school budgets are slashed in nearly every state, we're used to hearing about growing class sizes and the elimination of art and music classes. But everything from sports teams to drama clubs are being cut, too. The latest issue of Education Next includes an analysis of national data showing that cutting these after-school activities can be as dangerous as cutting academic subjects: In fact, researchers found participating in extracurriculars can be more critical to students' future success than academics.

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Lights, Camera, Action: Los Angeles Parents Film PSA About the School Funding Crisis

Parents at Melrose Avenue Elementary pooled their entertainment industry talents to create a video that drives home a point: Schools need money.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU1zdCfu5Mw

"When your company does well do you fire your best employees?" That's one of the questions asked in the above public service announcement about education funding produced by parents at Melrose Avenue Elementary, a science, technology, engineering, and math magnet school in Los Angeles. Almost 70 percent of the school's 339 students are children of color and another 70 percent receive reduced or free lunch—and in 2010 the school improved 124 points on the State of California's Academic Performance Index, the biggest gains of any public school in the state.

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