American Federation of Teachers President Sandra Feldman spoke out this week against state-level budget cuts in education in her back-to-school address. While the head of the nation's second largest teachers union acknowledged that states were facing a budget shortfall, in her back-to-school address she pleaded with states to "re-order their priorities" to spare education budgets.
There are too many budget cutting stories in the news every week to report, but Alabama stands out. State Superintendent Ed Richardson said that there would be no state money for buying textbooks, library books, or supplies as he informed the state school board to expect a $100 million cut in school money from the state legislature for the coming school year and perhaps as much as $200 million for 2004-5. Other casualties of the cash crunch in Alabama may be teacher training, workshops, computers and software.