February 25, 2021

Predictions, School Finance, And Panic On Hybrid…

By Bellwether

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It’s difficult to make predictions about the future, as they say. That common sense notion doesn’t owe to Mark Twain or Yogi Berra like many of us assume, but apparently instead to an early 20th Century Danish politician. Anyway, even in the context of the current spending bender something that is not going to happen is 20 percent increases in education spending year over year. So we’re going to need a different plan. Besides, we’re either on the cusp of robust economic growth or a set of problems that would change the terms of the economic conversation. Meanwhile some states are debating how to spend surpluses now. It’s a weird time and the averages obscure the K-shaped nature of what’s happening.

Speaking of money, this editorial from the Roanoke Times in Virginia is hot (read to the bottom). And illustrative. In general the political alignment in a lot of places is urban v. rural. But the potent political coalition for more equity in school finance would be urban and rural v. suburban. That would be bipartisan, cross geographic, and with some potential to address the inequities endemic to school finance now given that our politics are largely suburban driven.

The other day we talked about the Swiss Army knife approach to pandemic teaching – hybrid and concurrent. Trying to do it all might be less effective than one or the other. Teachers are struggling with it on a few levels from logistical to pedagogical. It’s not easy. Anecdotally, one default seems to be more independent style learning, which is probably not what parents had in mind when they wanted schools to reopen for in-person. Now, Panic at the Pondiscio takes a look at aspects of that issue here.

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