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Why the American Public Education System is in a Crisis

Posted on August 18, 2017 in Education Public Education Public Education in America

Every time schools open, Americans are usually reminded of former Secretary of Education Ms. Shirley Hufstedler who once stated that the teaching career has the strongest calling. This is because parents entrust teachers with their most precious resource; kids. Anyone who keenly follows education matters can’t agree more.

Unfortunately, America is currently experiencing a crisis in its public education sector. This is evidenced in most states and municipalities. The main cause of the crisis are the massive unfunded pension obligations. If the crisis isn’t fixed, it is the nation’s teachers and leaners who will bear its burden. 2017 has witnesses several pension disasters across the nation.

Massive Layoffs

According to Forbes, Massive layoffs should be expected if the current situation persists. Philadelphia is a perfect example because the city has already been forced to lay off hundreds of teachers in a bid to keep up with its pension payments. Chicago is also facing a similar crisis since it is also experiencing tremendous pension woes. As it stands, school principals are under pressure to achieve more despite the fact that there have been significant budget cuts.

Show-Me Institute’s director of education policy Michael McShane recently undertook a comprehensive examination of the underfunded payment system. He established that schools have failed to make the required pension payments because of massive pension arrears. The available funds cover a paltry 52% of the required amount. Therefore, the federal government needs to intervene so that states can meet their commitment to teachers.

What makes the current situation sad is the fact that whenever a portion of any state or municipality’s budget balloon and pension obligations increase faster than budgetary allocations, funding is hardly increased to reduce such liabilities. For instance, state governments have been dedicating millions towards the payment of market losses yet they cannot afford more important things like paying teachers.