Extend TARP to Education

November 26, 2008

The government has allocated $700 billion to shore up the economy, and most of those dollars are destined for the financial service companies that created the problem.  There is no doubt in my mind that education funding will suffer over the next couple years.

  • “With California’s budget now facing an $11-billion shortfall, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed billions of dollars in spending cuts, most of them aimed at the state’s already beleaguered schools, colleges and universities.”  Source
  • “… Shortfalls in state budgets coupled with pessimistic predictions about local revenues are forcing them to look for ways to trim next year’s budgets, which they are working on now.  About half of the states are facing projected budget shortfalls, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based research group.”  Source
  • “Budget woes continued to affect education funding around the nation, as states struggled to ward off major shortfalls under a teetering economy.”  Source

Public education is funded with tax receipts, and as municipal budgets fall – the obvious result of lower property values and sales tax receipts – parents are likely to step in and bridge the gaps.  There is no doubt that parents will be asked to fund gaps with user fees and additional fundraising.  Beyond that, the volunteers who already give over 36 million hours per day on volunteer-related activities will be asked to do more.

We created SchoolPulse to help those volunteers – room parents, scout leaders, and club advisors – manage their daily communications with parents more efficiently.  Volunteer burnout is a well-known phenomenon and we want to do everything we can to keep current volunteers in the game and bring new volunteers to the table.  But who has the time to increase their involvement in an economy like this?

I have been trying to figure out how we can support the nation’s schools through this crisis.  Wouldn’t it be nice if some of the $700 billion in TARP funds were earmarked for education?  Today, our legislators are listening most closely to the financial  service companies that created the problem, and those companies are successfully capturing the bulk of the dollars.  Going forward, I would like to see parents have louder voice.

With that in mind, I thought of an idea that may or may not work (I’ve never been a political activist).  I created the Protect Spending on American Education petition that I hope you will sign.  Is it a long shot?  Sure, but if we can get enough support behind the idea of directing even a small portion of the TARP funds toward education, we just might be able to make it a reality.  Please click here to review the petition and signal your support.

Please spread the word by telling others about the petition.  The easiest way is to copy/paste the address of this web page into an email and forward it to other concerned parents.

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