The national debt is closing in on $35 trillion–up $8 trillion in just the last three years. Now add in the annual interest on those trillions, a whopping $659 billion just last year. However, none of that has slowed the government’s ongoing spending spree, which, reportedly, even includes:

  • $45 million for a “diversity and inclusion” scholarship in Myanmar.
  • $3 million for “girl-centered climate action” in Brazil.
  • $285,563 for “diverse” bird watcher groups.


To make up for all the lost ground caused by the COVID lockdowns and remote instruction, our school districts have turned to tutoring as their primary recovery strategy. Next in line, summer programs, BUT… As the COVID-related funds dry up, K-12DIVE’s Naaz Modan tells us that, “…39% of districts, or a ‘sizable minority,’ of districts expect their program dollars to decrease for summer 2024.”

The result: “… Fewer students served, reduced hours, or charging for those services going forward.”


According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the scores on the 2022 National Assessment of Education Progress, aka the Nation’s Report Card, suggest that student achievement is in free fall in both reading and math.

** Proficient is defined as above grade level.
** Basic is defined as “partial mastery.”
** Below Basic is defined as below grade level.

4th Grade Reading Scores:

  • 33% = Proficient or higher
  • 29% = Basic
  • 37% = Below Basic

8th Grade Reading Scores:

  • 31% = Proficient or higher
  • 39% = Basic
  • 30% = Below Basic

4th Grade Math Scores:

  • 37% = Proficient or higher
  • 39% = Basic
  • 25% = Below Basic

8th Grade Math Scores:

  • 27% = Proficient or higher
  • 35% = Basic
  • 38% = Below Basic

Mincing no words, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Michael J. Petrilli says, “The bad news about U.S. schools just keeps coming… This should be a national emergency, but, until all those responsible for educating Americans acknowledge the crisis commit to addressing it, learning loss is likely to continue.”


  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us we’re down some 567,000 teachers since before the pandemic.
  • The National Education Association tells us 55% of teachers want to leave earlier than planned, with 40% of teachers saying they’re likely to quit within two years.
  • 12% of teachers are dissatisfied with the job.


As veteran teacher and author Jay Schroder explains, “The truth is that the pay is low, and the stress is high. Teacher pay is a function of how much society values its teachers. There really isn’t a way around this gut-punch honest truth that teachers feel, both emotionally and economically. America is the richest nation on earth, and it’s really a question of priorities: Is education and the people who have dedicated themselves to educating our youth something we value as Americans?”

And he reminds us: “In 2022, teachers made, on average 26.4%, less than other similarly educated professionals. In 1996, it was only 6.1% … and the marginally lower pay was partially offset by good insurance and benefits.”


To stem the teacher exodus, school districts are pulling out all the stops, including:

  • Debt-pay-off programs
  • Fast-tracking certifications
  • More flexible scheduling


  • 4-day school weeks, already in place in about 1,000 school districts. According to a recent EdWeek Research Center survey, 70% of responding teachers would support it.


Pennsylvania Governor Shapiro has now established a $10 million Educator Pipeline Support Grant Program that will pay student teachers up to $15,000 for their 12-week internship starting this fall.

To quote Walter Cronkite: “And that’s the way it is.”

~ With grateful Memorial Day wishes, Carol