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The scarcity mindset that plagues education news

BY debraabritt
Phi Delta Kappan logo

Chad Aldeman
Published November 10, 2021 on The Grade at Phi Delta Kappan

School districts are having a moment. Thanks to federal relief funds and strong state budgets, schools have more funds than they’ve ever had at any point in history. There’s so much for journalists to cover about how districts are spending their new dollars and what that will mean for students.

And yet, recent examples from well-respected news outlets continue to perpetuate an outdated scarcity mindset that schools have fewer dollars and fewer teachers than in prior years rather than help readers understand the new reality.

Sometimes these pieces include factual inaccuracies or omissions. Other times, reporters include subjective evaluations in otherwise solid news stories. Those narratives don’t fit the situation most communities are facing right now, and in many places, they didn’t apply even before federal relief funds started flowing.


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