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Schools across the region are facing budget shortfalls and funding deficits

The inside of a CMSD elementary school classroom.
Connor Morris
Ideastream Public Media
Cleveland Metropolitan School District is facing a $140 million deficit.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District recently announced it was facing a more than $140 million deficit, and is projected to have a negative cash balance of $18 million by the end of the next fiscal year.

This week, the district's board of education voted on a plan proposing $130 million in spending cuts. The plan will be sent to the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce and if implemented, could eliminate several programs that were financed by federal relief-funds from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Akron Public Schools is also forecasting a shortfall of over $16 million by 2025 that is projected to increase to almost $38 million by 2028.

And it's not just K-12 schools that are struggling. Many colleges and universities, both public and private, are also contending with budgetary issues.

Eastern Gateway Community College, which has campuses in Steubenville and Youngstown, recently halted all enrollment due to financial problems after a U.S. Department of Education investigation delayed federal funding that the college relies on.

Some other colleges that recently announced major cuts include Kent State University, Baldwin Wallace University and Youngstown State University.

On Thursday's "Sound of Ideas," we'll discuss the economic landscape of education in the region with Ideastream's education reporter, Conor Morris, who has been busy covering these stories.

Later in the show, we'll hear from Cleveland Metropolitan School District teacher Quartez Harris, whose book of poetry, "We Made It To School Alive," chronicles his experience as a teacher.

To close out the program, we'll hear a conversation with long-time columnist, journalist and author Connie Schultz. She has a new children's book out, "Lola and The Troll" which deals with the subject of bullying.

- Conor Morris, Education Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
- Quartez Harris, Educator and Author, "We Made It To School Alive"
- Connie Schultz, Columnist, Journalist, and Author, "Lola and the Troll"

Jay Shah is an associate producer for the “Sound of Ideas.”
Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.