10/13/2011 02:44 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Budget Cuts Hit Hard In Schools, Hurts Students, Report Says

As school districts are facing massive budget cuts across the country, school programs, teachers and students are taking the hit.

According to a report released today by the Campaign for America's Future, evidence suggests that cuts to education funding are leading to cutbacks from early childhood education programs, increases in class sizes and termination of art, music, physical education and other elective subjects. Special programs are also being cut as a result -- including those that assist students with special needs as well as Advanced Placement courses, extracurricular activities and special academic programs for science, foreign language and technology.

The report also notes that districts are pressured to transfer funds to areas beyond traditional public education -- to systems like charter schools. Drawing on case studies among five states, the report recommends that states across the country provide regulatory relief to districts as well as reinstate adequate funding to schools.

Mifflin County, Pa. is no exception to the phenomenon, according to PBS NewsHour. Facing a 12 percent drop in state funding and declining enrollment, the school district has closed 40 percent of its schools, dismissed 11 percent of its staff, increased class sizes and decreased the number of courses offered.

PBS NewsHour's John Merrow tells the story: