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The Guardian had an article on Sunday about the effect budget cuts to education in Britain are having on schools’ abilities to fund museum trips for their students.  Since the museums cited within the article — The Natural History Museum, for example — only charge entrance fees for special exhibits, what the schools are struggling to fund is transportation and the pay of substitute teachers who must instruct the students left behind.

The situation is no doubt worse in the United States and the rest of the world where entrance fees for the entire museum as well as special exhibits are charged.  There are of course discounted rates for groups, students and children, but with education and museum budgets being deeply slashed they may not be enough to enable both to continue previous enhanced curricular activities.  As museum and educational professionals, this news is extremely worrying. However, it is not being covered in mainstream American media.

Are there any articles you have come across either about decreases in school visits, or about museums and schools that are finding innovative ways to still give such opportunities to their students? Do you think that the lack of coverage is due to cultural differences, or that coverage is being lost in the plethora of news about budget cuts and deficits? Have you or anyone you know experienced the effects of these budget cuts, either as a teacher or from the perspective of the museum?

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