While the economy may be turning around, local school districts nationwide continue to struggle mightily. The "new normal" of tougher budget times are here to stay for American K-12 education. So how can local officials cope? This policy brief provides a useful tool for navigating the financial challenges of the current school-funding climate, complete with clear dos and don'ts for anyone involved in or concerned with local education budgets. Author Michael J. Petrilli argues that quick fixes won't solve the problem, nor will slashing teacher salaries. Instead, creative, thoughtful, and fundamental changes are needed to address our budget crisis without hurting children.