Americans are tapped out and expect big education to slim down, according to a new survey by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Survey respondents’ leading recommendations include:

If teachers must be laid off, 74 percent say that poorly performing teachers should be “laid off first and those with excellent performance protected.”

69 percent favor cutting the number of district-level administrators to the bare minimum”

63 percent favor closing or combining schools that have declining student enrollment.

58 percent favor freezing district salaries for one year to “avoid laying off people.”

53 percent say shifting school staff from guaranteed pensions to individual retirement plans is a good idea.

Trimming administrative bloat, basing decisions on merit, and taking personal responsibility for one’s retirement—all common-sense ideas from typical Americans who are already doing so in response to the sputtering economy, and who have a right to expect that employees supported with their tax dollars follow suit.