Friday, October 21, 2016
State K-12 Funding Still Lagging in Many States
At least 23 states will provide less “general” or “formula” funding — the main form of state support for elementary and secondary schools — in the current school year (2017) than when the Great Recession took hold in 2008, a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities newly updated survey of state budget documents finds.
Eight states have cut general funding per student by about 10 percent or more over this period. At the same time, five of those eight — Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin — enacted income tax rate cuts costing tens or hundreds of millions of dollars each year rather than restore education funding.
Most states raised general funding per student this year, but 19 states imposed new cuts, even as the national economy continues to improve. Some of these states, including Oklahoma, Kansas, and North Carolina, already were among the deepest-cutting states since the recession hit.
Our survey, with the most up-to-date data available on state and local funding for schools, also shows that, after adjusting for inflation:
Thirty-five states provided less overall state funding per student in the 2014 school year (the most recent year available) than in the 2008 school year, before the recession took hold.
In 27 states, local government funding per student fell over the same period, adding to the damage from state funding cuts. In states where local funding rose, those increases rarely made up for cuts in state support.