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NO RECOVERY HERE: Most States Funding Schools Less Than Before the Recession, New CBPP Report Finds

Per-pupil spending in at least thirty-four states was less in the 2013–14 school year than it was before the recession, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In thirteen states, per-pupil spending fell by more than 10 percent. At the opposite end of the spectrum, per-pupil spending grew in fourteen states, but only two states (North Dakota and Iowa) posted an increase of more than 10 percent, as shown in the table below.

Change in Per-Pupil Spending, Inflation-Adjusted, FY 2008–14

State
Percentage
Change
State
Percentage
Change
Oklahoma
-22.8%
North Dakota
+27.2%
Alabama
-20.1%
Iowa
+11.2%
Arizona
-17.2%
Connecticut
+7.5%
Kansas
-16.5%
Wyoming
+7.2%
Idaho
-15.9%
Maryland
+6.1%
South Carolina
-15.7%
Massachusetts
+6.0%
Wisconsin
-15.3%
Alaska
+4.8%
Georgia
-14.8%
Rhode Island
+2.3%
California
-13.8%
New Hampshire
+1.6%
Mississippi
-13.1%
Nevada
+1.5%

About 44 percent of total education spending in the United States comes from state funds; therefore, cuts at the state level force local school districts to scale back educational services, raise more local tax revenue, or both. In many cases, districts have laid off teachers and school personnel in response to budget cuts. The report points out that local school districts have cut 324,000 jobs since 2008.

Although state revenues are starting to improve—state tax revenues grew 8.9 percent in the twelve-month period ending in March 2013—they remain 2.8 percent below 2008 levels after adjusting for inflation, the report says. However, even as states boost K–12 spending as revenues recover, the increases do not make up for past cuts. For example, New Mexico’s $72 per-pupil increase this year fell far short of the state’s $946 per-pupil cut over the previous five years.

The complete report is available at http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=4011.

Categories:

Economic Downturn

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