Saturday, June 6, 2015

Census Confirms Post-Recession Drop in State, Local School Funding | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Census Confirms Post-Recession Drop in State, Local School Funding | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
"Most states began to reinvest in K-12 education during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years, our research shows, but these increases don't come close to offsetting the post-recession cuts. Thirty-five states funded schools lower in 2014-15 than in 2007-08. (Our research focuses on the major form of state funding for schools, usually known as "formula" funding. Census looks at total state and local funding.)"
This is very true in Michigan where K-12 foundation funding cuts at the time Governor Rick Snyder came into office were so severe ($470 per pupil in 2010 dollars) that even modest increases in the past two years have not recovered this lost funding (see chart, below for one district's example). The current budget awaiting the governor's signature continues the recent trend of providing for a modest increase without considering the damage done by the recession-era cut. When inflation factors are applied over the past twenty years, one can see why districts are struggling financially and unable to afford the reforms necessary to turn Michigan's educational outcomes around.

While these cuts continue their crushing impact on public schools in Michigan and across the nation, governors, legislative leaders and other pseudo-reformers are continuing to ask for more while choosing to pay for less.
"Deep school funding cuts make it difficult for schools to implement promising reforms such as high-quality teacher recruitment, class size reductions, learning time expansions, and high-quality early care and education. In addition, these cuts prompted school layoffs and pay and benefit cuts for the staff that remained. And the effects of the cuts will reverberate for years to come, as states' forgone investments in high-quality education -- leaving students ill-prepared for higher education and the workforce -- may continue to hold back their economies."
In 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Michigan ranked a mediocre:
  • 20th in total revenue per pupil
  • 24th in total spending per pupil
  • 23rd in instructional spending per pupil
  • 27th in teacher salaries per pupil
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities published a number of charts that validated Michigan's per pupil cuts to K-12 public education.  You can click on the link to see two of the most revealing charts that show Michigan in the red when it comes to funding public education.

In fact, read the entire article.

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