Most States Still Funding Schools Less Than Before the Recession

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Author(s): Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Published: Oct. 16, 2014

Report Intro/Brief:
"States are providing less per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did seven years ago — often far less.  The reduced levels reflect primarily the lingering effects of the 2007-09 recession.  At a time when states and the nation need workers with the skills to master new technologies and adapt to the complexities of a global economy, this decline in state educational investment is cause for concern.

Our review of state budget documents finds that:

  • At least 30 states are providing less funding per student for the 2014-15 school year than they did before the recession hit.  Fourteen of these states have cut per-student funding by more than 10 percent.  (These figures, like all the comparisons in this paper, are in inflation-adjusted dollars and focus on the primary form of state aid to local schools.)
  • Most states are providing more funding per student in the new school year than they did a year ago, but funding has generally not increased enough to make up for cuts in past years.  For example, Alabama is increasing school funding by $16 per pupil this year.  But that is far less than is needed to offset the state’s $1,144 per-pupil cut over the previous six years."