Research & Policy
Policy Matters Ohio

Most States Funding Schools Less Than Before the Recession

September 12, 2013

Most States Funding Schools Less Than Before the Recession

September 12, 2013

States’ new budgets are providing less per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did six years ago — often far less. The reduced levels reflect not only the lingering effects of the 2007-09 recession but also continued austerity in many states; indeed, despite some improvements in overall state revenues, schools in around a third of states are entering the new school year with less state funding than they had last year. At a time when states and the nation are trying to produce 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.

This Center on Budget and Policy Priorities review of state budget documents finds that:

  • At least 34 states are providing less funding per student for the 2013-14 school year than they did before the recession hit. Thirteen 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.)
  • At least 15 states are providing less funding per student to local school districts in the new school year than they provided a year ago. This is despite the fact that most states are experiencing modest increases in tax revenues.
  • Where funding has increased, it has generally not increased enough to make up for cuts in past years. For example, New Mexico is increasing school funding by $72 per pupil this year. But that is too small to offset the state’s $946 per-pupil cut over the previous five years.

Restoring school funding should be an urgent priority. The steep state-level K-12 spending cuts of the last several years have serious consequences for the nation.

To read the full report, visit the CBPP website.

Share This

Close

Photo Gallery

1 of 22