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K-12 EDUCATION

K-12 Education

Primary and secondary education accounts for 20 percent of state general fund expenditures, making it the second largest component of state spending behind Medicaid.  That a large chunk of state budgets are devoted to K-12 education is not surprising given that together, states and  localities, pay more than 90 percent of the cost of public K-12 education, according to the State Budget Crisis Task Force.

Despite the millions of state dollars poured into K-12 education every year, America's school systems are failing to turn out successful students, as a Harvard study showed that U.S. math and reading competency scores fell below the global average. See our study "Throwing Money At Education Isn't Working" to learn what your state is pending, how students there are performing, and how that ranks with the rest of the country.

States need to fix their education problems, and they need to find budget-friendly ways to do so. Here are our Top 5 Questions to Ask Your School Board Officials About the School Budget.

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    • HEADLINES: Colorado

      Hickenlooper to unveil next Colo. budget

      The Denver Post | November 1, 2012

      Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is preparing to unveil his budget proposal for next year, and schools and health care officials will be watching.

    • HEADLINES: California

      Proposition 30 analysis: Does California need more tax money?

      The San Jose Mercury News | by Mike Rosenberg | October 30, 2012

      Even if Proposiiton 30 fails, funding for schools is expected to increase 21 percent from 2012 to 2015 because of economic growth.

    • RESEARCH

      New Study Finds Public School Employment Far Outpacing K-12 Student Enrollment

      The Friedman Foundation for Educational Freedom | by Benjamin Scafidi | October 25, 2012

      America's public schools saw a 96 percent increase in students but increased administrators and other non-teaching staff a staggering 702 percent since 1950, according to a new study of school personnel by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

    • RESOURCES

      Top 5 Questions to Ask Your School Board Officials About the School Budget

      by Kristen De Pena | October 18, 2012

      Prepare to engage in the budget process by familiarizing yourself with the data available and speaking with your school board officials.

    • HEADLINES: Nevada

      Nevada Agencies Request $6.46 Billion In New Budget, Up $279 Million From Current Spending Plan

      Nevada News Bureau | by Sean Whaley | October 16, 2012

      State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp, who will continue to piece together Gov. Brian Sandoval's final recommended 2013-15 budget through at least December, said the increase in spending is due primarily to the growing public education and Medicaid populations.

    • HEADLINES: Kansas

      Dems rebut Brownback on school funding

      The Topeka Capital-Journal | by Andy Marso | October 15, 2012

      The debate in Kansas over who cut schools more is largely semantic, with both sides able to find numbers that support their case.

    • HEADLINES: Florida

      Fla. Board of Education seeking budget increases

      CBSNews.com | October 10, 2012

      The State Board of Education voted Tuesday to seek a $643 million, or 4.4 percent, spending increase next year for Florida's public schools and colleges.

    • HEADLINES: Texas

      Suit over business take may dent state budget

      The Houston Chronicle | by Peggy Fikac | September 19, 2012

      The business tax was part of a 2006 legislative package pushed by Gov. Rick Perry and approved by lawmakers to meet a previous court-ordered revamp of school funding.

    • HEADLINES

      Throwing Money At Education Isn't Working

      State Budget Solutions | by Kristen De Pena | September 12, 2012

      State Budget Solutions' examined national trends in education from 2009-2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study shows that states that spend the most do not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor do they have the highest average graduation rates.

    • HEADLINES: Oklahoma

      Oklahoma school cuts among nation's highest

      The Tulsa World | by Wayne Greene | September 10, 2012

      Only two states have cut their per-pupil school budgets by a bigger proportion since the recession began than Oklahoma, according to a national report, but there's more to the story than that, state education leaders say.


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    • SOLUTIONS

      Fiscal Issues and School Choice

      Foundation for Educational Choice | by Benjamin Scafidi | December 5, 2012

      Ben Scafidi's PowerPoint presentation, "Some Fiscal Issues and School Choice."

    • SOLUTIONS: North Carolina

      Technology in the Classroom Paying Off

      American Legislator | by John Stephenson | March 9, 2012

      With state and local education budgets under pressure and questions about student achievement front and center, administrators, parents, and teachers are now looking to advanced and increasingly less-expensive technology as a way to help address some of the current issues in education. One school district in particular, the Mooresville Graded School District, in Mooresville, NC stands out as an example of how technology can help improve student achievement in times of tightening budgets

    • SOLUTIONS: South Carolina

      Ditching No Child Left Behind - all of it

      The South Carolina Policy Council | December 2, 2011

      South Carolina should refuse federal No Child Left Behind Funds and the accompanying mandates and find a way to fund poor school districts adequately.

    • SOLUTIONS: South Carolina

      Online Learning: A Solution for South Carolina

      The South Carolina Policy Council | by Dennis J. Nielsen, Ed.D. | December 2, 2011

      Online learning can help at-risk students and is also cost-effective. Per pupil costs at the state’s virtual charter schools are an estimated 25 percent to 65 percent lower than at traditional public schools.

    • SOLUTIONS: North Carolina

      Education spending in North Carolina

      The John Locke Foundation | by Terry Stoops | December 2, 2011

      The state should discontinue the confusing practice of allocating funds to each school district using various funding formulas. Coupled with open enrollment for schools statewide, student-centered funding would ensure that schools of the parents' choosing receive funds necessary to educate each child and nothing more. The state should also implement a merit pay system for teachers that will pay a portion of their salary based on the value that they add to their students' academic performance.

    • SOLUTIONS: Mississippi

      Educating Children

      The Mississippi Center for Public Policy | December 2, 2011

      Parents should have more control over how tax funds are spent on their own children. Our state should allow more freedom for parents to choose - or even create - public schools that best meet their children's needs. T

    • SOLUTIONS: Arkansas

      Advancing Virtual Education in Arkansas

      The Arkansas Policy Foundation | December 2, 2011

      Explanation and review of virtual education in Arkansas.

    • SOLUTIONS: Arkansas

      Budget Alternative: 2011-2013 Biennium

      The Arkansas Policy Foundation | by Greg Kaza | December 2, 2011

      Funding for core Arkansas government functions-education, corrections and transportation-could occur at slightly increased rates while other operations are frozen at current levels, providing $31 million in savings to cut state income, capital gains and grocery tax rates.

    • SOLUTIONS: Louisiana

      Student Based Budgeting Viewed as Logical Extension of Charter School Movement

      The Pelican Post | by Kevin Mooney | December 2, 2011

      The idea behind student based budgeting (SBB) is for school dollars to be dispersed on a per-pupil basis and to follow individual students into schools where the principals determine how the money is best spent.

    • SOLUTIONS: Texas

      The Texas Taxpayer Savings Grant Program

      The Texas Public Policy Foundation | by Talmadge Heflin | December 2, 2011

      The Texas Taxpayer Savings Grant Program is designed to reduce the amount of general revenue spent on public education by reducing enrollment in and the associated costs of the state’s public K-12 schools. The program works by reimbursing parents and legal guardians for “the amount of actual tuition costs or 60 percent of the state average per- pupil spending maintenance and operations expenditures, whichever is less,” should they choose to enroll their child in a private school, rather than a Texas public school.


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