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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

      Colorado Governor Signs Budget With Increased Education Spending

      Businessweek | by Jennifer Oldham | May 1, 2014

      The budget, which includes federal funds, is about a 20 percent increase over the $21 billion allocated for fiscal 2014, which ends June 30.

    • HEADLINES: Georgia

      Gov. Deal signs election-friendly budget into law

      The Atlanta Journal Constitution | by Greg Bluestein | April 28, 2014

      The fiscal 2015 spending plan, a $20.8 billion blueprint which takes effect July 1, puts more than $300 million extra into schools with the goal of eliminating furloughs, lengthening the school year and giving teachers pay raises.

    • HEADLINES: Washington

      Washington becomes first state to lose its waiver from No Child Left Behind

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Niraj Chokshi | April 25, 2014

      Washington state lost its waiver from implementing certain parts of the No Child Left Behind education law, an action that could lead to layoffs and program cuts, Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement Thursday.

    • HEADLINES

      Lawmakers Jockey Over Budget Surpluses

      Stateline | by Elaine S. Povich | April 22, 2014

      According to NASBO, Kentucky and many other states have put the emphasis on restoring funding to education this year. A still incomplete survey of states showed that the vast majority are increasing elementary and secondary education funding, along with transportation and infrastructure.

    • HEADLINES: New York

      State budget deal includes bailout package for Yonkers

      The Journal News | by Jon Campbell | March 31, 2014

      The city of Yonkers' school system would be in line for a significant state bailout under a budget deal reached early Saturday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders. 

    • HEADLINES: Arizona

      State budget hits snags in Arizona House

      AZCentral.com | by Alia Beard Rau | March 25, 2014

      The biggest roadblock appeared to be a battle over whether the state should retroactively close a loophole that allows school districts to convert schools to charter schools and collect more state money per student.

    • HEADLINES: Indiana

      Indiana to become 1st state to withdraw from Common Core education standards

      Associated Press | March 24, 2014

      Indiana is the first state to withdraw from the Common Core reading and math standards that were adopted by most states around the country.

    • New York

      Legislative leaders agree to add $500M to state budget

      The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle | by Joseph Spector | March 21, 2014

      Nearly half of the money -- $240 million -- would go toward extra aid for education, in addition to the nearly $22 billion proposed for schools by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his budget proposal Jan. 21.

    • HEADLINES: Colorado

      CO State Budget: Balancing Wants and Needs

      Public News Service | March 17, 2014

      Henry Sobanet, director of the Office of State Planning and Budgeting, said that, while things are certainly looking up in terms of state revenue, recovery won't be instantaneous, and he also said it's important the state prepare for another economic downturn in the future.

      said that, while things are certainly looking up in terms of state revenue, recovery won't be instantaneous, and he also said it's important the state prepare for another economic downturn in the future. - See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-03-17/civic-engagement/co-state-budget-balancing-wants-and-needs/a38145-1#sthash.9zhtuF1P.dpufsaid that, while things are certainly looking up in terms of state revenue, recovery won't be instantaneous, and he also said it's important the state prepare for another economic downturn in the future.
      said that, while things are certainly looking up in terms of state revenue, recovery won't be instantaneous, and he also said it's important the state prepare for another economic downturn in the future. - See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-03-17/civic-engagement/co-state-budget-balancing-wants-and-needs/a38145-1#sthash.9zhtuF1P.dpuf
    • HEADLINES: New York

      NY Senate agrees on state budget measure

      The Wall Street Journal | March 14, 2014

      The Senate's resolution includes $540 million for universal prekindergarten and after-school programs in New York City and additional funding for the rest of the state.


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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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