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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: Tennessee

      Tennessee House approves Common Core delay

      Tennessean | by Chas Sisk | March 14, 2014

      Tennessee lawmakers voted to delay the Common Core education program for two years, as opponents staged an ambush Thursday morning on the floor of the state House.

    • LEGISLATION: Louisiana

      Common Core likely to push state budget out of spotlight during 2014 legislative session

      New Orleans Times-Picayune | by Lauren McGaughy and Julia O'Donoghue | March 11, 2014

      This year, the fight over the one-time money and fund sweeps will likely take a back seat to what are expected to be fierce battles over education funding and control and the tougher academic standards called Common Core.

    • HEADLINES: New Mexico

      Governor Martinez signs $6B state budget

      KRQE | by Lysee Mitri | March 11, 2014

      As signed, the $6.15 billion budget increases state spending by 4.3% over the current fiscal year. Education spending increases by 5.75% to a record high of $2.7 billion.

    • HEADLINES: Colorado

      As Colorado legislature enters second half, budget is among top priorities

      The Denver Post | by Kurtis Lee | March 10, 2014

      At the midway point of the session, dozens of bills with fiscal impacts remain in House and Senate appropriations committees, where some are likely to be rejected.

    • HEADLINES: Washington

      House OKs supplemental budget; Senate negotiations next

      The Seattle Times | March 5, 2014

      The measure makes adjustments to the $33.6 billion, two-year state operating budget approved by the Legislature last year.

    • HEADLINES: Michigan

      Coalition wants $275M more in direct state aid for classrooms

      The Detroit News | by Chad Livengood | February 28, 2014

      A coalition of public school advocates on Thursday proposed an alternative to Gov. Rick Snyder's education budget that would give school districts $250 to $291 more per student next year.

    • HEADLINES: Alabama

      Alabama Senate approves education budget that includes 1 percent teachers' bonus, cut for ASU

      AL.com | by Mike Cason | February 28, 2014

      The $5.9 billion budget would provide $10 million to hire about 250 more middle school teachers statewide.

    • HEADLINES: Washington

      State Senate adds education money to budget; no teacher raises

      The Seattle Times | by Lisa Baumann | February 28, 2014

      Senate Bill 6002 passed on a 41-8 vote. Under the spending plan, the State Need Grant Program would receive an additional $5 million related to the immigrant financial-aid bill known as the Dream Act or Real Hope Act. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the related bill into law Wednesday.

    • HEADLINES: Washington

      Washington Senate budget would add money for schools

      The Spokesman-Review | by Jim Camden | February 25, 2014

      Public schools would get more money for math and science supplies and state colleges would keep tuition from going up in a proposal released by Washington Senate budget writers.

    • HEADLINES: Wisconsin

      Wisconsin's Legacy for Unions

      New York Times | by Steven Greenhouse | February 24, 2014

      Governor Scott Walker’s landmark law — called Act 10 — severely restricted the power of public-employee unions to bargain collectively, and that provision, among others, has given social workers, prison guards, nurses and other public employees little reason to pay dues to a union that can no longer do much for them.


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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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