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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: 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.

    • 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.


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    • RESEARCH

      Common Core Costs: Examining California's Five Largest School Districts

      State Budget Solutions | by Hannah Oh | September 16, 2014

      There seems to be an endless amount of controversy surrounding the Common Core. Vocal supporters and critics are not hard to find. This report suggests that there is another point of contention to consider: the costs of the technology upgrades required to implement Common Core.

    • POLICY BRIEF: Pennsylvania

      Zogby: Teachers’ union using ‘budget gimmicks’ in calling for rehiring of laid-off teachers

      The Pennsylvania Independent | by Maura Pennington | November 1, 2013

      State Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said, "It's unfair to the students, to the schools, and to the SRC to be hiring people based on one-time savings. These are the kind of budget gimmicks that got the district into trouble in the first place."

    • POLICY BRIEF

      Financial Incentives Are The "Core" Of New Education Standards

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams, Joe Luppino-Esposito | June 18, 2013

      The implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative is forcing states to determine when a “good offer” becomes an offer that cannot be refused. This report will explain the issues, in terms of both finances and fedearlism, surrounding the adoption of the Commone Core.

    • RESEARCH

      The School Staffing Surge: Decades of Employment Growth in America's Public Schools, Part II

      The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice | by Benjamin Scafidi | March 1, 2013

      Public schools grew staffing at a rate four times faster than the increase in students over that time period. Of those personnel, teachers' numbers increased 252 percent, while administrators and other non-teaching staff experienced growth of 702 percent, more than seven times the increase in students.

    • RESEARCH

      The Fiscal Effects of School Choice Programs on Public School Districts

      The Friedman Foundation for Educational Freedom | by Benjamin Scafidi | December 5, 2012

      Research shows that all forms of school choice tried in the United States have led to improvement in academic outcomes for students who remain in public schools or have led to no effect on academic outcomes for students who remain in public schools. Thus, the evidence on academic outcomes is one-sided. Greater school choice does not harm academic outcomes for students who remain in public schools.

    • 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.

    • RESEARCH

      Report Card on American Education: Ranking State K-12 Performance, Progress, and Reform

      ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council | by Dr. Matthew Ladner and Dan Lips | March 9, 2012

      ALEC's 17th edition of the Report Card on American Education contains a comprehensive overview of educational achievement levels (performance and gains for low-income students) for the 50 states and the District of Columbia (see full report for complete methodology). The Report Card details what education policies states currently have in place and pro

    • RESEARCH: Tennessee

      2011 Tennessee Pork Report

      The Tennessee Center for Policy Rsearch and Citizens Against Government Waste | by Justin Owen, Christopher Butler, & Ryan Turbeville | December 2, 2011

      The sixth-annual Tennessee Pork Report is chock-full yet again, of waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement of taxpayer money by state and local government officials. Despite a changing political landscape in Tennessee, wasteful government spending has not disappeared.

    • POLICY BRIEF: Indiana

      Gov. Daniels leads Indiana to education reform

      State Budget Solutions | by Olivia Leonard | July 26, 2011

      Gov. Mitch Daniels Numerous signed legislation that implemented his wide-ranging reform agenda, including expanding the school options available to Indiana families through vouchers and charter school opportunities and increasing accountability for both schools and teachers.


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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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