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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: Florida

      Scott pitches $542 million school budget increase

      The Tampa Bay Times | by Kathleen McGrory | January 28, 2014

      Facing one of the best state budget outlooks in recent memory, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday made a pitch to increase public school spending by $542 million.

    • HEADLINES: Iowa

      Iowa Senate panels OK school aid hikes, but Branstad nixes idea

      The Des Moines Register | by William Petroski | January 28, 2014

      The Iowa Senate wants to increase state money provided to public schools by 6 percent , but the proposal is probably going nowhere amid objections from Gov. Terry Branstad and House Republicans.

    • HEADLINES: Louisiana

      Jindal administration releases state budget for next fiscal year

      The Advocate | by Michelle Milhollon | January 27, 2014

      Legislators seemed happy with the governor's approach this year - or happier than they have been in the past. Education funding got a boost. Extra dollars were found for families struggling with developmental disabilities. Details on actual funding cuts will unfold in the coming weeks.

    • HEADLINES: Missouri

      Some Missouri education funding still shy of past peaks

      The Kansas City Star | by David A. Lieb | January 27, 2014

      The figures from Gov. Jay Nixon's budget look big. There's $84 million in new operating funds for state colleges and universities. A 15 percent increase for public school busing. An additional $600 each for thousands of low-income students receiving state scholarships.

    • HEADLINES

      Education spending balloons, but students in some states get more money than others

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Reid Wilson | January 27, 2014

      There is disagreement within education circles over whether spending more money per pupil leads to better results. But there is no disagreement that the amount of money states spend on education has erupted in recent years.

    • HEADLINES: California

      California students sue state over ineffective teachers

      Washington Times | by Cheryl K. Chumley | January 24, 2014

      Nine California students have launched a lawsuit against the state, arguing that current law and entrenched practices they see as pro-union actually short-change the poor and the minority communities on their education.

    • HEADLINES: Kentucky

      Beshear proposes state budget that boosts school spending, cuts many other programs

      The Lexington Herald-Leader | by John Cheves | January 23, 2014

      Gov. Steve Beshear on Tuesday proposed a $20.3 billion, two-year spending plan for Kentucky that would return much of the state's lost funding for K-12 schools but nearly $100 million in cuts to much of the rest of state government.

    • HEADLINES: New York

      Cuomo, de Blasio School Funding Plans in Albany Showdown

      The Wall Street Journal | by Michael Howard Saul, Lisa Fleisher, Erica Orden | January 23, 2014

      Now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed paying for pre-K without raising taxes, Mayor Bill de Blasio's next challenge is to convince Albany lawmakers that the governor's plan is insufficient.

    • HEADLINES: Georgia

      Ga. governor proposes $42 billion budget

      Businessweek | by Ray Henry | January 17, 2014

      Georgia would increase its education spending under a budget plan Wednesday from Gov. Nathan Deal that comes after schools districts repeatedly shortened their school years and cut teacher pay to cope with a bad recession and slow recovery.

    • HEADLINES: Maryland

      Analysis: Putting a different spin on $39 billion state budget

      The Maryland Reporter | by Len Lazarick | January 16, 2014

      The budget has record spending on K-12 public schools ($6.1 billion) and health care ($8.9 billion), the largest share of the budget.


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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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