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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: New Mexico

      Governor announces budget proposal

      KRQE | by Jessica Garate | January 7, 2014

      Gov. Susana Martinez wants to spend a record amount of money on education as part of her nearly $6.1 billion state budget proposal released Monday.

    • HEADLINES: Kentucky

      Beshear: State budget proposal won't rely on tax changes or gambling revenue

      The Lexington Herald-Leader | December 18, 2013

      Gov. Steve Beshear said that he'll present a two-year budget plan to lawmakers next month that will not assume any changes in the state's tax code or the legalization of casino gambling, though he'll push for both of those initiatives.

    • HEADLINES: Delaware

      Education, Medicaid costs expected to create hole in state budget

      Delaware Online | December 17, 2013

      Gov. Jack Markell, who will present a new budget to the General Assembly next month, will not have a significant boost in new tax revenue to cover mandatory cost increases in health care and education.

    • HEADLINES: Minnesota

      Today's Minnesota budget report has bearing on schools

      The Pioneer Press | December 5, 2013

      The comprehensive review of tax-and-spending patterns will help set expectations for Minnesota lawmakers when they return for their 2014 session in February.

    • HEADLINES: Florida

      Fla. Gov. Scott Preparing for Fight Over Budget Cuts

      Newsmax.com | by Drew MacKenzie | November 26, 2013

      Florida Gov. Rick Scott is set to clash with state agencies over his plans to cut taxes and trim the budget by $100 million next year in an attempt to win over voters in an election year.

    • HEADLINES: Mississippi

      Miss. Gov's Budget Proposal: No New Taxes or Fees

      The Jackson Free Press | November 14, 2013

      Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is proposing a state budget that would put more money into education and public safety but would not increase taxes or fees.

    • HEADLINES: Florida

      Senators question if school budget will meet state's needs

      The Sarasota Herald-Tribune | by Lloyd Dunkelberger | November 7, 2013

      The Florida Department of Education's budget proposal, which takes into account 6,500 new students next fall, would boost per-student funding by $126.77.

    • 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."

    • HEADLINES: California

      Time Running Out To Request Rebates of Political Dues

      Union Watch | by Ed Ring | November 1, 2013

      Whenever anyone suggests that public sector unions are forcing their members to make political contributions, the unions retort that the contributions are strictly voluntary. Technically speaking, this is true, but the tedious process of opting out of making political contributions is a powerful deterrent.

    • HEADLINES: Alabama

      Fiscal 2015 will be the state's most challenging budget year for K-12, state superintendent says

      AL.com | by Evan Belanger | October 25, 2013

      The economy may be recovering, but Alabama State Superintendent Tommy Bice is not optimistic about future funding for K-12 education.


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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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