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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: Oregon

      More Money, Same Problems for Oregon Schools

      Cascade Policy Institute | by William Newell | August 7, 2013

      Oregon’s 2013 legislative session ended with the passage of the largest education budget the state of Oregon has ever seen.

    • HEADLINES: North Carolina

      In schools budget, a number isn't just a number

      The News & Observer | by Lynn Bonner | August 2, 2013

      Arguments over how much schools won or lost with a $7.9 billion budget has outlasted the legislative session and will likely flare up next year and bleed into political campaigns.

    • HEADLINES: North Carolina

      State budget wins final legislative approval

      The News & Observer | by Lynn Bonner | July 25, 2013

      The North Carolina House and Senate gave their final approval to a $20.6 billion budget Wednesday, sealing changes to state education, health care and economic development.

    • HEADLINES: Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Oklahoma

      Georgia, Oklahoma say Common Core tests are too costly and decide not to adopt them

      Washington Post | by Lyndsey Layton | July 24, 2013

      Citing costs, Georgia and Oklahoma have decided against adopting standardized tests being created by a consortium of states as part of the new Common Core national academic standards.

      And politicians in other states — including Indiana and Florida, which has been a leader in the development of the Common Core — are voicing similar concerns, suggesting that more defections could be on the way.

       

    • HEADLINES: Illinois

      Quinn: solve state pension crisis before schools'

      The Chicago Sun-Times | by Dave McKinney and Becky Schlikerman | July 19, 2013

      Characterizing the financial plight facing Chicago's Public Schools as "an emergency," Gov. Pat Quinn Friday remained insistent that lawmakers must first solve Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis before the city schools' pension mess gets attention at the Capitol.

    • HEADLINES: Kansas

      Billion dollar shortfall for schools in 2-year state budget

      The Topeka Capital-Journal | by Celia Llopis-Jepsen | July 10, 2013

      Even with an increase in per-pupil funding for the 2015 fiscal year, K-12 education in Kansas is facing a $1 billion shortfall over the course of the state's new two-year budget.

    • HEADLINES: Pennsylvania

      Final piece of state budget will go back to the state House, again

      The Pennsylvania Independent | by Eric Boehm | July 5, 2013

      The House has already headed home for the summer and will have to schedule a new session day later in July to deal with the bill.

    • HEADLINES: Oklahoma

      State pulling out of standardized testing through consortium

      Tulsa World | by Andrea Eger | July 3, 2013

      State Superintendent Janet Barresi announced Monday that she is withdrawing Oklahoma from testing through a consortium of 20 or so other states to coincide with the new Common Core curriculum standards. 

    • HEADLINES: Oregon

      'Grand bargain' falls 1 vote short; blame game commences thereafter

      The Statesman Journal | July 3, 2013

      Not only did a "grand bargain" of tax increases and public-pension cuts crash Tuesday in the Oregon Senate, so did lawmakers' hopes for a quick end to their 2013 session today.

    • HEADLINES: Washington

      State lawmakers prepare for swift budget vote

      KING5.com | June 28, 2013

      Washington lawmakers hurried Friday to vote on a new state budget totaling $33.6 billion, just hours after making it available to the public.


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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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