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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: Colorado, Missouri, Vermont, Utah, Virginia

      Williams Report - October 20, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | October 20, 2014

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

    • 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.

    • HEADLINES: California, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington

      Williams Report - September 15, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | September 15, 2014

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

    • HEADLINES: Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Virginia, Wisconsin

      Williams Report - September 2, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | September 2, 2014

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

       

       

    • HEADLINES: California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina

      Williams Report - August 25, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | August 25, 2014

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

    • HEADLINES: California, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina , Pennsylvania, Washington, Louisiana, Montana, Virginia

      Williams Report - June 23, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | June 23, 2014

      The latest news from State Budget Solutions, including commentary from Bob Williams. Tweet #SBSBob to talk about state budget and pension headlines throughout the nation.

    • HEADLINES: Oklahoma, North Carolina , South Carolina, Indiana

      Common Core is taking a permanent summer vacation in several states

      State Budget Solutions | by Hannah Oh | June 9, 2014

      Multiple state efforts to repeal the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have culminated in success in recent weeks. 

    • HEADLINES: Louisiana

      Louisiana House gives final passage to $24.6B state budget

      NOLA.com | May 30, 2014

      The Louisiana House gave final passage Friday to a $24.6 billion budget to finance state government operations next year, agreeing to the version written by the Senate.

    • HEADLINES: Oklahoma

      Oklahoma House approves $7.1 billion state budget bill

      NewsOK.com | by Randy Ellis | May 23, 2014

      The state House of Representatives on Thursday approved a $7.1 billion state appropriations bill that allocates about $80 million in new revenue for common education and $37.1 million for pay raises to some of the state's must underpaid state employees.

    • HEADLINES: Louisiana

      Proposal seeks to plug holes in state budget

      The Shreveport Times | by Mike Hasten | May 21, 2014

      Spending needs have changed since Louisiana's 2013-14 budget was adopted a year ago, leaving holes in the plan, and some things ended up being overfunded, providing money to plug those holes.


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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: Michigan

      Top 10 Budget Recommendations

      The Mackinac Center for Public Policy | by Jack McHugh | November 29, 2011

      Converting these statistics into actual budget savings involves a combination of straightforward "eat your vegetables" cuts, and process innovations like privatization that generate savings through "second-order" incentive changes throughout the system.

    • SOLUTIONS: Wisconsin

      Benefit Reform Could Save School Districts Hundreds of Million$

      The MacIver Institute | November 29, 2011

      Public officials can help alleviate their budget crunches by offering competitive, not exorbitant benefits.

    • SOLUTIONS: Indiana

      Collective Bargaining Reform: Key to Improving Teacher Quality; Improving Student Outcomes, and Instituting School Choice through Student-Centered Funding in Indiana

      Indiana Policy Review | by Lisa Snell | November 29, 2011

      Student-centered funding systems have demonstrating results in equalizing funding for all students, closing the achievement gap and improving high school outcomes in school districts across the United States. This school finance mechanism seems especially suited for Indiana where the majority of school funding is already allocated at the state level.

    • SOLUTIONS: Washington

      Top 10 Ideas to Cut Waste, Balance the Budget and Stimulate the Economy Without Raising Taxes

      The Freedom Foundation | by Amber Gunn | November 4, 2011

      Ten ideas to cut waste and balance the buget without raising taxes, including more efficient K-12 funding, spending high education tax dollars more wisely and rein in state employee salaries and benefits.

    • SOLUTIONS: Nevada

      Transforming Education in Nevada Through High-Quality Digital Learning

      The Nevada Policy Research Institute | by Steven Miller, Dan Lips | November 3, 2011

      Online learning would provide students with much educational options.  It offers a real prospect of superior results, coupled with lower costs.

    • SOLUTIONS: Colorado

      Balancing Innovation, Accountability in Cyberschools

      The Independence Institute | by Pam Benigno | October 31, 2011

      Technological advances are continually creating new opportunities to effectively educate Colorado's K-12 students through online learning. Colorado needs to look forward in protecting an environment for innovation, while balancing needed accountability for cyberschool operators.

    • SOLUTIONS: New Mexico

      Resolving New Mexico’s $450 million Deficit (without raising taxes or cutting K-12 education and Medicaid)

      The Rio Grande Foundation | by Paul J. Gessing and Kevin Rollins | October 31, 2011

      despite constraints that are both political and self-imposed, we believe that it is quite possible to reduce unnecessary and wasteful spending throughout the New Mexico budget. In order to provide a guide for policymakers, the Rio Grande Foundation has compiled a list of specific budget reduction ideas.

    • SOLUTIONS: Texas

      School Choice in Texas: Where We Are, and Where We Should Be

      The Texas Public Policy Foundation | by James Golsan | October 1, 2011

      Texas should open up virtual education in Texas and also allow greater flexibility within the public education system itself.

    • SOLUTIONS

      Weighted Student Formula Yearbook

      Reason Foundation | by Lisa Snell | September 23, 2011

      Weighted student formula changes that. Using weighted student formula’s decentralized system, education funds are attached to each student and the students can take that money directly to the public school of their choice. Reason Foundation’s Weighted Student Formula Yearbook examines how the budgeting system is being implemented in different districts and, based on the real-world data, creates a series of “best practices” that states can follow to improve the quality of their schools.

    • SOLUTIONS

      Fix the Schools

      Reason Foundation | by Lisa Snell | September 23, 2011
      Close failing schools, open charter schools and replicate great schools.

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