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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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    • 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.

    • HEADLINES: Oklahoma

      Oklahoma Senate approves $7.1B state budget bill

      Businessweek | by Sean Murphy | May 21, 2014

      The bill would appropriate about $102 million less than the current budget, but would still boost funding for public schools by $80 million.


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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: Ohio

      Ten Ideas to Fix Cleveland's Schools

      Reason Foundation | by Lisa Snell | September 23, 2011

      Schools should receive revenue in the same way that the district receives revenue, on a per-pupil basis reflecting the enrollment at a school and the individual characteristics of students at each school.

    • SOLUTIONS: Georgia

      Realigning Georgia’s Fiscal Priorities

      The Georgia Public Policy Foundation | by Kelly McCutchen | September 9, 2011

      Nearly every school system has a "Taj Mahal" tale, whether of grand buildings or fancy stadiums, because they are forced to spend E-SPLOST revenue on capital projects. But Georgians, like all Americans, have been hit hard by the recession and are ready to see government prioritize needs. Our top ten ranking in capital spending for education is a good place to start. Addressing problems like traffic congestion will require more money. But we must first take every available opportunity to realign spending to limit the tax burden on our families and businesses.

    • SOLUTIONS: Nebraska

      Pro-Growth Strategy for Nebraska

      The Platte Institute | by Eric Thompson | September 1, 2011

      This report focuses on limiting the regulatory burden in the state and other types of recommendations to improve growth.

    • SOLUTIONS: Texas

      2011 Texas Budget Solutions

      The Texas Public Policy Foundation provides a host of potential budget solutions for the 2011 Texas state budget. Their solutions cover a broad range of categories from education to tax policy. Take a look!

    • SOLUTIONS: Maine

      Maine's School Budget Validation Process Saves Tax Dollars

      The Maine Heritage Policy Center | by Steve Bowen | February 28, 2011

      Under current law, most school budgets are first approved by those who are able to attend a district-wide public meeting. That approval is then "validated" by voters through a referendum vote. In this way, those who are unable to attend the district meeting, such as those serving in our armed forces overseas, have an opportunity to make their voices heard.

    • SOLUTIONS: Colorado

      K-12 Funding Issue Brief

      Independence Institute | February 28, 2011

      he report lays out a road map for Colorado policy makers to implement policies that would close next year's billion-dollar budget problem and establish a sustainable trend line for balanced budgets into the future, with no increase in taxes or fees.

    • SOLUTIONS: Florida

      Education Savings Accounts

      The Goldwater Institute | by Matthew Ladner and Nick Dranias | February 28, 2011

      Children with disabilities are often poorly served by public schools. In 1999, Florida created a school voucher for children with disabilities called the McKay Scholarship Program. This program allows children with disabilities to take a portion of the funding the state would spend on their education and use it at any school they choose - whether that's a traditional public school, a charter school, an online program, or a private school.

    • SOLUTIONS: Alabama

      Charter Schools in Alabama

      Alabama Policy Institute | February 28, 2011

      Charter schools are independent public schools authorized through a charter agreement with a
      sponsor--usually a school district, state governmental body, or university. Unlike traditional public
      schools, charter schools are overseen by a governing board of parents and members of the local
      community.

    • SOLUTIONS: Washington

      Questions for Legislators and School Boards for K-12 Education

      February 1, 2011

      Public education is a huge expense in state budgets.  It is important to know how much of the taxpayer dollars actually reach the classroom and what the taxpayers are getting for that investment.  Here are questions to ask of legislators, school board members and school officials.

    • SOLUTIONS

      Bill Gates: Turn step raises into merit pay; save money by increasing class sizes

      January 28, 2011

      Microsoft founder says schools can improve by better utilizing shrinking resources.


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