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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

      Lawmakers Jockey Over Budget Surpluses

      Stateline | by Elaine S. Povich | April 22, 2014

      According to NASBO, Kentucky and many other states have put the emphasis on restoring funding to education this year. A still incomplete survey of states showed that the vast majority are increasing elementary and secondary education funding, along with transportation and infrastructure.

    • HEADLINES: New York

      State budget deal includes bailout package for Yonkers

      The Journal News | by Jon Campbell | March 31, 2014

      The city of Yonkers' school system would be in line for a significant state bailout under a budget deal reached early Saturday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders. 

    • HEADLINES: Arizona

      State budget hits snags in Arizona House

      AZCentral.com | by Alia Beard Rau | March 25, 2014

      The biggest roadblock appeared to be a battle over whether the state should retroactively close a loophole that allows school districts to convert schools to charter schools and collect more state money per student.

    • HEADLINES: Indiana

      Indiana to become 1st state to withdraw from Common Core education standards

      Associated Press | March 24, 2014

      Indiana is the first state to withdraw from the Common Core reading and math standards that were adopted by most states around the country.

    • New York

      Legislative leaders agree to add $500M to state budget

      The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle | by Joseph Spector | March 21, 2014

      Nearly half of the money -- $240 million -- would go toward extra aid for education, in addition to the nearly $22 billion proposed for schools by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his budget proposal Jan. 21.

    • HEADLINES: Colorado

      CO State Budget: Balancing Wants and Needs

      Public News Service | March 17, 2014

      Henry Sobanet, director of the Office of State Planning and Budgeting, said that, while things are certainly looking up in terms of state revenue, recovery won't be instantaneous, and he also said it's important the state prepare for another economic downturn in the future.

      said that, while things are certainly looking up in terms of state revenue, recovery won't be instantaneous, and he also said it's important the state prepare for another economic downturn in the future. - See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-03-17/civic-engagement/co-state-budget-balancing-wants-and-needs/a38145-1#sthash.9zhtuF1P.dpufsaid that, while things are certainly looking up in terms of state revenue, recovery won't be instantaneous, and he also said it's important the state prepare for another economic downturn in the future.
      said that, while things are certainly looking up in terms of state revenue, recovery won't be instantaneous, and he also said it's important the state prepare for another economic downturn in the future. - See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-03-17/civic-engagement/co-state-budget-balancing-wants-and-needs/a38145-1#sthash.9zhtuF1P.dpuf
    • HEADLINES: New York

      NY Senate agrees on state budget measure

      The Wall Street Journal | March 14, 2014

      The Senate's resolution includes $540 million for universal prekindergarten and after-school programs in New York City and additional funding for the rest of the state.

    • HEADLINES: Tennessee

      Tennessee House approves Common Core delay

      Tennessean | by Chas Sisk | March 14, 2014

      Tennessee lawmakers voted to delay the Common Core education program for two years, as opponents staged an ambush Thursday morning on the floor of the state House.

    • LEGISLATION: Louisiana

      Common Core likely to push state budget out of spotlight during 2014 legislative session

      New Orleans Times-Picayune | by Lauren McGaughy and Julia O'Donoghue | March 11, 2014

      This year, the fight over the one-time money and fund sweeps will likely take a back seat to what are expected to be fierce battles over education funding and control and the tougher academic standards called Common Core.

    • HEADLINES: New Mexico

      Governor Martinez signs $6B state budget

      KRQE | by Lysee Mitri | March 11, 2014

      As signed, the $6.15 billion budget increases state spending by 4.3% over the current fiscal year. Education spending increases by 5.75% to a record high of $2.7 billion.


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    • SOLUTIONS

      Tough Questions to Ask Your School District

      January 28, 2011

      Many education officials will say that the state's method of funding schools is "broken" and that you should contact your state legislators and demand "fair," "sustainable" or "adequate" funding for public schools. Before you decide whether or not you agree with your local school officials, ask them these questions first.

    • SOLUTIONS: Indiana

      Citizen's Checklist

      January 28, 2011

      The Citizens’ Checklist outlines a series of adjustments that all stakeholders in K-12 education should consider, discuss and implement in order to avoid or minimize any reduction in teaching staff that affects classroom instruction and learning.

    • SOLUTIONS

      3 Budget Strategies for Broke States

      January 26, 2011

      There are three directional strategies that state policy makers will need to incorporate during this decade long inflection. State policy makers need to lead on school based budgeting, blended learning, and performance-based employment.

    • SOLUTIONS

      Curing Baumol's Disease: In Search of Productivity Gains in K-12 Schooling

      The Center on Reinventing Public Education | by Paul Hill, Marguerite Roza | June 1, 2010

      The phenomenon, of rising costs without commensurate increases in output, has been labeled Baumol’s cost disease.  While education differs in important ways from other service sectors, improvement in productivity in other economic sectors may hold important lessons for understanding how the education system can become more efficient and effective. Ways to improve productivity in education include finding efficiencies at every level, differential pay for teachers, outsourcing services and focusing on an academic mission.

    • SOLUTIONS

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

      April 15, 2010

      The Evergreen Freedom Foundations' ideas to cut waste, balance the budget and stimulate the budget without raising taxes.

    • SOLUTIONS: New York

      Blueprint for a Better Budget

      April 9, 2010

      The document explains why and how New York state developed such massive budget deficits and identifies programmatic changes to begin closing the gaps, including privatization and competitive contracting, cost reductions and tax policy goals to promote economic growth.

    • SOLUTIONS: Illinois

      Budget Solutions 2011: A New Way Forward

      by Illinois Policy Institute | April 6, 2010

      A detailed, comprehensive alternative budgeting plan addressing Illinois' immediate financial problems focused on three key elements: spending reallignment, right-sizing government labor costs and pension fund reform.

    • SOLUTIONS

      Weighted Student Formula Produces Good Results In Some of the Country's Biggest Cities

      Reason Foundation | April 30, 2009

      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. At least 15 major school districts have moved to this system of backpack funding. Reason Foundation's new Weighted Student Formula Yearbook examines how the budgeting system is being implemented in each of these places and, based on the real-world data, creates a series of "best practices" that other districts and states can follow to improve the quality of their schools. The results from districts using student-based funding are promising.


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