Six years after the 2008 recession, at least 31 states are still providing less state per student funding than in the 2008 school year, before the recession took hold. In at least 15 states, the cuts still exceed 10 per cent as of the end of the 2014 school year. The worst states in this regard were Arizona and Alabama whose students are receiving 23% and 21% less funding, respectively, than in 2008.
These findings were contained in a report issued last week by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The report also noted that in at least 18 states, spending by local school districts also decreased over the same period. In 27 other states, local funding rose, but those increases rarely made up for cuts in state support, and the Center reported that total national funding by local districts also declined during the same period. Even though most states increased school funding to some extent for the current school year, 12 states actually imposed new cuts this year, despite the fact that the national economy is improving. The center’s report sets forth a series of charts that indicate where each of the 50 states stands regarding each of these issues.