US-29 State Are Now Providing Less Education Funding Than in 2008

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US-29 State Are Now Providing Less Education Funding Than in 2008

A recent analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities revealed that in inflation-adjusted terms, 29 states were spending less on education during the 2015 school year, (the most recent year for which full data was available) than they did in 2008, the last year before the recession. As of the current school year, eight states have cut general formula funding per student by about ten percent or more over the past decade, and in four states, the cuts were over seven percent.  Seven of those twelve—Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi North Carolina, and Oklahoma—enacted income tax rate cuts costing tens or hundreds of millions of dollars each year rather than restore education funding. 

The largest cuts were in Oklahoma, where state formula funding spending in this year is more than 28% below 2008, Texas (16% below,) Kentucky, (16% below) Alabama (15% below) and Arizona (14% below).The survey also found that in 19 states, local government funding per student fell over the 2008-2015 period, adding to the damage from state funding cuts.  In states where local funding rose, those increases rarely made up for cuts in state support.

For the current school year, most states raised per-pupil general formula funding, but in many cases not enough to offset earlier cuts. Seven of the 12 states with the deepest cuts since 2008–Alabama, Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Texas and West Virginia–cut per student funding even more this year. 

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