State public school funding has declined in 34 states, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concludes in its recent analysis of public school funding since the start of the Great Recession. The analysis, however, ignores local government spending on schools and spending for education secured through state authority.
The Kansas Policy Institute pointed out the national group ignored revenues for public education triggered by state authority, including property taxes. The report also ignored recovery or “stimulus” money states used to “backfill” tax revenue declines during the Great Recession.
“Their claims are deliberately misleading,” wrote KPI President Dave Trabert.
Nationwide, notes Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute the number of public school employees increased: It has made a 100 percent hike since 1970, in contrast with total enrollment, which declined for 20 years after 1970 before slowly climbing over three decades. Meanwhile, student achievement has stayed flat or declined.
For 2005-06 through 2010-11, inflation-adjusted per-pupil spending has increased 3.6 percent nationwide, according to Mike Antonucci of the Education Intelligence Agency.
Patrick McGuigan ( [email protected]) is Oklahoma City bureau chief for Watchdog.org. Reprinted from Watchdog.org with permission.
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