Education

1991 State Revenue Growth Rate Slowest in a Decade, Study Finds

By Lonnie Harp — May 22, 1991 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

During the first three months of this year, state revenues grew at their slowest rate of increase in well over a decade, according to a survey released last week by the Center for the Study of the States.

Even though lawmakers in 23 states approved tax hikes during their 1990 legislative sessions, recession-weakened state revenues grew by just 0.9 percent during the first quarter of this year, as compared with the same period last year.

Without the tax increases enacted last year, tax revenues would have dropped by about 1.3 percent, according to the Albany, N.Y.-based center.

Adjusted for inflation, the states’ total revenue from taxes was down 6 percent during the first quarter, the center found.

The new estimates are down considerably from the final quarter of 1990, in which state tax receipts were up about 6.4 percent.

The report follows other recent national surveys that have pictured a bleak economic landscape in many states, particularly those east of the Mississippi River. The National Governors’ Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers recently reported massive budget cuts and tax increases as states struggled to balance their budgets. (See Education Week, April 24, 1991.)

Steven D. Gold, the author of the most recent survey and the director of the center at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, said the recession has left states in their worst fiscal shape since the mid-1970’s.

Moreover, Mr. Gold warned in another recent report, state-level funding problems for education may stretch beyond this year’s budget woes. Without comprehensive reform efforts or court-imposed finance revisions, Mr. Gold suggested, school spending--which accounts for about a third of the budget in the average state--may undergo continued austerity even after the current recession.

“If the past is precedent, state aid for education will be depressed as long as state fiscal stress lasts,” he said. “But the 1990’s will differ from the 1980’s in one important way--the fiscal environment is likely to be less benign.”

Largely because of the escalating state costs for Medicaid and prison programs, even a slow economic rebound “will assure a continuation of fiscal stress,” Mr. Gold predicted.

For that reason, he argued, education increases may be slow in coming unless policy makers can find compelling school reforms.

A small number of states, particularly those with below-average teacher salaries or court-mandated reforms, may “sharply” increase school spending, he indicated. “But the outlook elsewhere is not so rosy.”

“The pressure will be on to restructure schools in some manner so that educational outcomes show real improvement,” he concluded. “Blind faith that more money will produce significant payoffs is on the way out.”

A version of this article appeared in the May 22, 1991 edition of Education Week as 1991 State Revenue Growth Rate Slowest in a Decade, Study Finds

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Webinar
Stronger Together: Integrating Social and Emotional Supports in an Equity-Based MTSS
Decades of research have shown that when schools implement evidence-based social and emotional supports and programming, academic achievement increases. The impact of these supports – particularly for students of color, students from low-income communities, English
Content provided by Illuminate Education
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education Briefly Stated: October 27, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read