While the economy has been going strong in recent years, school funding has not caught up. And with 36 governors up for re-election next month, along with two-thirds of legislative seats across the states, the topic has been a hot one on the campaign trail this season. The issue is especially prevalent in five states that have struggled amid budget cuts that have led to teacher layoffs, inadequate school facilities, and reduced school schedules.
As a result, there is more of an appetite among the public, and even among candidates, for infusing school coffers with new tax revenues, a once-taboo subject for many. Hawaii, for example, is considering its first-ever property tax to address a teacher shortage amid sky-high housing prices. And in Arizona, where the student population has doubled over the past decade, there is a growing need to build more schools and hire more teachers.
In this video, Education Week reporters Daarel Burnette and Kavitha Cardoza walk you through some of the school funding issues and debates dominating key campaigns.
This is the second in a series of videos on the big education topics playing out in state races. See Part One, about the many teachers across the country running for state office, here.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.