Several States Propose Budget Cuts, Education Mostly Unharmed

By Daarel Burnette II — December 09, 2016 1 min read
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As state legislative sessions prepare to get underway in January and governors get ready to release their budgets, there’s some tough budget calls looming in a number of states. Last year, states mostly increased their funding levels for education, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers, though there were a few exceptions.

In Michigan, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder proposed earlier this week to cut $425 million from the state’s education budget to pay for a portion of his income tax refunds initiative. But he backed off the plan after heavy pushback from opponents. The state’s budget woes got national publicity last year when a video of dillapidated and molding schools went viral on Facebook.

Mississippi lawmakers are proposing to cut 3 percent of their budget next year amid tax cuts but decided to mostly spare the state’s public school system.

Lawmakers on the state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee said Thursday they are looking to cut $195.3 million from its $6.2 billion 2018 fiscal year budget.

The state’s superintendents are bracing for a consultant group’s report on how to revise the state’s funding formula which could result in changes to the amount of money school districts across the state get.

In North Dakota, outgoing Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple proposed a $13 billion budget, $2 billion less than what he proposed two years ago. Recently elected Doug Burgum, also a Republican, said he would take the proposal under consideration. The state earlier this year raided more than $1 billion from its savings in order to fill a budget deficit, according to the Associated Press.

And Utah’s Republican Gov. Gary Herbert proposed a $16 billion budget, of which $116 million will help offset increased costs for 10,000 additional students in the state for this school year. The state spends around $4.5 billion on K-12 and higher education a year.

Photo: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder listens to a question after attending a Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee meeting in Flint, Mich., earlier this year. --Paul Sancya/AP-File

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.