The vast majority of states are spending less on education than they did before the Great Recession, according to a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank that pushes for more vibrant social programs.
“Public investment in K-12 schools—crucial for communities to thrive and the U.S. economy to offer broad opportunity—has declined dramatically in a number of states over the last decade,” says the study released last month. “Worse, most of the deepest-cutting states have also cut income-tax rates, weakening their main revenue source for supporting schools.”
Both state and local funding for education plummeted after the Great Recession took firm hold in 2008. Even with more recent increases in funding, many states have not yet returned to their previous education spending levels.
Source: CBPP Analysis of U.S. Census Bureau; “Public Education Finances, 2014
According to the report, 35 states provided less overall funding for education in 2014 than in 2008, before the recession hit housing prices, generating waves of state and local budget cuts to districts.
In 27 states, the think tank says, local per-pupil funding fell over the same period, adding to the damage of state budget cuts.
A version of this article appeared in the November 02, 2016 edition of Education Week as State Education Aid Lags Despite Recovery