Education Funding

Governors Eye How to Balance Education Fiscal Priorities

By Andrew Ujifusa — January 14, 2013 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The best strategies to forge stronger connections between education and states’ economies during lingering budget difficulties is “the question of the day for many states,” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said in the first “State of the States” address on behalf of the National Governors Association here last week.

The address was designed to highlight states’ “collective vision” and a review of current challenges states face, the NGA said.

Many students who dropped out of school, Mr. Markell, a Democrat, pointed out, had told him that “they believe that what they’re learning is not connected to what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives.”

Both Gov. Markell and the NGA’s vice chairwoman, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican elected in 2010, also told those at the Jan. 9 event that states continue to be concerned about the uncertain fiscal climate in Washington and that the possible automatic cuts in spending later this year totaling $1.2 trillion make their work for fiscal 2014 and beyond more difficult.

“It’s hard for us as governors to be able to write a budget. ... It keeps having to be adjusted,” Ms. Fallin said at the event held in Washington.

Mr. Markell said states’ budgets are “slowly recovering” after state officials cut $337 billion collectively over the past five years.

Training Pipeline

On the issue of links between education and the workforce, Ms. Fallin said Oklahoma lawmakers are examining the extent to which degrees and certificates match what the actual needs in the labor market are, and also trying to ensure that a high school diploma signifies that graduates have certain useful skills in the economy. Mr. Markell asked that federal lawmakers restore the 15 percent of federal funding in the Workforce Investment Act that can be used at the discretion of states, for example, to set up a training “pipeline” between public schools and manufacturing jobs.

Mr. Markell stressed that the new Common Core State Standards (adopted by 46 states in English/language arts and by 45 states in math) would be “higher, cleaner, and fewer” and benefit students and teachers. The common core was developed by the NGA and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Biggest Challenge

Asked about the biggest challenge in putting the common core into effect, Mr. Markell said that implementing the new standards at the classroom level would take a lot of work. He also downplayed political and ideological opposition to the common core, saying that states have been free to adopt or not adopt it.

In his prepared remarks, Mr. Markell also said governors whose states had won Race to the Top grants from the U.S. Department of Education were attempting to share what they had learned “so that we can strengthen all of our public schools.”

In response to a question about gun control in the wake of the school shootings Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn., both governors stressed the need for schools to review security plans and make sure first responders have relevant information. Ms. Fallin, however, said her state would continue to “respect our Second Amendment rights.”

A version of this article appeared in the January 16, 2013 edition of Education Week as Fiscal Realities Dog States

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
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
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Creating Confident Readers: Why Differentiated Instruction is Equitable Instruction
Join us as we break down how differentiated instruction can advance your school’s literacy and equity goals.
Content provided by Lexia Learning
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
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning

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 Funding What New School Spending Data Show About a Coming Fiscal Cliff
New data show just what COVID-relief funds did to overall school spending—and the size of the hole they might leave in school budgets.
4 min read
Photo illustration of school building and piggy bank.
F. Sheehan for Education Week + iStock / Getty Images Plus
Education Funding When There's More Money for Schools, Is There an 'Objective' Way to Hand It Out?
A fight over the school funding formula in Mississippi is kicking up old debates over how to best target aid.
7 min read
Illustration of many roads and road signs going in different directions with falling money all around.
iStock/Getty
Education Funding Explainer How Can Districts Get More Time to Spend ESSER Dollars? An Explainer
Districts can get up to 14 additional months to spend ESSER dollars on contracts—if their state and the federal government both approve.
4 min read
Illustration of woman turning back hands on clock.
Education Week + iStock / Getty Images Plus Week
Education Funding Education Dept. Sees Small Cut in Funding Package That Averted Government Shutdown
The Education Department will see a reduction even as the funding package provides for small increases to key K-12 programs.
3 min read
President Joe Biden delivers a speech about healthcare at an event in Raleigh, N.C., on March 26, 2024.
President Joe Biden delivers a speech about health care at an event in Raleigh, N.C., on March 26. Biden signed a funding package into law over the weekend that keeps the federal government open through September but includes a slight decrease in the Education Department's budget.
Matt Kelley/AP