Education Funding

K-12 Budgets Hurting Amid Slack Recovery

By Michele McNeil — June 14, 2011 1 min read

Four years after the national economy first started to tank, the state-level recovery remains sluggish, and K-12 education is still taking a beating.

That’s according to a report released last month by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers, which found that states are struggling to come back as unemployment remains high and funding from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act runs out.

This budget year, 18 states took the unpopular step of making midyear, unanticipated cuts to K-12 education—cuts that totalled $1.8 billion, according to the report by the two Washington-based groups. That includes cuts of at least $300 million each in three states: Indiana, Oregon, and Washington.(State fiscal years typically start on July 1.)

And next year doesn’t look any better in a lot of states.

In fiscal 2012, states are on track to spend $2.5 billion less on K-12 education than they did this budget year. Sixteen states are projecting that they will have to further cut K-12 education.

In North Carolina, Gov. Bev Perdue was, as of late last week, threatening to veto a nearly $20 billion state budget that includes deep cuts to K-12 education.

“Education is the hallmark of this state,” Gov. Perdue, a Democrat, said after the legislature passed the budget. “I am prepared to veto this budget if my review indeed shows what I fear—that North Carolina will move backwards under this budget plan.”

The report also shows states don’t have much of a cushion. Next fiscal year, a dozen states will have cash reserves of less than 1 percent of their general fund budgets.

“The greatest short-term risk to states’ recovery comes, not from statehouses, but from Washington” said the NGA’s executive director, Dan Crippen.

Specifically, the NGA said any expansion of the Medicaid health-care program for the disadvantaged threatens to cut into funding for other programs, including education. The NGA also warned that programs that carry “maintenance of effort” requirements such as special education threaten to “wall off segments of state budgets, increasing pressure to cut other state-funded services.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 15, 2011 edition of Education Week as K-12 Budgets Hurting Amid Slack Recovery

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
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Safe Return to Schools is Possible with Testing
We are edging closer to a nationwide return to in-person learning in the fall. However, vaccinations alone will not get us through this. Young children not being able to vaccinate, the spread of new and
Content provided by BD
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
Teaching Webinar
Meeting the Moment: Accelerating Equitable Recovery and Transformative Change
Educators are deciding how best to re-establish routines such as everyday attendance, rebuild the relationships for resilient school communities, and center teaching and learning to consciously prioritize protecting the health and overall well-being of students
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
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
Addressing Learning Loss: What Schools Need to Accelerate Reading Instruction in K-3
When K-3 students return to classrooms this fall, there will be huge gaps in foundational reading skills. Does your school or district need a plan to address learning loss and accelerate student growth? In this
Content provided by PDX Reading

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 House Democrats Pitch 'Massive Funding Increase' in Latest Education Spending Bill
The proposal would more than double aid to Title I programs for low-income students and aims to help schools address fallout from COVID-19.
4 min read
Drawing of money dropping into a jar.
iStock/Getty
Education Funding Feds Set Limits on Which Private Schools Can Get COVID-19 Relief
The Education Department's rules deal with $2.75 billion in American Rescue Plan aid set aside for private schools.
3 min read
Image of money.
TARIK KIZILKAYA/iStock/Getty
Education Funding Feds OK First State Plans for Remaining Share of $122 Billion in K-12 Virus Aid
As it approved states' relief plans, the Education Department separately opened applications for $600 million in homeless-student aid.
5 min read
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, center, enters teacher Meghan Horleman's, right, classroom during a visit to the Olney Elementary School Annex in Philadelphia on April 6, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona enters the classroom of teacher Meghan Horleman during a visit to the Olney Elementary School Annex in Philadelphia on April 6.
Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP
Education Funding Feds Seek to Promote Equity, COVID-19 Recovery, and 'Systemic Change' Through Grants
The Education Department's six new proposed funding priorities would affect competitive grants.
3 min read
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, right, talks to students at White Plains High School in White Plains, N.Y. on April 22, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona talks to high school students in White Plains, N.Y., in April.
Mark Lennihan/AP