Education Funding News in Brief

Survey Finds State Budgets Grim

By Michele McNeil — February 10, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Budget conditions in states have gone from bad to worse, the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures reported last week.

States are struggling to eliminate nearly $50 billion in budget gaps this fiscal year, on top of the roughly $40 billion they’ve already cut out of their spending plans.

Thirty-one states still have budget deficits this fiscal year, which for most states is more than half over, the report says.

And the situation is predicted to get only worse for next year. As state lawmakers craft their budgets for fiscal 2010, 34 states collectively face $84.3 billion in shortfalls, and 24 of those face double-digit gaps.

“These figures are absolutely alarming, both in their magnitude and in the painful decisions they present to state lawmakers,” Corina Eckl, the fiscal program director for the group, said in a statement. “The easy budget fixes are long gone. Only hard and unpopular options remain.”

And making things worse, states typically take longer than the national economy to come out of a recession, she warned.

For fiscal 2010, states with the biggest problem—defined by the budget gap as a percentage of the general fund—are Arizona, California, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, New York, and Washington. Nevada’s shortfall is a whopping 37.6 percent of its budget, while Hawaii’s is 18 percent. The other states fall somewhere in between.

In this fiscal year, more than a dozen states have already made cuts to education as their budgets have deteriorated because tax revenues are rapidly declining. California still has the biggest hole to fill this year, an estimated $14.7 billion, or 14 percent of its general fund budget. (“Budget Pain Dampening K-12 Efforts,” Jan. 7, 2009.)

A version of this article appeared in the February 11, 2009 edition of Education Week

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 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
Education Funding Biden's Budget Proposes Smaller Bump to Education Spending
The president requested increases to Title I and IDEA, and funding to expand preschool access in his 2025 budget proposal.
7 min read
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center on March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center on March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. Biden's administration released its 2025 budget proposal, which includes a modest spending increase for the Education Department.
Evan Vucci/AP