Nearly a decade after the recession, school funding in many states hasn’t recovered 

From Michigan Radio’s ‘State of Opportunity’

Nearly 10 years after the recession, school funding is still way down in some states. That’s according to a new report released (recently) by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

According to the report, 35 states provided less overall state funding per student in the 2014 school year than in the 2008 school year, before the recession took hold. In 27 states, local funding per student fell over the same period.

“Let’s be clear, state level K-12 cuts have large consequences for local school districts,” CBPP state fiscal research director Michael Leachman said in a briefing. “These consequences are real and damaging because local schools are generally unable to make up for deep cuts in state funds.”

Schools rely on states for nearly half of their funding. And when they receive less money, school districts have to scale back the educational services they provide, raise more local tax revenue to cover the gap, or both, Leachman says.

“When states cut funding, local school districts end up with less, and that means cuts. Layoffs, shorter school years, and bigger class sizes for example,” he said.

According to CBPP, a combination of factors have led to states’ large K-12 cuts, including weak revenues, rising costs, recent tax cuts, and relying on spending cuts to close budget shortfalls after the recession hit.

Read and listen to the full report here: Nearly a decade after the recession, school funding in many states hasn’t recovered | state of opportunity