For two decades, the state’s goal on paper has been to spend more money on poor students than on their wealthier peers. In fact, that’s become the goal in much of the U.S. as a wave of court decisions have directed states to send more money to poorer school districts so their students have an equal shot at meeting their states’ academic expectations. Still, most states, like Maine, fall short of that goal. Most manage merely to spend roughly equal amounts per student, according to a 2017 analysis of state education spending by the Urban Institute.
The complicated way Texas public schools are funded has long been criticized as inadequate and outdated, no longer reflecting the expense of teaching large numbers of children who are learning English as a second language and who come from low-income families. School district officials have complained that they’re relying more on local property taxes for funding while the state has shirked its responsibility.
Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Michael Rice said improving student performance isn’t “all about money,” but adequate resources do play a role in ensuring that all students can meet state content standards.
Among states that received the lowest grades in the latest Quality Counts report, the Education Week Research Center identified several common challenges. These include relatively high rates of children and parents living in poverty, limited opportunities for early learning, and struggles with producing strong academic outcomes. These states also have (and provide) limited resources and funding to their K-12 systems.
While Rauner has listed the new funding formula as one of his top achievements as he seeks re-election, the Republican governor said Monday that lawmakers failed to address a technicality that would prevent at least 36 Catholic and independent schools from benefiting from a new scholarship program he’s pushed.
The 2008 recession may seem like a long time ago, hitting before Barack Obama began his presidency, but public elementary, middle and high schools around the country are still feeling the pinch from it. The good news is that the most recent federal data showed a significant upsurge in state and local education spending in the 2014-15 school year — one that, if it persists, could eventually restore four earlier years of deep budget cuts.
The link between per-pupil spending and educational quality is much debated in research. Skeptics of greater spending have pointed to lackluster results from the U.S.’s titanic annual expenditures on education, but a series of recent research studies have documented learning gains and increased college attendance for students in school districts where spending had surged.
This is a quick primer of 12 groundbreaking education storylines we’ll be following in the new year, including: teachers unions, high school graduation rates, higher education debates, personalized learning, New Orlean’s next chapter, NYC’s turnaround plans, Illinois’ pension crisis and more.
The state’s annual student count in September found about 6,000 more public school students than lawmakers had budgeted for when they passed the two-year state budget last year, potentially creating an $11.8 million gap in school funding. That would equate to cuts of about $11 per student, according to the analysis from the legislative services agency. The cuts would impact all schools that receive state dollars — traditional public, public charter and private schools receiving public vouchers.
Gov. Scott Walker is backing a plan — similar to one he recently vetoed — to let some school districts raise property taxes without voter approval to pay for programs and services. The proposal would affect so-called “low revenue” school districts — those that spend less than most others.