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State Education Funding

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Maine Focus, 1/29/18

Maine tried to send more money to its poor schools. It didn’t finish the job.

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.

American-Statesman, 1/22/18

New panel launching effort to identify Texas school finance fix

The complicated way Texas public schools are funded has long been criticized as inadequate and outdated, no longer reflecting the expense of teaching large numbers of children who are learning English as a second language and who come from low-income families.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.

Education Week, 1/17/18

Five hurdles that keep school systems from improving

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.

The Hechinger Report, 1/15/18

Three quarters of U.S. public school spending cuts restored

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 74, 1/9/18

The states that spend the most (and least) on education

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.

The 74, 1/2/18

12 important education storylines we’ll all be reading about in 2018

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.

Indy Star, 1/3/18

Fix proposed for Indiana’s $11.8 million school funding gap

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.