The junk-rated Chicago Board of Education completed an up-sized bond sale on Thursday with a pricing that indicated an easing in the municipal market penalty the district has been forced to pay due to its deep financial problems.
Although the School Reform Commission (SRC) resolution to disband states that the district is no longer in distress, the district is projected to face a $1 billion deficit over the next five years. Mayor Kenney pledged earlier this month that he would cover a large chunk of the deficit.
One big challenge: Budget cuts in recent years have left large swaths of state education departments squeezed on the capacity to carry out the training, data collecting, and innovation necessary to fully exploit that flexibility.
Instead, teacher raises would be based on a percentage of their current salary and their educational attainment, with higher percentages given to teachers with graduate credits or degrees. It would also allow districts to base raises on how much state funding is available, instead of negotiating wages before state funding is set, Shepherd said. During tough financial times, districts would have the flexibility to lower pay raises, potentially staving off program cuts or staff layoffs.
Usually, city preschool measures get funded through a dedicated city tax. For example, Denver and San Antonio have expanded access to pre-K through revenues from sales tax. Seattle does so through a property tax, while Philadelphia uses a tax on sodas. In San Francisco and Wake County, North Carolina, local leaders dedicated funding from the city or county’s general revenues to pre-K programs.
State spending on K-12 education rose over the past year despite lackluster tax collections, as budgets continue to tick upward from the abyss of the Great Recession. Funding in the states for education increased by 4 percent in fiscal 2017, a bump from 2.9 percent a year before, according to a report released today by the National Association of State Budget Officers.
Arizona’s 35-year-old school-funding formula was created before charter schools and other school choice options were part of the equation. As those options were added, the formula was not overhauled. Instead, it was tweaked to squeeze them in.
Proposed changes to the federal tax code unveiled by Republican lawmakers at the start of this month would affect teachers’ tax burden, private and charter schools, and significant amounts of funding for public schools.
The trend has persisted. One recent report found that, since 2002, state support for higher education in Michigan has declined 30 percent, when adjusted for inflation. The university, like nearly every other state school in the nation, leaned on tuition to make up the difference. In-state tuition rose, but university leaders also focused on another, more lucrative, funding stream: out-of-state students — many of them elite students from wealthy families who couldn’t get into the Ivy League. Michigan was the next best thing.