This state-by-state graphic shows the percentage of students that attend school districts that spend at or above the national average ($11,841 per pupil). Only 40% of U.S. students are in districts that spend at least the national average per pupil. Graphic: School-District Spending Disparities by State.
After deep cuts spurred by the Recession, per-pupil spending, known as FEFP, or Florida Education Finance Program has indeed hit a new high—but not when you account for inflation. In real terms, the state’s contribution is down nearly 8%, and Florida school districts have to make do with the difference.
The Alabama Legislature today overwhelmingly passed the state’s largest education budget and largest pay raise for school employees since the Great Recession…Poole said strong components in the budget include the pay raises for K-12 and community college employees, increases in the Foundation Program, which funds basic operations for school systems, and a boost in funding for school technology that includes federal matching dollars.
The Mississippi Senate consolidated the administrations of nine school districts, allowing the newly formed entities to eliminate duplicate services and direct more tax dollars into the classroom, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said today.
The chairman in charge of crafting the Senate’s education budget proposal signaled again Thursday that Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s plan to increase K-12 education dollars primarily off the checkbooks of local taxpayers isn’t going to fly. Scott aims to boost funding for K-12 schools by more than $500 million. But only $80 million of that is extra state money, while $427.3 million — 85 percent — would come from rebounding property taxes.
School finance policy isn’t simple. But it is arguably the most important policy debate in state houses. Lawmakers must act with the guiding principles of equity and flexibility front and center to build the foundation on which system of schools that serves children well can thrive. As states deal with these big funding questions, this blog offers five things to consider.
The facade of equality collapses, however, when one realizes that Michigan funds only part of local school districts’ expenses. Crucially, Michigan provides zero funds for building new school facilities, or for improving or maintaining older schools. Whenever a district needs to replace or refurbish an aging school building, it must raise the funds itself. And as a practical matter, Michigan provides school districts just one way to pay for physical infrastructure: through local property taxes.
Now that it is clear that Texas’ complicated school finance system is here to stay, districts around the state must find a way to move forward — whether that is by pressuring lawmakers for more money or by raising property taxes.