In Kansas, the state’s public school finance system “is not reasonably calculated to have all Kansas public education students meet or exceed the minimum constitutional standards of adequacy,” the Kansas Supreme Court says. With the decision, the court also gave state lawmakers time to devise a new school financing system, setting a deadline of June 30.
The program, the first of its kind nationwide to be passed that doesn’t limit applicants based on income, would deposit upward of $5,100 in state education funds into a bank account to be used by approved families for private school tuition, tutoring and other expenses. The program was put on hold last year after the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that ESA funding couldn’t come from the state school budget, but supporters are hoping to resolve lingering issues and revive it.
Texas: Several extolled his bill as a commendable effort to begin modernizing state aid formulas and grant local property taxpayers at least slight relief. The measure would spend an additional $1.6 billion on schools in the next two years.
Twelve of 26 voucher programs nationwide are aimed specifically at students with disabilities, as are 3 of 5 educational savings account programs, 2 of 21 tax-credit scholarship programs, and 1 of 9 individual tax credits or deductions.
Schools loosened their belts a little, in spite of lower federal support, according to new federal data from fiscal 2014. That year, the median school district spent about $10,300 per student, up about 1 percent from fiscal 2012. The uptick was driven by higher spending in suburbs, towns and rural areas; urban districts actually spent a little less.
Districts should look out for an upcoming “compliance supplement” on the issue from the federal Office of Management and Budget, Krvaric said. This supplement will be designed to help districts navigate how to meet the requirement. And further guidance from the administration might prove helpful as districts navigate the language, she added.
Allowing federal special education money to follow students would be a radical departure from the current funding mechanism, a complex formula that is tied to a state’s overall share of students as well as its population of students in poverty. And if a voucher program were financed only with federal money, each student’s share would be small based on current funding levels: about $1,800 per student for those ages 3 to 21 with disabilities, according to U.S. Department of Education figures.
The state’s Center for Educational Performance and Information recently posted 2015-16 financial data for Michigan’s traditional public and charter schools. Here are some of the highlights of that data, which includes charters schools unless otherwise noted: Michigan public schools’ operating budgets totaled $13.9 billion in 2015-16 about 6% less than 2007-08; traditional, charters spend their money in different ways; and schools are spending less on salaries and insurance, but more on retirement and contracted services, among other findings.
The $223 million slated for the retirement system, which ended fiscal 2016 on June 30 with fewer assets than it had two years earlier, is enough to have given all teachers 4 percent or 5 percent pay raises, rather than the 2 percent Gov. Nathan Deal and lawmakers are offering. And it’s more than enough to return the state to the education funding levels lawmakers long ago promised public schools.
Last updated in 1999, the current setup has been massaged and manipulated into a Frankenstein-ish mess of loopholes and special grants. Wealthy districts such as Lake Bluff can make up the difference with local tax dollars. That’s not an option for towns that have lost their industrial bases and where home values wither, whether in suburban Chicago or downstate.