Most States Now Spend Less Per Student Than In 2008

U.S.: The lingering impact of the recession has hit education particularly hard in 34 states, according to a report released Thursday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Over this school year, the schools in those states will be providing less funding per student than they did in 2008.

“State budget problems are easing, but despite modest increases students are entering schools with less funding than was provided last year,” Michael Leachman, the director of state fiscal research at CBPP, told reporters Thursday. “We aren’t making up for funding cuts at state level and that means layoff, a shorter school year, and larger class sizes.”

Since the recession began in 2008, thirteen states, including South Carolina and New Mexico have cut funding by more than 10%. In Oklahoma and Alabama, education spending has decreased by over 20%. This school year year, New Mexico actually increased funding by $72 per pupil, but due to cuts of over $900 per pupil over the past five years, that increase isn’t enough to offset the decrease in spending. Education spending has continued to fall in many states, even as state revenues have recovered from the depths of the recession, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.

State funds account for 44% of education spending, according to the CBPP, and local school districts are facing pressure to make up for lost the funds, which has been difficult as many states are still working to revive income and sales tax revenue to pre-recession levels.


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