This is the fifth in a series of blog posts called EduFacts: The SOS March in Context
One of the biggest concerns motivating the SOS marchers this week is money, as in how much money is available for schools and school-related services and whether it is distributed fairly.
But, rich or poor, most school districts will have less money to spend next year. And they should place part of the blame on the nation’s costly health care non-system. Overall, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers, states will be pouring about $15.9 billion more into Medicaid next year while public education will receive $2.5 billion less.
To break that down by state we looked closely at 37 budgets that had been enacted and were readily available. States provide the largest portion of school district budgets, followed by local property taxes, other sources such as donations and grants, and the federal government.
We found that state education spending next year will go up in 17 states and drop in 20. That’s happening even as many states are collecting more in taxes. NASBO reported that overall state revenues rose 5.9 percent in the fiscal year that ended July 1st, after two years of sizeable decreases.
Arizona, for example, ended the year with a tiny surplus, but cut spending on elementary and secondary education by 1.6 percent. Arizona now will have an average class size of 38 students. Indiana had a $1.2 billion surplus but cut its education budget by 2.4 percent. State spending in South Dakota was cut 6 percent but funds for K-12 education from all sources will fall 14.4 percent. Gov. Dennis Daugaard blamed the cost of Medicaid.
Here is the complete rundown: 2012 Changes in Education Spending in 37 States
Education sector intern Charlene Collazo researched and co-authored this post. After helpful feedback this afternoon, the table was revised for accuracy.