Friday, March 12, 2010

$59 million in cuts to state support for current P-12 students

During this terrible recession, what kind of damage is being done to state funding for P-12 education?

Comparing the original budget for this fiscal year to the budget the House just approved for the 2012 fiscal year shows a reduction of roughly $59 million in planned state spending for current educational services.  $103 million in reductions to specific programs is only partly offset by $44 million in increases to other efforts.

The $103 million in cuts includes:
  • $56 million from base SEEK funding
  • $21 million from textbooks
  • $9 million from teachers retirement premiums
  • $3 million from reading grants
  • $3 million from SEEK Tier I equalization funding
  • $2 million from school technology
  • $1.7 million from family resource and youth service centers
  • $1.5 million from preschool
  • $1.2 million from the Education Professional Standards Board
  • $512 thousand from the schools for the blind and the deaf
  • $412 thousand from intervention in weak schools using highly skilled educations and school improvement grants
  • $264 thousand from extended school services
  • $239 thousand from testing
  • $219 thousand from state agency children
  • $142 thousand from gifted and talented
  • $125 thousand from professional development
  • $316 thousand from other local programs
  • $1.3 million from other state level services
The $44 million in added funding includes:
  • $29 million for facilities (including school construction plans described by House leaders as a way to create jobs and strengthen the state economy)
  • $12 million for educators' health insurance
  • $300 thousand for local vocational schools
  • $76 thousand for school safety
  • $3.5 million in growth that is not itemized (probably mainly costs of the KEN network and possibly also some costs of operating the Department of Education)
There's also  one other item to mention.   The House budget has a second line item for teachers retirement, used for state payments to sustain benefits for teachers who have already retired and to pay back earlier borrowing from the retirement system.  The House plans a $44 million increase in that item.  That money will go to the important state purpose of meeting commitments to those who educated past students.  However, since those dollars do not help us educate current students, they are not part of my calculation of a net $59 million loss in what will go to meet current education needs.

1 comment:

  1. The budget proposed gives $1.43 per student per year for textbooks and other instructional materials. The average cost of a textbook from the most recent state multiple list of math textbooks is $66. A classroom of 24 students could not afford even one textbook to share for the school year! $1.43 per student for a 24 student class equals $34.32. The budget line item is not just for textbooks. It covers other instructional materials such as globes, maps, calculators, microscopes, and math manipulatives. How a teacher is supposed to supply textbooks and other materials for her classroom with $34.32 for the entire school year is beyond me.


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