Across the Nation, State Aid for Schools Increases

As reported in Stateline, a daily news service of The Pew Charitable Trusts, analysts report that almost every state is now spending more on education than during the recession. The budgets being passed in state legislatures for the upcoming fiscal year could include enough funding to allow some school districts to start hiring more teachers again, according to the article. As reported,

Teachers looking for new jobs for the next school year will find vastly different markets across the states and sometimes across school districts in the same state. Prospects range from dismal to great, even as state revenues recover from the Great Recession and many states invest more money in K-12 education.

Other analysts note that the funding increases have not kept pace with growing school expenses.

Daniel Thatcher, a senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said that for many school districts, increases in state aid, which makes up an average of about 46 percent of school district revenue, have not kept pace with inflation, student enrollment growth and other expenses.

“We know that there is a recovery happening,” Thatcher said. “It’s not a fantastic recovery. What we have seen is that the increases to state aid have not been sufficient to make up for the lost ground since the beginning of the recession.”

According to the Department of Legislative Services’ 90-day report, Maryland’s aid to education will increase to$6.1 billion in fiscal 2015:

State aid for primary and secondary education will increase by $144.8 million in fiscal 2015 to almost $6.1 billion, 2.4% more than fiscal 2014 aid. State aid provided directly to the local boards of education increases by $134.4 million, or 2.6%, and the State’s share of teachers’ retirement costs, which is paid on behalf of the local school systems, increases from $728.1 million to $738.6 million, representing an increase of 1.4%. Appropriations to support teachers’ retirement costs are paid directly into the State’s pension fund and do not pass through local school system budgets.

For more information, see the full story from Stateline. For more information on teachers’ pension shift, see our previous post, The County Stake In The State’s Pension.