School Budgets Across US May Struggle During Pandemic

As sales tax revenues drop due to the outbreak of COVID-19, district finances could be in for a “major upheaval” in the upcoming school year. School districts that majority funded by the state will likely feel strong effects compared to districts funded more heavily on property taxes. This is also concerning as higher-poverty districts tend to rely more heavily on state funding according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

From Education Dive:

While K-12 tends to not be the first area where state policymakers cut spending, Rosewicz said, she added because it’s the largest part of states’ budgets, it will be affected.

In Tennessee, for example, Gov. Bill Lee has released a revised budget proposal that trims back what teachers were expecting in raises and drops other major education initiatives, such as mental health services for students and improvements in literacy instruction.

Policymakers in Louisiana are also expecting they’ll have to scale back proposed spending in areas such as teacher salaries and early-childhood education.

And Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has already asked the legislature for access to the state’s reserve funds to keep small businesses afloat. The outbreak has also worsened in the state just as the legislature approved a broad new school reform plan expected to cost billions. Lawmakers made adjustments in the bill related to per-pupil spending should revenues come in less than expected.