Before you utterly panic about the future of funding of public education, you may wish to read Bruce Baker.
You know, there are actually legitimate researchers and organizations out there tracking the condition of state and local revenues. And while these have been some tough times, their findings are somewhat less apocolyptic than the comments of Rotherham and Petrilli above… who don’t actually look at state budget data when making these claims. Here are the findings from the most recent quarterly report from the Rockefeller Institute:And do check out the charts. Excellent illustration of exactly where fiscal priorities have been for a number of years.
The Rockefeller Institute’s compilation of data from 48 early reporting states shows collections from major tax sources increased by 3.9 percent in nominal terms compared to the third quarter of 2009, but was 7.0 percent below the same period two years ago. Gains were widespread, with 42 states showing an increase in revenues compared to a year earlier. After adjusting for inflation, tax revenues increased by 2.6 percent in the third quarter of 2010 compared to the same quarter of 2009. States’ personal income taxes represented a $2.5 billion gain and sales taxes a $2.0 billion gain for the period.Yes, revenues are down. State revenues are still rolling in about 7% below where they were in 2008, but in most states have begun to rebound… in order to reach that level. We took a hit. States took a hit. Some took a bigger hit than others and some are rebounding more quickly and others more slowly.
But, I must also reiterate that not every state really put their heart into public schools or the combination of their elementary and secondary and higher education systems to begin with. Many have already been systematically reducing their spending effort for years.