The Impact of Increased School Funding on the State Budget

Taxpayer funding of education has established itself as an American institution. But that doesn’t mean that the effects of school funding can be wished away. In particular, recent increases in state funding to government-run schools have reduced the flexibility of legislators to address other demands.

This point may get lost in discussions over tax cuts. While the state has enacted some tax cuts, the bigger impact on the budget has been increases in the state budget for schools.

In the words of the Kansas City Star, the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group said that

the state will have $13.5 million less than anticipated when revenues from this year and the next year are combined. That reflects more than $30 million in tax cuts for businesses, seniors and low-income homeowners passed earlier in the 2007 legislative session. The Legislature took $120 million more off the table when it set money aside to pay for increased school funding. (Emphasis added)

We’re not going to pass judgment on the wisdom of any of those tax cuts (that’s not the place of a blog devoted to education issues).  But note that school increases have 4 times the effect on the state budget as the tax cuts.

Source: Tough funding decisions ahead for Kansas, Kansas City Star, April 17

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