Alabama made national headlines this week when 25 more schools reported they will likely have to extend lines of credit to remain open, in addition to the five schools that borrowed from banks last year.
According to a CNN report, Alabama schools suffer from a “combination of having the lowest per capita property tax collections in the nation … a constitution that prohibits local governments from independently increasing taxes, and a state-funded education system with funds that stem almost exclusively from income and sales tax revenues.”
Namely, Alabama schools are ailing due to inadequate funding. The reporter buttressed the thesis by pointing to the 20 percent cut in the state’s education budget over the last three years.
“We’re suffering. We are on a decline,” Joe Morton, Alabama’s state superintendent of education, told CNN.
But what Morton failed to note is that state education spending tripled in the decade-and-a-half preceding the economic downturn.
According to U.S. Census records, state education spending increased from $3.57 billion in 1992 to $10.65 billion in 2008.