K-12 Tax & Spending Policy Commentary

Michael Lechman, Kathleen Masterson and Eric Figueroa:

The data in this paper on state “formula” funding for K-12 education through the current school year come from a review of state budget documents CBPP conducted in the summer of 2017. An education funding expert in each state, often a budget expert with the state’s education department, reviewed our figures and edited them when necessary.

The figures on both total state and local education funding reflect all state and local revenues dedicated to K-12 education, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. The enrollment figures used to analyze total state and total local education funding were taken from the National Center for Education Statistics. Additional adjustments were made to reflect the following state-specific policies or data limitations:

Locally, Madison spending grows annually. We spend around $20,000 per K-12 student, far more than most taxpayer supported K-12 school districts.

Yet, we have long tolerated disastrous reading results, while substantive questions have been raised about increasing graduation rates combined with decreasing achievement data.