What a difference a year makes. Early last year, legislatures in many states enacted funding measures with eye-popping increases for K–12 education.
Fueled by federal COVID-19 relief funding for schools, states aggressively moved forward in 2022 to fund K–12 budgets with learning recovery programs and other programs to support students and educators. For example, last year California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Tennessee, and other states approved record-setting double-digit increases.
This year, however, the proposed increases for the fiscal year 2023–2024 are more modest and, in all likelihood, are returning to historical norms. For example:
- +6.6% Indiana
- +5.0% Illinois
- +4.8% Florida
- +4.0% Georgia
- +1.8% Alabama
- +0.3% Mississippi
Also, it is expected that some states will flat fund or even make modest cuts to their K–12 budgets. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed a -1.3% cut in K–12 funding. The decrease would be offset by reductions in the education budget, including a cut to the state’s new block grant for instructional materials.
At this point, the proposals are the first step in a process that, in most states, won’t conclude until this spring or summer. Between now and then, lawmakers will debate the proposals and make adjustments based on revenue projections. Please check back for additional updates on these proposals and other K–12 funding matters.
By Jay A. Diskey