School Funding tops GAE’s
2018 Call to Action. See our
full agenda on page 11!
LEARN THE FACTS AND
HOW TO USE THEM
By Amanda Litvinov with reporting by Brian Washington
School funding is a mix of federal, state, and local funding
sources distributed through complex and ever-changing
formulas, making it all too easy for elected leaders to use
half-truths and lies to slash education budgets and divert
taxpayer dollars from public schools. Pro-public education
advocates can’t allow that to happen.
Georgia Public Schools have been underfunded by
more than $9.2 billion since 2003 -
GA Budget and Policy Institute
Below, we outline four critical points about school funding, with a straightforward bottom
line fact that you can use, plus tips on how to be a strong advocate for school resources.
FACT: America’s schools are not ‘flush with cash,’ though
President Trump (and many others) make such claims.
Most education funding (roughly 90 percent) comes from state and local sources.
But K-12 state funding since the Great Recession has failed to keep up with rising
enrollments. According to research by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,
per pupil funding is lower today than it was in 2008 in 23 states.
Mississippi is one of those states.
“Since fiscal year 2008, state leaders have created a public education funding
crisis to the tune of $1.5 billion,” says Mississippi Education Association President
Joyce Helmick, who has 37 years of experience working in Mississippi classrooms.
That amount could add more than 5,000 teachers, says Helmick. “Imagine how
that can help our students flourish with smaller classrooms, more reading, math,
and science courses, and more arts and athletics.”
16 | KNOW • Volume 15 Issue 3