Nearby residents have been picking up a growing portion of education costs in Maine from recent decades since the recession, according to an analysis of state budget documents by a think tank in Washington, D.C.
Maine K-12 schooling funding from 2008 to 2015
2008 spending a student
2015 spending a student
Amounts in inflation-adjusted financial year 2018 bucks
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
State funding for Maine’s colleges decreased 9 percent between 2008 and 2015, states the report, published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Nearby spending was up 14 percent over the same period — bringing state and local spending on schooling 3 percent.
Federal spending on the same interval was down 9 percent, according to the research.
“If we neglect our colleges, we diminish our future,” said Michael Leachman, one of the study’s authors. Leachman is director of state research a organization that supports national and state policies to reduce inequality and poverty, with the middle.
Nationally, Maine was ranked 19th in the set of nations that’d cut state funding that the most, according to the research.
Rep. Victoria Kornfield, D-Bangor, stated the figures reveal priorities.
“I believe what this says is that the state, with all their speaking, does not value education that highly, whereas the citizens in person towns do value it very highly and are prepared to sacrifice and pay more through their property tax,” said Kornfield, a former teacher who co-chairs that the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee.
She said lawmakers are working to lower schooling costs through efficiencies, including a task force examining ways. Other expenses, including benefits and contractual salaries, are fixed and not possible to change.
The report discovered that the recession sharply reduced state earnings, and while emergency federal aid averted cuts nations made spending cuts to address budget shortfalls.
Arizona cut state schooling spending the most — 37 percent — between 2008 and 2015, according to the report. In North Dakota, in which earnings were boosted by a petroleum boom, state funding increased 96 percent over precisely the same period. The next greatest increase was 31 per cent, in Illinois.
Nationally, 29 states were spending less complete school funding per student in 2015 than they had been at 2008, according to the middle, which also used spending data in the U.S. Census Bureau in compiling its report. In 19 countries, local government funding per student fell over the same period.
The effects of state funds can hurt efforts to recruit and keep to enlarge programs staff, to lower classroom size and to increase teacher development programs.
“Deep cuts in state K-12 spending may sabotage those reforms by limiting the funds generally open to enhance schools and by terminating or undercutting particular reform projects,” the analysis stated.
Leachman said that it was “about” that a few states, such as Maine, continue to argument cutting taxes when education spending has already been cut.
“That is just digging the hole deeper,” he said Tuesday. “Income taxes are the prime resource for school funding. It’s just going to make it tougher for you to adequately fund your colleges.”
Maine funds education through a state “essential programs and services” formula, which determines how much money is needed for every school district to give a baseline education. The formula determines the percentage of that amount the state will pay, and what percentage the community will pay.
A local community can choose to invest more that what the state determines is the total needed for a “baseline” education. Approximately two-thirds of Maine communities have school budgets larger than the baseline level from the formula.
Among the key factors are of the formula:
• State valuation. More wealthy towns are predicted to fund more, if not all, of the school expenses. So-called “low receiver” or affluent cities get less money, and poorer towns get longer.
•Student body profile. A per-pupil amount is paid by the state, but increases that amount for students who are disadvantaged or need special education services.
• Staff-to-student ratio. The country decides staffing levels for example a single teacher for every 17 students and one health worker for every 800 students. This season, Gov. Paul LePage improved the class size ratio, resulting in less money for educators.
• Support expenses. The state pays $ 1,073 per student for maintenance and operations plus a flat per-pupil sum for expenses, such as $ 367 per school student to get supplies. At the latest budget, government costs cut to $ 135 each student from $ 235 each student.
Noel K. Gallagher could be contacted in 791-6387 or in:
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