by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
I’ll write about the entire Brookings study, Fixing Chronic Disinvestment in K-12 Schools, sometime soon. For now, I’ll mention that this line did not sit well with me:
Some of these cuts, particularly those made immediately following the recession, were a result of economic forces outside of states’ control. Once revenue began to rebound, however, many states enacted massive tax cuts that deprived state governments of revenue needed to increase education spending.
Deprived? It’s not their money, and I only give it to them because they force me to.
More importantly, this is a rather simplistic view of what happened. Education is one among many things that state and local governments pay for. In the competition for limited resources, schools sometimes lose. After the worst of the recession passed, money that lawmakers could have been used for, say, teacher salaries went to pay for huge Medicaid shortfalls.