- A survey recently released by AASA, the School Superintendents Association, finds that the nation's schools continue to struggle with funding that has yet to return to pre-recession levels a decade after the worst points of the 2008 financial crisis.
- "Ten Years Later: How Funding Pressures Continue to Impact Our Nation’s Schools" was conducted in December 2017 to determine the depth of the financial hardships schools face and how they're handling them.
- In an email statement on the survey results, the AASA said, "Some are there, but many are not, and they continue to aim for merely returning to pre-recession funding levels. Ten years means that in many schools across the country, our nation’s K-9 students have spent the entirety of their K-12 experience to date in a post-recession funding climate."
The AASA survey's release comes as President Trump's budget proposal for FY19 suggests a 5% (around $3.6 billion) cut to federal education funding, including significant cuts to teacher training funds. But like last year's budget, it's likely Congress will ignore many of the suggested cuts.
Federal funding accounts for a smaller percentage of overall education funding than that at the state level, but those numbers aren't improving much, either. A study issued last year by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities found that some 30 states are still funding education at lower levels than a decade ago. And according to data released by the U.S. Department of Education in 2016, funding for prisons and jails rose at three times the rate of funding for P-12 education over a 30-year period.
Turning the situation around may require greater effort by administrators, already wearing many hats as it is, to organize school and district stakeholders — from teachers and staff to families and prominent community members to local businesses and organizations — to place more pressure on lawmakers to rethink budget priorities and provide the funding necessary for all programs that will help every student succeed.