Surprises – not good – for Kentucky and elsewhere
Several months ago, I presented a table in a blog titled “Education feeding at the federal trough” that presents local, state and federal spending for public education in 2013 in all 50 states. The spending data in this table comes from Public Education Finances 2013, an annual document in a series from the US Census Bureau.
This was a popular blog, to say the least.
Now, the US Census Bureau has released Public Education Finances 2014, allowing me to update my table.
And, there are some real surprises here.
Overall, the simple average of the federal contributions to all of the states’ education system was 9.68 percent in 2013. Move forward to the latest 2014 data and the average federal contribution across all the states dropped to only 9.07 percent.
For Kentucky, the Feds provided 12.03 percent of our total education revenue in 2013, but that sank to 11.42 percent in 2014.
Even more disturbing, Kentucky got $867,735,000 in education support from the federal government in 2013. In 2014, Census reports that sank to only $$825,742,000.
Across all the states, the federal government provided a total of $ 54,367,305,000 in education support in 2013. In 2014, that dropped to $ 52,882,083,000 in 2014.
At the same time, despite providing less funding, the federal government is putting a lot of pressure on state educators to do what federal education people want. Certainly, Kentucky’s education commissioner isn’t very happy about the situation. According to WLKY, Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt:
So, maybe it is time to really analyze whether we get enough benefits for the all the things we have to do to make the Feds happy. Does the federal money cost us more than it is worth?
And, in other states like Connecticut, where the US Government only provides 4 percent of their education spending dollars as of 2014, that question might need to be asked even more strongly.