We see a lot of claims from certain Kentucky organizations that Kentucky has seen one of the largest cuts in education funding since 2008. However, according to the latest available audited data from the Kentucky Department of Education, claims of cuts, even in the state’s contribution to overall funding, simply are not true.
The state source revenue amounts per pupil from these reports are summarized in the two tables below. I’ll use the left table as an example.
The 2007-08 report shows total average state revenue per pupil in that year was $4,892. That had increased to $6,837 per pupil in uncorrected dollars by the time the 2016-17 report came out.
We converted that $6,837 figure for 2016-17 into an inflation-adjusted equivalent amount in January 2008 dollars using the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ online CPI Inflation Calculator.
Per the CPI Inflation Calculator, the 2016-17 figure would be worth $5,943 in constant, inflation-adjusted January 2008 dollars.
So, even after we adjust for inflation, the state sourced education revenue for our schools increased by more than $1,000 between 2007-08 and 2016-17 in constant, inflation-adjusted dollars.
Now, look at the table on the right, which covers the very latest data for the 2017-18 school year, which just appeared recently (dated March 13, 2019).
Of course, the entries for 2007-08 are unchanged. However, the unadjusted dollars for State Revenue Per Pupil in the new 2017-18 report have risen sharply from the previous year, up from $6,837 per pupil to $7,902 per pupil. That is a rise of $1,065 per pupil.
Next, look at the inflation-adjusted data in the rightmost column in the table on the right. Between 2007-08 and 2017-18 real, inflation-adjusted funding rose by over $1,800 dollars.
And, let’s stress this again, this is based on audited financial reports about what was really provided for education from state funding sources. It isn’t based on shadowy budget projections and other stuff that simply does not reflect what actually happened.
Thus, at least based on audited figures provided by the Kentucky Department of Education, people telling us that Kentucky’s state sources of support for education have seen one of the worst cuts since 2008 simply are wrong. Kentucky has not experienced an education funding cut. Official, audited Kentucky Department of Education financial reports say so.