Education financials are all over the map
Across the country we hear strident complaints from teachers and other educators about supposed under-funding of the nation’s public education system. Supposedly, funding is lower now than it was back in 2008 before the Great Recession started.
The latest entrant in the “we demand more dollars” fray is the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which just released a large, accusatory report titled “A Decade of Neglect, Public Education Funding in the Aftermath of the Great Recession.”
Proclaims the AFT:
“Today, a decade after the Great Recession, investment in public education in every state remains below what is required to provide our nation’s people with the education they need to thrive.”
And, the report is loaded with data from all 50 states, Kentucky included, used to support this assertion.
But, there is a serious credibility problem here. As the graph below shows, the AFT’s numbers don’t exactly match those from the US Census Bureau’s annually released Public Education Finances reports. That is interesting because the Census is cited by the AFT as its data source. Much more importantly, neither the Census nor the AFT figures agree with audited financial statements from the Kentucky Department of Education either.
In fact, fairly recently the Kentucky education expenditures per pupil numbers launched off into an entirely different, and much higher, orbit than either the AFT or direct Census numbers show.
So, what’s going on? Are there credible financials to support any claims about education spending in Kentucky? For more on that puzzle, click the “Read more” link.