Archives for state budgets



School Bus Ads: Good Use of Space, or Crass Commercialization?

Facing a combined budget deficit of more than $100 billion for fiscal year 2012, a lot of states are cutting education budgets to make ends meet: laying off teachers, reducing hours and services. But recently, a handful of states have found a creative way to raise revenue from public education by putting advertisements on school buses.

Seven states, the latest being New Jersey, now allow school districts to sell ads on the sides of public school buses. Florida is currently considering it. So is Guam apparently. There are even two companies, Alpha Media and Steep Creek Media (both in Texas), that specialize in nothing but school bus advertisements. Read More »



Are States with Better Educated Legislatures Better Governed?

That depends on how you define “better governed.” If, for simplicity’s sake, you measure the quality of governance by fiscal solvency (or more aptly the lack thereof), then the answer appears to be no. Of course, these are strange times; forty-two states have a combined fiscal deficit of more than $100 billion, so maybe the data’s a bit skewed. Still, comparing a Chronicle of Higher Education report on the collective education level of each state legislature, to Stateline.com’s list of state budget deficits from March seems worthwhile. And the results don’t exactly make the case for education being a good predictor of fiscal competence. Read More »



Does the Highway Patrol Keep Us Safe?

Research suggests that when states cut back on their state highway patrol forces, traffic fatalities can rise by double-digits. Read More »