What Will the Sequester Do to Education Spending in Your State?

With the sequester looming large, Business Insider has created a  set of interactive maps to demonstrate which states will be hit the hardest by cuts to the education budget. “The report [from the National Education Association] claims that, if the cuts kick in, 7.4 million students would be affected — which means that either the quality of education they receive will go down or be eliminated entirely. The funding cuts could also lead to 49,365 potential job losses,” writes Lisa Mahapatra. “But not all states will feel the hit equally. With more than $100 million cuts to their education budget, the states that will be most affected by the sequester are California, Texas, Illinois, New York and Florida.”

J Thomas

Unfortunately the maps don't show per-capita distributions so they tend to look like population density maps.

John McKay

Interesting charts/story, but it'd make more sense if the data were per capita. I know CA will lose more funding than AZ, but CA has 5x as many people, too.


It looks like a population map. Per capita might have been more useful. http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/heatmap.png


The five states that are going to experience the largest absolute cuts are the five states with the largest populations. Shocking!

Relevant: http://xkcd.com/1138/


Why is it assumed that sequestration will cause losses to educational quality when we haven't seen a rise in educational quality (student performance) with budget gains in the last few decades? Most of the increases in the budget goes to overhead and other services, not to variables that factor into student performance.


Amen. And another thing, most of these cuts have little to do with actual education. Picking Texas as an example:
Grants to Local Educational Agencies (not actual schools)
School Improvement Grants (nice new carpets, not education)
Improving Teacher Quality Grants (teacher bonuses - nice, but not education)
Special Education Grants (okay, education)
Federal Work-Study (nice, but not education)
Head Start (as Freakonomics demonstrates, well-meaning but completely ineffective)
Vocational Rehabilitation Grants (well-meaning, but not education)
These are all nice things, but is the marginal dollar spent on Federal Work Study really move important than, for example, not taxing business owners so they could create an actual job?

Taylor Smith

As many have already said, this is a population density map. I would find it interesting to adjust it, not per-capita as others have said, but as a percentage of the total education budget.

Voice of Reason

I'm all for excellance in education, but people need to remember that education is not supposed to be handled on the national level. As the constitution required, it is something to be taken care of on a state and/or local level. Giving more money to the Department of Education is just shoving the scrantron standardized teaching to the test type of education down our throats. .

California mom

So I live in California with 2 kids in public education. The article said "decimated" by the 280+million dollar cuts. So California has over 6 milion kids in schools (some of them are in private schools). Cost to my children is about $45-50 a head, if that. As the Texas post pointed out, the hit is more felt with pre-schoolers and special ed kids.


Yes, the use of a dictionary would have been advisable. Decimate is to reduce by a tenth. Per a quick search, California spent $58.9 billion on education in the 2009-10 fiscal year. $280 million is what, about half a percent of that?


No. The protestation of "decimate" as used here is a grammar myth, similar to not ending a sentence with a preposition.


"'Decimate' has its etymological root in the Latin word for 'tenth,' and it shares that root with words like 'decimal' and 'decimeter.' Because of these historical and etymological roots, some people believe that the only proper way to use 'decimate' is to talk about something reduced by precisely 10 percent.

Usage experts disagree. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage (MWDEU), for example, notes that 'decimate' has never been used this way in English. Although there is an entry for the 'reduction by 10 percent' meaning in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), it contains no example sentences, which is unusual. The MWDEU editors believe that the OED definition was included merely to bridge the gap between the Roman practice and the standard English meaning, which is 'a massive or severe reduction.'"

So maybe they did use a dictionary, and realized it's fine.



Why are cuts being done "across the board" in this manner? They're losing what, 9% of their funding, so they're going to cut 9% of their distribution? Why not first cut internal overhead at their DC offices? To me, the libertarian, that's the whole point of this "exercise."

I live in NJ and we often talk about what (low) percentage of money we give to DC in federal taxes we get back in federal grants/subsidies/etc. Why not cut/reduce large departments such as the Education department and just let the money stay in the states in the first place.

Point being, they can still give all the states this money, just reduce the overhead inherent to the system by eliminating inside, not outside. On a better scenario, cut my federal tax bill by half, and raise state taxes enough to get the same into state coffers, and let them distribute it more locally. Do that a second iteration and reduce state taxes and let my local school district raise they money they need to operate.


Dave F.

As long as we can force states to stay in budget. Unfortunately, they kind of seem to do what they want most of the time and then ask for bailout.