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Trends in School Financing

The New York Fed recently released an interesting set of maps and charts on school financing in New York and New Jersey that demonstrate the effect of national fiscal policy on public-school students. Their findings:

  • School funding and school expenditures increased steadily through the 2000s, but have slowed in the past year or two.
  • Federal funding swelled during the federal stimulus period, but has since begun to ebb.
  • Recent patterns in state and local funding show signs of slowing down.
  • While instructional expenditures remained on trend (or suffered only slightly) during the recession, there is evidence of sharper cuts in recent years.
  • In spite of these broad patterns, there are considerable variations across states and districts.

The accompanying blog post also emphasizes how districts experience policy changes in highly variable ways.  “For example, Ripley School District in Chautauqua, New York, saw its per-pupil funding drop by nearly $7,000 in 2012,” write Rajashri Chakrabarti and Max Livingston, “while Taconic Hills Central School District in Columbia, New York, saw an increase of nearly $5,000.”

Related: a Mayor Bloomberg initiative raises $47 million in private funds for New York City schools.