The Phony Funding Crisis — Arthur Peng, James Guthrie, Education Next

Whether measured on a per-pupil basis or as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, support for public schools is stronger in the United States than in most other nations. Moreover, this condition has persisted for many decades. A unique set of constitutional, structural, financial, and political arrangements ensures that school systems and professional educators are buffered from revenue losses when the economy declines. State rules surrounding local school-district budgeting procedures contribute to the opposite impression, making it appear that schools are in a perpetual financial crisis. The 2009 ARRA stimulus package may portend an entirely new source of fiscal stability for America’s schools. When the economy turns down, the federal government may serve as the major fiscal backstop for public education.

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