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New study: More state revenue = better-off kids

There’s some new and concrete confirmation of the common sense analysis highlighted earlier this morning in the post about last night’s Democratic gubernatorial debate. It comes from this study released by Action for Children North Carolina, entitled “Public Investments Matter for Child Well-Being: Smart State Policy Can Change Lives.”

“The public policy in each state that most strongly correlates with high child well-being is the state and local tax rates and related revenues (r = +0.50).x

Figure 4 shows that states with higher tax rates and revenues have higher child well-being scores than states with lower tax rates and revenues.”

The report is chock full of information. It highlights, for instance, that North Carolina school funding has plummeted 14.7% from FY 2008 to FY 2012 (the ninth worst drop in the country). It also draws attention to the huge cuts to pre-K and higher ed.

It’s also interesting to see that, among the ten or so states with notable increases in education spending, several are actually politically conservative (e.g. North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska).

The bottom line: North Carolina continues to disinvest in education at its on peril. We are “eating our seed corn” and unless we reverse course soon, may find ourselves sveral decades further behind the rest of the world than we already are.

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