Uncategorized

Tracking the elusive “$251 million” for K-12 education

Yesterday, legislative leaders claimed that the conference budget would include $251 million in recurring funding for K-12 public education. However, budget watchers of many stripes were perplexed to see a net increase of just $62 million in the public schools budget. Following up on what I wrote yesterday about the state budget not having enough recurring dollars to go around without a tax increase, here’s an educated guess as to how the leaders justified their claim. The key is looking only at the recurring expansion (new spending) items and ignoring the cuts.

Recurring expansion in the K-12 budget include:

Those two alone give us a total of $170.3 million. Then, add in the $85 million for LEA salary increases budgeted in the Reserves section near the end of the budget, and you get $255.3 million. This is just a little more than what legislative leaders claimed yesterday, so if there’s an alternate explanation I’m sure that many of us watching the budget would be very, very interested to hear it.

Of course, this calculation ignores any and all reductions to the K-12 budget, which makes this a rather creative way of describing total spending. The net impact to the schools is $62 million as it clearly shows in the summary table, and the LEA Adjustment (which exists, but is not included as a line item) will still exist at $359.8 million going into FY2013-15 – about $70 million less than it was this year ($429 million). It’s also worth noting that $74 million of the increase in this K-12 budget is attributable to backing off a scheduled $74 million increase in the LEA Adjustment – technically new spending, but not the kind that has a net positive economic impact.

The bottom line that budget writers inevitably had to acknowledge was that, without raising revenue, they just didn’t have enough recurring money to restore as much of the public education budget as many people were hoping to see.

 

Check Also

K-12 public education retrospective: back to school edition

As the school year begins, we’ve paused to ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

North Carolina election employees could soon be facing stricter scrutiny. House members rolled out a [...]

In one of the largest campaign donation forfeitures in state history, 48 improper donations from the [...]

Friends, neighbors, colleagues of commission chairman Jim Womack submit nearly identical letters cla [...]

When N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger addressed reporters last [...]

In the aftermath of the recent successful push to ward off huge cuts to food assistance programs in [...]

There are a lot of important statistics that confirm just how out of whack the U.S. economy has grow [...]

The post Bite the Apple & NC’s HB2 Legacy appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

When I headed off to college, I could not have predicted that many of the funding streams, positions [...]

Now hiring

NC Policy Watch is now hiring a Managing Editor – click here for more info.