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Posts by Michael Leachman

New Mexico Wisely Rescinds Call for Constitutional Convention

March 16, 2017

New Mexico lawmakers yesterday rescinded the state’s resolutions of decades ago calling for a national convention to amend the U.S. Constitution. That’s important because other states – misled by arguments from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other groups – are calling for a convention...

U.S. Map

Kansas’ K-12 Funding Just One Casualty of Unaffordable Tax Cuts

March 2, 2017

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled today that state funding for education is inadequate and set a June 30 deadline for lawmakers to raise revenue for schools. Kansas’ failure to adequately fund education is just part of the damaging fallout from the huge tax cuts that the...

Five of Eight States With Deepest K-12 Cuts Also Cut Income Taxes

Wyoming’s Dangerous Call for New Constitutional Convention

March 1, 2017

Wyoming lawmakers passed a resolution this week asking Congress to call a constitutional convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution related to federal spending. Proponents claim that Wyoming is the 29th state to make such a...

Capitol Building

A Kansas Wake-Up Call for Other States Considering Big Income Tax Cuts

February 23, 2017

Bipartisan coalitions in both legislative houses in Kansas voted to reverse enormous tax cuts that Governor Sam Brownback and others touted as a model for other states and the nation. Although the state Senate fell just short yesterday of the two-thirds vote to override Gov. Brownback’s veto, the majority votes in both houses reflect several years of...

After Tax Cuts, Kansas' Economy Underperforming U.S.

Bills Suggest Kansas Is Moving in the Right Direction

February 7, 2017

Five years ago, Kansas cut income taxes deeply, on the theory that it would generate a burst of economic growth. But rather than booming, Kansas’ economy has grown more slowly than the rest of...

State Legislative Chamber

More States Legalize and Tax Marijuana

November 11, 2016

The number of states in which marijuana is now legal more than doubled this week as Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and California approved ballot measures.  As marijuana sales emerge from the shadows, their modest revenues may make it a bit easier for states to fulfill voter expectations for high-quality schools and other public investments.

Marijuana legalization ballot initiatives...

CA State House

Voters Boost Minimum Wages in Four States

November 9, 2016

Voters approved minimum wage increases in all four states — Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington — with Election Day ballot measures. 

More specifically:

  • Arizona, Colorado, and Maine will increase their minimum wages, which now range from $7.50 to $8.31 per hour, to $12 per hour by 2020.  
  • Washington will raise its minimum wage, currently $9.47, to $13.50 by
  • ...
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Capital Spending to Build and Renovate Schools Also Down

October 26, 2016

State cuts in K-12 funding over the past decade, which we outline in our new report, haven’t just affected schools’ operating funding for things like teacher salaries and textbooks.  Capital spending — to build new schools, renovate and expand facilities, and...

Capital Spending for K-12 Schools Dropping

State K-12 Cuts Can Undermine School Reforms

October 25, 2016

Many states have pursued education reforms to improve teacher quality, better prepare young children for school, and turn around the lowest-achieving schools, among other goals.  The widespread cuts in state K-12 spending we’ve documented in our new report can...

K-12 Education Jobs Have Fallen as Enrollment Has Grown

Why Have States Cut School Funding?

October 24, 2016

The widespread drop in state support for schools over the past decade — which we’ve documented in our new report — reflects outside factors, such as weak revenues and rising costs, as well as state policy choices, such as relying on spending cuts to close...

Five of Eight States With Deepest K-12 Cuts Also Cut Income Taxes

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