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Posts by Michael Leachman

K-12 Funding Cuts Include Capital Spending to Build and Renovate Schools

June 25, 2018

Teacher strikes in Oklahoma, Arizona, and other states highlighted low and declining teacher pay — due in part to large state funding cuts in some states since the Great Recession.  Many states have also imposed large school capital spending cuts since then, which has meant less money to...

Capital Spending for K-12 Schools Well Below 2008 Levels

Arizona Proposal Would Finance School Funding Boost, Make Tax Code Less Regressive

May 30, 2018

Arizona teachers ended their strike after Governor Doug Ducey signed a budget giving them a 20 percent salary increase over three years. But the budget doesn’t include the new revenue required to finance the planned spending, relying instead on optimistic predictions of economic growth, continued cuts in the Medicaid rolls, and one-time funding shifts. Meanwhile, the new revenue sources the...

Arizona's Cuts in Per-Student Funding Among the Nation's Biggest

New Census Data Show Persistent State School Funding Cuts

May 22, 2018

Update, July 26:  We’ve corrected the number of states where state and local funding exceeded pre-recession levels in 2016.

A significant share of states are providing much less school funding than they were a decade ago, according to new data from the...

K-12 Funding Fell Sharply After Recession Hit

North Carolina’s Deep Tax Cuts Impeding Adequate School Funding

May 10, 2018

North Carolina teachers plan to hold a “March for Students and Rally for Respect" on May 16 – the first day of the new legislative session — to protest low pay and inadequate school funding. As in Oklahoma and Arizona, excessive tax cuts have made it harder for North...

Five of Six States With Lowest Comparable Funding Levels Also Cut Taxes

New Tax Law Disproportionately Helps Wealthiest in Every State

April 9, 2018

With people focused on filing their tax returns for last year, it’s a good time to consider the future effect of the new federal tax law, which gives big tax cuts to corporations and wealthy families while hurting the nation’s ability to finance public services and...

Top 1 Percent Will Receive More Dollars From New Federal Tax Cuts Than Bottom 60 Percent of Households in Almost Every State

State Tax Cuts: A Key Factor in AZ, OK Teacher Pay Crises

March 26, 2018

Media coverage of possible teacher strikes in Arizona and Oklahoma, following one in West Virginia, has often overlooked an important contributing factor in those states: excessive state tax cuts that have shrunk state revenues and thereby made it harder for states to devote adequate resources to education. Reductions in state education funding largely due to tax cuts have limited pay and...

AZ and OK: General Fund Resources Have Fallen by Roughly One-Third as Share of Personal Income

North Carolina’s Tax Cuts Haven’t Caused Economy to Surge

February 27, 2018

State tax cut proponents often cite North Carolina as a model since its economy — unlike those of most states that have cut income tax rates deeply in recent years...

North Carolina Not Showing Exceptional Growth Since Cutting Taxes

States Can’t Afford Trump Budget’s Massive Cost Shift

February 15, 2018

President Trump’s 2019 budget would shift massive new costs to states and localities at a time when many states are already struggling to meet the needs of residents and businesses. It:

Slashes funding for Medicaid and marketplace subsidies that help low-...

Magnifying Glass and Pie Chart

How States Should Respond to the Federal Tax Changes

January 24, 2018

As we’ve said, many states expect to see a change in revenues under the federal tax law. But states should respond very cautiously to the possibility of a revenue...

Piggy Bank

States Should Respond Cautiously to Uncertain Revenue Impacts From Federal Tax Changes

January 23, 2018

Some state policymakers have overreacted to the possibility of new revenue from the recent federal tax changes by proposing major income tax rate cuts, including some that would cost more than the highly uncertain estimate of new revenue.  While claims that most or all states will see...

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