Why are states still spending less than they were in 2008? Some states have been slow to recover from the recession, and they have had to deal with rising enrollments and rising costs at the same time as federal education aid dipped, according to the report. But Leachman pointed out that several states with the largest decreases in school spending — such as Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Wisconsin — also have cut income taxes in recent years, giving up revenue that could be used for education.That's us.
State tax dollars account for nearly half of education funding nationwide, so the decline in state funding has left many localities with a difficult choice: Raise local taxes, cut services and lay off teachers, or both. Leachman said that even when localities try to raise revenue, they often aren’t able to make up for lost state dollars.