State Share of School Costs Drops to 61.7%, Even as Property Tax Levy Declines

Friday, October 12, 2012 at 2:05 AM by

For many years, a state law required the Legislature to provide schools enough funding through grants and the school levy credit to cover two-thirds of school costs (excluding the federal share).  Even after that statute was repealed in 2003, lawmakers sought to come as close to possible to the two-thirds level.  However, a paper released Thursday by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) illustrates that the state level of support for K-12 education fell well below that level in 2011-12.    

According to the LFB paper, the state share dropped to 61.7% in the last fiscal year, compared to 63% in 2010-11, and 63.9% in 2009-10.  The non-federal share of school financing (referred to as “partial school revenues”) fell by $501 million in 2011-12, or 5.1% – as state support dropped by $432 million and local property tax revenue declined by $69 million. The reduced property tax revenue can be attributed in large part to the state-imposed cut in the per student revenue caps, but it also reflects local political pressure not to raise levies at a time when property values were falling in many communities.  

 The LFB paper includes district-by-district statistics on local property tax levies for schools, the amount of state aid and levy credits, and the percentage of the “partial school revenues” supported by the state.

Jon Peacock 

Categories: 2011-13 biennial budget, Blog, EDUCATION, STATE BUDGET | Comments Off on State Share of School Costs Drops to 61.7%, Even as Property Tax Levy Declines

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