A Decade of Neglect: Public Education Funding in The Aftermath of The Great Recession

This post originally appeared on www.aft.org.

By: American Federation of Teachers | July 2018

A Decade of Neglect: Public Education Funding in the Aftermath of the Great Recession,” details the devastating impact on schools, classrooms and students when states choose to pursue an austerity agenda in the false belief that tax cuts will pay for themselves.

The comprehensive report offers a deep dive into the austerity agendas and disinvestment that sparked the wave of teacher walkouts around the country this spring.

Among the report’s findings regarding the impacts of state’s budgetary austerity on public K-12 education, teachers, and students in the past decade, the report also examines these impacts on public higher education:

  • Forty-one states have shortchanged higher education by a total of $15 billion since the recession.
  • How individual states rank and how much states are providing for higher education compared with 2008.
  • Since the recession, tuition costs for two-year colleges are up by an average 36 percent, and tuition costs at four-year colleges are up by an average 40 percent, even after adjusting for inflation.
  • For every 10 percent reduction in state support for public higher education, for-profit college enrollment increased by 1 percent, building back into a cycle of austerity and privatization.
  • Reductions of public funding for higher education led to both higher tuition and decreases in resources spent on faculty.

Read the full report and get the state-by-state figures on the American Federation of Teachers website here.

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