Ranking the States: Federal Education Stimulus Money and Prospects for Reform

Mickey Muldoon

Marguerite Roza
Center for Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington
May 2009

This 6-page "rapid response" paper from the CRPE makes one clear and simple point: the stimulus package will affect different states' education budgets in vastly different ways. Author Marguerite Roza took some state budget data, crunched it against the U.S. Education Department's recent projection of ARRA allocations by state, and came up with a rough estimate of how each state's overall K-12 education budget will change from this year to next. At one end of her final chart is California, with an estimated overall spending cut of 11.6 percent next year. (LA has already become a battleground over spending cuts and teacher layoffs.) At the other end, with projected budget increases of 18.9 percent next year, is--yes!--South Dakota. In between, there is a fairly linear distribution of states, with 21 projecting budget cuts and 28 projecting increases. More urban and affluent states (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut) tend to follow California's lead while mostly rural states (Mississippi, Montana, Wyoming, and Maine) trend after South Dakota. For state officials, Roza's estimates are limited, being based on quick calculations without much access to internal information about budget plans. But this is a great first reference for wonks and analysts--and certainly for educational investors and entrepreneurs who might otherwise not expect fast cash windfalls in places like sixth-ranked Mississippi. Find it here.

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