The Georgia Budget & Policy Institute just released four reports on the implications of the Perdue budget in various key areas, including education.
I know that some of you dismiss the institute as liberal, but I have never found it to fudge the numbers. (What folks may disagree with are the institute’s recommendations about how to deal with this economic crisis, which include raising taxes.)
Check out the report, but here are some excerpts:
The governor proposes spending $6.96 billion in state funds and $343 million in federal Recovery Act stabilization funds to educate 1.6 million K-12 students in FY 2011. This equals a 10.9 percent cut from the original FY 2009 budget, which itself included austerity cuts to the education funding formula.
The majority of the cut can be found in the state’s funding formula — Quality Basic Education (QBE). The governor’s proposed budget adjusts the QBE base to reflect the amended FY 2010 budget by adding $121 million to account for the 0.67 percent enrollment growth in FY 2010. Beyond that adjust, however, the proposed budget cuts QBE by $527 million, on top of existing QBE cuts carried forward from prior years. In total, school systems will receive $839 million less than the QBE formula directs, even after offsets from federal Recovery Act funds
The budget does not reflect any K-12 enrollment growth for FY 2011 and does not include salary increases. Enrollment growth has slowed in recent years; yet even 0.67 percent growth requires more than $100 million. If enrollment growth occurs in FY 2011, it will need a mid-year adjustment using reserve funds.
The proposed budget cuts equalization grants, which provide funds for low-property wealth districts to increase equity across school districts, by more than $200 million.
The budget eliminates state support from several programs, including: Regional Education Service Agencies ($12.1 million), which provide curriculum consultation, professional development, technology training, and other services; National Board Certification ($7.2 million), which provides a salary increase for teachers who are board certified; Education Technology Centers ($3.6 million); National Science Center and Foundation ($500,000), which offers programming to encourage student interest in math and science; and, Salary supplements for cafeteria managers.
Additional programs are reduced, including state schools for the hearing- and visually-impaired, school nurses, agricultural education, the pre-school handicapped program, and services for students with autism or severe emotional behavior problems, among others.
Amended FY 2010 Budget Proposal
The Amended FY 2010 budget includes an additional three furlough days for teachers (for a total of six) and an additional $479 million cut to QBE, among other cuts. Even using federal Recovery Act funds, school systems will receive $710 million less in QBE funds than the formula directs for FY 2010.7 The budget cuts equalization grants by an additional $17 million.
Board of Regents (University System)
The budget proposes spending $1.9 billion in state funds and $140 million in federal Recovery Act stabilization funds on the state’s 35 colleges and universities in FY 2011. This is a $136 million cut in state general funds, and a total cut of $94 million after the addition of federal recovery funds, even as student enrollment continues to grow.
Similar to K-12 education funding, the majority of these funds are formula-driven. The Teaching formula includes $113 million for enrollment growth and increases for maintenance and operations. Federal recovery funds are increased, also, with $47 million in additional funds. These additions are offset, however, by a $224 million cut to the Teaching formula.
Across programs, the proposed budget reduces salaries and operating expenses, such as public libraries, agricultural experiment station, cooperative extension services, and public service initiatives, among others. It eliminates funding for several programs entirely, including the Seed Capital Fund, Food Industry Partnership program, Traditional Industries program, Vaccine Collaboration Grants, and Bio-Refinery program, among others.
Proposed state allocations per FTE will be lower in FY 2011 than at the start of the decade. Since FY 2009, 42,000 additional students have enrolled in the University System, yet the proposed state spending will be 9.3 percent below FY 2009 levels (even after the addition of federal Recovery Act funds). Without Recovery Act funds, state spending would decline by 15.4 percent in FY 2011 compared to the original FY 2009 budget.