The DeHavilland Blog

Thursday, April 03, 2008

K-12 funding, squeezed from the picture

The image at right comes from today's Wall Street Journal (see the article Deficit hawks try, try again). Pay particular attention to the Medicare/Medicaid category, and remember that states pay close to half (43% to be exact) the costs of these programs. So this increase in federal obligations is going to be matched, almost dollar for dollar, by the states.

Why is this important to education? Because the vast majority of K-12 revenues come from state and local sources, and as commitments to programs like Medicare increase, less funding becomes available for education.

We've already seen Medicare grow from 8% of state budgets in 1985 to 22% in 2006, the first year it eclipsed K-12 spending. What happens when the program realy starts to take off, per the chart?

I've been harping a lot on finance lately, both on the blog and in meetings and presentations. I honestly don't think the majority of people working in or with the education system see what's coming down the pike. But it is coming - and I hope that people will begin to see that and prepare for it.

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