The Gazette’s June 21 article “Iowa has increased K-12 funding since recession, but some lawmakers aren’t celebrating” cited a recently released analysis from The Pew Charitable Trusts of how states have faced a “Lost Decade” since the Great Recession because of missed economic and revenue growth. In your article, which focused on Iowa’s funding of public elementary and secondary schools, a local official questioned the data we used to analyze state K-12 funding.
To clarify: to measure change in state support per pupil, we relied on the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a part of the U.S. Department of Education that is a comprehensive source of K-12 education data. However, this data set does not shed light on events or special circumstances within states that may affect the data.
According to the NCES data, state funding for K-12 education per pupil was lower nationally and in a majority of states (not Iowa) in fiscal year 2016 than in fiscal 2008 after adjusting for inflation — one of several ways in which our analysis found that many states haven’t fully shaken off the effects of the recession.
Project director, Fiscal 50
The Pew Charitable Trusts