Letters to the Editor

Pew education funding data clarified

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.

Barb Rosewicz

Project director, Fiscal 50

The Pew Charitable Trusts

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