Learn About: Evaluating Performance | Common Core
Home > Public education > Cutting to the bone > Examples of state and district funding cuts
| print Print

Examples of state and district funding cuts

Here are some examples of state cuts to their education funding. In some cases, examples of district cuts in that state are listed as well.

Alabama. State aid for education has had a cumulative 18.5 percent cut in mid-year over the past two years. Due to the cuts, for the first time in recent history, the state has not absorbed 100 percent of the cost of increases to employee benefits. A portion of the cost of providing employee medical insurance was assumed by employees through increased premiums, co-pays and reduced benefits. Furthermore, there was no funding at all for instructional supplies, including textbooks. (CSALS 2010)

Other cuts included: 

  • Aid for basic school system operations
  • Student transportation
  • Instructional support such as teacher supplies
  • Teacher professional development
  • School library funding

Arizona. Eliminated preschool for 4,328 children; funding for schools to provide additional support to disadvantaged children from preschool to third grade; aid to charter schools, and funding for books, computers, and other classroom supplies. The state also cut funding in half for kindergarten, so districts must pick up the cost if they choose to continue to provide all-day kindergarten. (Johnson, Oliff and Williams 2010)

California. Reduced K-12 aid to local school districts by billions of dollars and is cutting a variety of programs, including adult literacy instruction and help for high-needs students (Johnson, Oliff and Williams 2010)

Los Angeles schools. Cut five days off the school year to avoid laying off 2,000 teachers (Khadaroo and Paulson 2010).

Colorado. State funding was cut by 6.35 percent per district, for a total cut of $260 million, nearly a 5 percent decline from the previous year (CSALS 2010, Johnson, Oliff and Williams 2010).

Florida. State funds for education hold steady while costs have increased (Mazzei 2010).

Miami-Dade schools. Eliminated 350 central office staff positions (a 20% cut). More than half were reassigned to teaching or other open positions. Cut dozens of assistant principal jobs and trimmed overtime spending by $15 million. Cut another $55 million of school level funds from input from community groups and principals. In total, Miami-Dade cut 27 percent of central office costs and now spends less per pupil on these costs than any other district in Florida. This enabled the district to avoid laying off any teachers and saved about 2,000 other jobs, such as counselors and media specialists (Khadaroo 2009).

Georgia. Cut state funding for K-12 education by $403 million, about 5 percent less than in 2010. The state also ended the bonus for National Board Certified teachers as well as funding for pre-school for the handicapped and severely disabled program. The state has also exempted local school districts from class size requirements (CSALS 2010, Johnson, Oliff and Williams 2010).  

DeKalb Country School District. Plans to shut down four schools, enlarge classes, implement seven furlough days, and cut more than 400 jobs to close a $100 budget gap (Khadaroo and Paulson 2010).

Fulton County—Plans to cut 1,000 jobs, including 500 teaching positions, and eliminate elementary school bands and orchestras (Badertscher 2010)

Hawaii. Shortened the 2009-10 school year by 17 days by instituting a 4-day work week and furloughing teachers for those days (Johnson, Oliff and Williams 2010).

Idaho. The state public schools budget saw a 1.4 percent decrease in general funds and a 7.5 decrease in all funds when compared to 2010. Much of the decrease came from reducing base salaries for teachers, administrators, and operations staff, ranging from 4 percent to 6.5 percent (CSALS 2010). Furthermore, salary increases for teachers and administrators based on education and experience were frozen (CSALS 2010). 

Illinois. Cut school education funding to $311 million below 2010’s level (CSALS 2010). Funds for student transportation and for a grant program intended to improve the reading skills of elementary school at-risk students were significantly reduced (CSALS 2010, Johnson, Oliff and Williams 2010).

School District U-46—Considering reducing the number of courses offered at the high school level, laying off secretaries and special education staff, and enacting a salary freeze for support staff (Calandriello 2010).

Maryland. Cut professional development for principals and educators, as well as health clinics, gifted and talented summer centers, and math and science initiatives.

Massachusetts. Cut state education aid by $115.6 million, a decline of 3 percent compared to 2010. It also cut $4.6 million, or 16 percent, from early intervention services, which help special-needs children develop appropriately and be ready for school (Johnson, Oliff and Williams 2010).

Michigan. Cut its 2010 school aid budget by $382 million, resulting in a $165 per-pupil spending reduction.

Genesee Intermediate School District. The 21 school districts within the Genesee regional education service agency have lowered costs by allowing Genesee to take over some transportation services, develop a common finance computer network, and provide online instructional services (Stover 2010).

Royal Oak Public Schools. Considering privatizing custodial, maintenance, and grounds services, which would save the district about $900,000 (Damron and Hall 2010).

Missouri. Cut its funding for K-12 transportation by 46 percent. The cut in funding likely will lead to longer bus rides and the elimination of routes (Johnson, Oliff and Williams 2010).

Nevada. Cut education grants to school districts and education programs (Johnson, Oliff and Williams 2010).

Churchill County Public Schools. Closed schools, moved to a 4-day school week, reduced arts, dramas, and music education, cut school electives, and instituted furlough days for some of their employees (CSALS 2010).

Lincoln County Public Schools. Has closed schools, moved to a 4-day school week, eliminated after-school programs, reduced their art, drama, and music education, reduced school electives, reduced technology purchases, and instituted furlough days for some of their employees (CSALS 2010).

New Hampshire. Cut $8.7 million of direct aid to local districts. $7.9 million cut from an aid program for severely handicapped students. Other cuts were made to programs to assist technical education students attend regional programs, prevent dropouts, and support local education improvement (CSALS 2010).

New Jersey. Cut funding for after-school programs aimed to enhance student achievement and keep students safe between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. The cut will likely cause more than 11,000 students to lose access to the programs and 1,100 staff workers to lose their jobs.

Piscataway schools. Plans to lay off 59 teachers and staff, eliminate middle school and freshman athletic teams, eliminate foreign language courses in elementary school and Saturday and summer programs aimed at closing the achievement gap (Khadaroo and Paulson 2010).

New York. State has proposed a $1.4 billion cut in school aid, amounting to a 5 percent cut.

North Carolina. Cut 21 percent of funding for a program targeted at small schools in low-income areas. As a result, 20 schools will go without a social worker or nurse. The state also temporarily eliminated funding for teacher mentoring (Johnson, Oliff and Williams 2010).

Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Able to save $2.24 million (2.8%) in health care premium costs by removing children who were too old to qualify for insurance and spouses who could obtain insurance through their own employers by issuing an online survey to its employees. The district also provides wellness and disease management programs that encourage healthy behaviors in order to help keep their health coverage costs down (Smerd 2010).

Oregon. Reduced K-12 funding by 4 percent than originally appropriated (CSALS 2010).

Pennsylvania. Reduced their allocation to their basic education funding stream from $250 million to $200 million. The commonwealth cut nearly $12 million in accountability grants and just over a $1 million from each of their Pre-K Counts and duel enrollment programs (CSALS 2010).

Rhode Island. Cut state aid for K-12 education by 3.8 percent (CSALS 2010).

South Carolina. Schools will operate with $750 million less in 2011 state education funds than they started off with in 2009, due to state funding cuts over the past two years. However, those cuts were softened a bit by federal stimulus dollars (CSALS 2010).

Texas. Although its legislative session does not begin until January 2011, the state education agency has submitted its appropriations request, which included a ten percent cut in education dollars (CSALS 2010). The funding cuts include cuts to: textbook purchases, extended school year programs, science lab construction, dropout prevention programs, and teacher mentoring programs (CSALS 2010).

Virginia. Cut $700 million over two years, including the state’s share of an array of school district operating and capital expenses and funding for class-size reduction in kindergarten through third grade. In addition, a $500 million reduction in state funding for some 13,000 support staff such as janitors, school nurses, and school psychologists from last year’s budget was made permanent (Johnson, Oliff and Williams 2010).

Washington. Cut $78.5 million and $15.6 million respectively by suspending programs to reduce class size and provide professional development for teachers. The state also reduced funding for maintaining 4th grade student-to-staff ratios by $30 million (CSALS 2010, Johnson, Oliff and Williams 2010).

Other states. State education grants to school districts and education programs have also been cut in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington.


Badertscher, N. (2010) More cuts recommended for Fulton schools. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution March 5, 2010 Retrieved on April 22, 2010, from http://www.ajc.com/news/more-cuts-recommended-for-351001.html

Calandriello, E. (2010) School District U46 Lays Out Its Budget Cuts. The Courier News February 23, 2010

CSALS (2010). National School Boards Association's Conference of State Association Legislative Staff. Communicated on August 26, 2010 

Damron, G. and Hall, C. (2010) Tensions Grow as Schools Plan More Cutbacks. Detroit Free Press March 29, 2010 

Johnson, N., Oliff, P. and Williams, E. (2010). An Update On State Budgets Cuts. Center for Budget and Policy Priorities Retrieved on September 7, 2010, from http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1214

Khadaroo, S. T. (2009) School Budget Cuts: Doing More With Less Money. ABC News August 30, 2009  

Khadaroo, S. T. and Paulson, A. (2010) School Budgets Cuts Across the US Projected for Next Academic Year.The Christian Science Monitor April 20, 2010 Retrieved on April 28, 2010, fromhttp://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2010/0420/School-budget-cuts-across-the-US-projected-for-next-academic-year

Mazzei, P. (2010) Schools Say Lawmakers Boasts Over State Budget Won't Save Cuts. Miami Herald May 2, 2010 Retrieved on September 17, 2010, from http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/02/1608922/schools-say-lawmakers-boasts-over.html

Workforce Management. Cleaning Up the Eligibility Rolls. Retrieved on September 22, 2010, fromhttp://www.workforce.com/section/benefits-compensation/feature/cleaning-up-eligibility-rolls/index.html

Stover, D. (May 2010). Dealing with Decline. American School Board Journal 197(5)http://www.asbj.com/MainMenuCategory/Archive/2010/May/Dealing-with-Decline.aspx

Published October 7, 2010.  © 2010 Center for Public Education.

This study was written and researched by Jim Hull, Center for Public Education's Senior Policy Analyst.
Home > Public education > Cutting to the bone > Examples of state and district funding cuts