Education Funding

August 31, 2018 • Volume 28, Issue 30
Should states increase funding for public schools?
By Barbara Mantel


Striking teachers and other demonstrators protest inside the Oklahoma State Capitol (Cover: Getty Images/Bloomberg/Scott Heins)
Striking teachers and other demonstrators protest inside the Oklahoma State Capitol during an April 3 rally in Oklahoma City, part of a wave of teacher protests in six states demanding increased pay and more public school funding. Oklahoma teachers are among the lowest paid in the nation. (Cover: Getty Images/Bloomberg/Scott Heins)

A wave of public school teacher protests this year swept through six of the states where educators are paid less than the national average and their inflation-adjusted salaries are lower than before the 2007–09 recession. Lawmakers made concessions to the demonstrators, but some labor experts predict more teacher protests after the new school year begins. The protests reinvigorated long-running debates about how best to pay teachers, whether increasing school spending would significantly improve student achievement and whether school voucher programs should continue to expand. The demonstrations also inspired many teachers around the country to run for office in November's local, state and congressional elections or to campaign for candidates who support higher teacher salaries and increased spending on school supplies, support staff and infrastructure. Meanwhile, many experts question whether teachers unions can harness the protest movement's momentum to increase membership and political clout: The Supreme Court in June ruled that public-sector unions, including those representing teachers, could no longer collect fees from nonunion members working in unionized workplaces.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Education and Funding
Aug. 31, 2018  Education Funding
Jun. 27, 2016  Student Debt
Dec. 06, 2013  Humanities Education
Apr. 19, 2013  Law Schools
Nov. 20, 2009  The Value of a College Education
Dec. 10, 1999  Reforming School Funding
Aug. 27, 1993  School Funding
Dec. 24, 1948  Federal Aid to Education
May 05, 1948  Financial Support for Higher Education
Sep. 03, 1937  Federal Grants for Education
Aug. 20, 1934  Federal Aid to Education
Campaigns and Elections
Cost of Education and School Funding
Economic Analyses, Forecasts, and Statistics
Education Policy
Elementary and Secondary Education
Employee Benefits
Labor Standards and Practices
Party Politics
Private Schools and Home Schooling
Protest Movements
State and Local Taxes
Supreme Court History and Decisions
Unions and Labor-Management Relations