- According to a report from the bipartisan advocacy group First Focus, Congress cut education spending at a faster rate than overall spending between 2011 and 2015.
- Spending on education, which includes grants for low-income students and districts serving American Indian students, has dropped by nearly 20% in the past five years.
- President Barack Obama’s budget for 2016 would represent a slight increase over previous years, but Congressional appropriation bills would result in even more cuts.
Alongside the federal cuts, many states slashed education funding in the wake of the 2008 recession and never completely restored it. As a result, school and district leaders in many states have complained of being forced to make cuts to increasingly necessary programs, from school sports to teaching positions. At the same time, they’ve also been asked to be more accountable for students’ performance. The result has been a kind of pincer on teachers and school leaders.
The report confirmed these accounts, saying the cuts resulted in larger class sizes, fewer staff, and, potentially, cuts to things like bus routes, after-school programs, and tutoring.