There’s nothing cheerful about the Great Recession, but this trend is interesting. When the downturn hit, we cut – but we didn’t cut all priorities equally. On the chart attached to this post you can see that public education accounted for 46 percent of our total state budget in 2008. For 2012 – in the wake of the painful budget work of the Great Recession – public education’s percent of the total budget actually increased to 51 percent. Among other things, this trend shows a commitment to protect public education funding as much as possible in down times. Here’s the chart link.
If those stats sound familiar you may have read them in Lisa Schenker’s article on long-term education funding trends in Utah. Her article and the Utah Foundation report are both worth careful analysis. [Update:] Board of Education member Dave Thomas adds grist to the mill.
As we mentioned in last week’s education funding tweet, Utah’s education challenges are not simple ones. We’d love your ideas and thoughtful feedback as we go.