NEA Claims Stagnant Funding May Threaten Public School Progress

June 2004
Electronic Education Report;6/11/2004, Vol. 11 Issue 12, p4
Trade Publication
Investment in public schools is not keeping pace with the needs of children, according to an education funding report released last month by the U.S. National Education Association (NEA). The report, "Rankings & Estimates: Rankings of the States 2003" and "Estimates of School Statistics 2004," shows slight increases from the previous year in the average expenditure per pupil enrolled in K-12 school, the average revenue that communities collect for school expenses and the average salary for a public school teacher. NEA suggests troubled times may lie ahead because state and local governments, in the midst of budget crises and struggles to comply with the rigid demands of the No Child Left Behind Act, still provide the lion's share of education funding. On average, revenue from those state and local coffers have shown little growth over the past year or over the decade. The report also says average teacher salary has not kept pace with inflation. Since 1993, salaries have actually declined in a third of the country. Last fall, total public school enrollment increased 0.8% to 48.2 million, representing the 19th consecutive annual rise in school enrollment. Total expenditure for public schools is projected to rise 4.4% to $392.94 billion.


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