Despite boasts of record state school spending amid declining school populations, many of Michigan’s local ballots next week will feature school sinking funds, millage renewals, or millage increases.
Michigan’s more than 850 school districts received about $6 billion of federal COVID funds, but in many cases, it’s unclear how the districts spent or plan to spend the money.
The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute recently shared that a report from Matt Beienburg, Goldwater’s Director of Education Policy, reveals how spending surged in Arizona’s Public School system, but not for the actual needs of students.
“The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an era of unprecedented spending on public K-12 schools, yet available evidence suggests that the bonanza of federal spending was almost entirely avoidable and that much of it will likely serve a very different purpose than the one originally sold to policymakers and the public,” according to Goldwater Institute.
Governor Brian Kemp condemned Stacey Abrams on Monday for her support for increased government involvement in the lives of Georgians.
“Stacey Abrams wants longer lockdowns, more government mandates, and higher taxes. Not on my watch! Join the fight for the soul of our state,” the governor said. “When Georgia was the first state to re-open, Stacey Abrams campaigned for longer lockdowns.”
It is National Sunshine Week, which celebrates transparency in government, including creating awareness about requesting information from governments through FOIA public record requests. In Arizona, there are two tools provided by state agencies which allow anyone to look online at some of the government spending by state and local governments. Although it is a minimal amount of data, it reveals some missteps and waste.
The Arizona State Treasurer manages AZCheckbook.com, which provides information about funding the state gets from all sources, including the federal government, and how much it is distributing to schools, cities, and towns. The Arizona Department of Administration operates OpenBooks.AZ.gov, which provides checkbook-level information about individual state expenditures, including on the city and county level.
One Wisconsin Republican says a recent report on school spending misses the mark.
Sen. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, said the report from The Reason Foundation is a bit misleading. The report places Wisconsin near the bottom of all states when it comes to new school spending over the past decade or so.
“The most money ever spent on education in Wisconsin came during the last four years of the Walker Administration,” Kooyenga told The Center Square on Monday. “And just because another state decides to spend more on their schools, that doesn’t mean our schools are worse.”