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A New Decade: 20-Year History of Basic Education Funding

Yesterday we examined the last ten years of BEF data. To look even further back, the ten year run up to 2008-09 was a very consistent pattern of annual increases in the single largest state revenue line item provided to schools.

From fiscal year 1998-99 through 2007-08, BEF annual increases ranged from a low of 3% (1999-00 and 2003-04) to a high of 6.5% (2006-07). The average was 3.7% during this timeframe. Contrast that ten-year period of BEF with 2008-09 through 2017-18, and the pattern changes drastically.

The annual fluctuations in BEF produced a roller coaster road of funding ups and downs. The annual increases during that ten-year period averaged 1.7%, but the range was from a -6.7% to 12.8%. The last ten years of data we reviewed was very different as a result of the Great Recession and its effect on school finance.