Per pupil spending increased 17.5 percent from 2014 to 2017 in Washington; 2nd highest state growth rate in nation.

Governing magazine has published a breakdown of education funding in the states. The data are drawn from the Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of School System Finances. The magazine takes a look at several ways of slicing the numbers: spending and revenue per pupil; federal, state and local funding; how the money is spent (instruction, administration, and so on); and changes in funding. The site also makes it easy to sort states on various metrics.

Given the ongoing interest in school funding in our state, we chose to sort on changes in funding.

As Governing reporter Mike Maciag writes,

From 2014 to 2017, the largest per pupil increases were in California (26.6 percent), Washington state (17.5 percent) and Illinois (17.3 percent).

The 2017 numbers are, of course, before additional increases made in the last two years. Still, we encourage you to visit the link and examine the data.

Carrying on our earlier theme of ongoing debate about lifting levy caps, the Wenatchee World reports,

School officials statewide are weighing the consequences of boosting enrichment levy tax rates above the $1.50 cap, a move approved this spring by lawmakers in a tweak to the state’s new education funding formula.

Part of the debate for schools is whether collecting additional levy funds — even if previously approved by voters — will betray voter confidence and put future school ballot measures at risk — whether for levies or bonds. 

At the same time, school districts could use the extra levy funds to help make ends meet, in some cases restoring budget cuts already made.

The debate continues.