Thursday, July 14, 2016

Priorities Gone Wrong: Prison Spending Skyrockets, Leaves School Spending Behind | janresseger

Priorities Gone Wrong: Prison Spending Skyrockets, Leaves School Spending Behind | janresseger:

Priorities Gone Wrong: Prison Spending Skyrockets, Leaves School Spending Behind


The U.S. Department of Education just released a report, State and Local Expenditures on Corrections and Education, that reinforces what is known about the alarming explosion in the rate of incarceration in the United States.
The Education Department’s report is about budgets—across states and localities: “From 1979-80 to 2012-13, public PK (PreK)-12 expenditures increased by 107 percent (from $258 to $534 billion), while total state and local corrections expenditures increased by 324 percent (from $17-$71 billion)—triple the rate of increase in education spending…  All states had lower expenditure growth rates for PK-12 education than for corrections, and in the majority of the states, the rate of increase for corrections was more than 100 percentage points higher than the rate for education… In 24 states, the growth rate in per capita corrections spending was more than 100 percentage points higher than the rate for per-pupil PK-12 education spending.”  Finally, “At the postsecondary level, the contrast was even starker: from 1989-90 to 2012-13, state and local spending on corrections rose by 89 percent while state and local appropriations for higher education remained flat.”
The new report confirms the trend in K-12 education spending reported last winter by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “At least 31 states provided less state funding per student in the 2014 school year (that is, the school year ending in 2014) than in the 2008 school year, before the recession took hold.  In at least 15 states, the cuts exceeded 10 percent.”  State governments are spending less on public education than they used to.  Most of the increases in education spending in the past few decades have been for special services mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The new report from the Department of Education further confirms the reality of the exploding rate of incarceration over recent decades: “(T)he number of people incarcerated in state and local correctional facilities more than quadrupled over the past few decades, rising from about 490,000 in 1980 to over 2 million in 2014, due in part to the enactment of Priorities Gone Wrong: Prison Spending Skyrockets, Leaves School Spending Behind | janresseger:

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