The National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) recently released a review of the state budget landscape for fiscal year (FY) 2015, which began on July 1. Career Technical Education (CTE) receives its funding through a variety of streams â€“ including from these state budgets. While the report does not speak to CTE funding directly, understanding a stateâ€™s fiscal health is important, particularly after many continue to recover from the recession.
According to the governorsâ€™ proposed budgets, state spending is projected to grow moderately for the fifth consecutive year â€“ to $750.1 billion, a 2.9 percent increase from FY 2014. Â Though state revenues are projected to grow, gains are expected to be constrained by economic growth and a weak labor market, as they were in 2014. On average, states expected to see an estimated 5 percent increase in FY 2014, but in the end, only saw growth of 4.3 percent. While many states are expected to surpass pre-recession spending levels in FY 2015, 10 recommended states budgets remain below pre-recession highs.
Mid-year program cuts can be a clear sign of fiscal distress, according to the report. In FY 2014, nine states made mid-year cuts to K-12 and five made cuts to higher education. With modest fiscal advances for FY 2015, 39 governors have proposed increases to core services such as K-12 ($10.9 billion) and postsecondary education ($3.5 billion). Three states have proposed overall cuts to K-12 and five recommended slashing higher education funding.
Be sure to check out the full NASBO report for a state-by-state breakdown of changes to state aid, expenditures, revenues and much more.
Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate