306 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
School districts can expect a $57 increase in per-student funding for next school year, according to an ASBSD analysis of official statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The 1.2 percent increase, which will raise the per-student allocation to approximately $4,862 for FY11, is mandated by a state law that ties annual education funding increases to changes in the CPI-W, an inflation index that measures fluctuations in the average price of consumer goods. In any given year, education increases are determined by two-year-old inflation data. That means education increases for FY11 are based on FY09 prices.
The CPI-W dropped dramatically in the last half of 2008. Steady gains in the first half of 2009 reversed the downward trend, and the CPI-W finished at 209.84 for last fiscal year, up from 207.39 in FY08.
The downward trend, which lasted from July through December, prompted lawmakers and state officials to lower expectations for funding increases beyond FY10. Suggestions that education would not receive an increase in FY11 were supported by ASBSD’s monthly CPI-W tracking that showed inflation falling below zero for FY09.
While news of the CPI-W data should trump concerns that public education would be forced to go without an increase next school year, ASBSD Director of Communications Brian Aust says education advocates will be challenged to convince lawmakers to move beyond the mandated 1.2 percent boost.
A slowly recovering economy and state budget deficits will likely curb state discretionary spending for FY11. According to Aust, state employee salary raises and inflationary increases in Medicare provider reimbursement – both cut from the state’s budget last year – will probably be on the table before any additional revenue is directed toward K-12 education.