Research Shows Education Trends

By Naomi Dillon

To say it’s been a rough couple of years would be an understatement. But saying the next few could be even worse is downright painful. After all, states began slashing their budgets in the spring of 2008, as rising unemployment and home foreclosure rates brought lower-than-anticipated revenues. In fiscal year 2010 alone, 48 states had to close a collective $200 billion shortfall, with 30 states doing so through cuts to K-12 education.

Unfortunately, the immediate future doesn’t look much better. Projections call for state deficits to reach a combined $300 billion in FY 2011 and FY 2012. But, with only $40 billion left from federal funds Congress allocated to help stabilize state economies, how those budget gaps are going to be addressed is anybody’s guess.

While we at ASBJ have kept abreast of what’s been going on in the marketplace, especially as it relates to schools, financial analysts we are not. We’ll leave that to the economists and focus our attention and the following pages on the education issues that we anticipate will take on increasing importance in the year ahead.

This process has included sifting through the past year’s worth of education headlines, reports, and research and tapping experts to separate true trends from the simply trendy.

It’s a new approach to our annual Education Vital Signs, one that recognizes that today’s data is most valuable when it informs tomorrow’s decisions.

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