Education

Basic School Revenue Hasn't Kept Up with Inflation

Most of the assistance that Minnesota school districts receive from the state comes in the form of basic general education formula revenue. This revenue establishes a base level of funding for all districts, from which—in theory—basic school operating expenses can be funded. Despite increases in recent years, real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) basic formula revenue is over…

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Are 529 Tax Breaks Working?

In order to incentivize families to save for their children’s college education, Minnesota and other states are exploring income tax credits and deductions for 529 plans. Named after section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, these investment vehicles were designed to encourage parents to save for college by granting tax breaks on higher education savings…

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Shocking Implications of Private School Tax Credits

Conservatives continue to push vouchers and private school tax credits, despite new research (summarized in a recent North Star article) indicating that this approach is counter-productive to improving student achievement. Minnesota is among the states considering expanding the K-12 education tax credit to include contributions by individuals and corporations to foundations that provide vouchers and…

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Sharp Jump in Homeowner Property Taxes

Property taxes paid as a percent of income have declined for the typical Minnesota homeowner since 2007, according to the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence (MCFE), formerly the Minnesota Taxpayers Association. As noted in the previous article in this series, however, this conclusion is not necessarily warranted by the data. Furthermore, if we look at…

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School Vouchers are the Wrong Choice

Many in the conservative movement advocate for “school choice”: aka educational reform in the way of school vouchers, but there are waves and waves of research that suggest private school vouchers harm students who receive them. But first: What are school vouchers? The concept originated with Milton Friedman, and is essentially a strategy to privatize…

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Minnesota Tuition Hikes Surpass U.S. Average Since 2000

State support for higher education in Minnesota has declined over the course of the 21st century and—as a result—tuition has skyrocketed, as demonstrated in part one and part two of this series. While these trends are not unique to Minnesota, the decline of state support and the growth in tuition in the Gopher State has…

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Declining State Aid Translates into Soaring Tuition

State support for higher education declined by over 40 percent from fiscal year (FY) 2000 to 2015, after adjusting for inflation and changes in enrollment, as reported in the first part of this series. However, the burden of state funding cuts did not fall so much on institutions of higher education, but on college and…

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State Support for Higher Education Drops Dramatically Since 2000

A conservative interest group recently claimed that higher education has become a tremendous suck on state resources. A close examination of public higher education revenue in Minnesota tells a different story. Since the turn of the century, state support for higher education has dropped dramatically, after adjusting for inflation and changes in enrollment. Data for…

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Education Alone Does Not Explain the Racial/Ethnic Earnings Gap

Americans in general experienced strong earnings growth from 2014 to 2015; this was especially true for blacks and Hispanics, as noted in the preceding article in this series. Over the longer term, however, the earnings gap between white Americans and most minority groups has increased. Disparities in education levels contribute to—but by no means fully…

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