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ERIC Number: ED529269
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
State Education Agency Funding and Staffing in the Education Reform Era
Kober, Nancy; Rentner, Diane Stark
Center on Education Policy
Cuts in state funding for elementary and secondary education in recent years have taken a toll in many vital areas, including teaching jobs and student services. State budget cuts have also affected a less visible target--state education agencies (SEAs), which are responsible for supervising elementary and secondary education in each state and which play a crucial role in advancing education reform. Many SEAs are being asked to do more with less. While the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided much-needed economic stimulus money to save or create teaching jobs and continue momentum on education reform, it also placed new demands on SEAs at a time when their own operating budgets were often shrinking. Now that the stimulus funds are coming to an end, SEAs must still follow through on a series of education reform-related assurances in their ARRA applications. What is the status of SEAs' operating budgets, staffing, and expertise in the wake of ARRA? And do SEAs have the capacity to support key education reforms? This report by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) seeks to answer these questions with data from a survey of state deputy superintendents of education or their designees conducted in October through December of 2011. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia, which is counted as a state in the tallies in this report, responded. The 2011 survey was the second CEP survey on these topics, including state capacity. Findings from the first survey, conducted in fall 2010, are described in the 2011 report, "More to Do But Less Capacity to Do It: States' Progress in Implementing the Recovery Act Education Reforms" (CEP, 2011a). In general, that report concluded that as a result of shrinking or stagnant operating budgets for SEAs, states could have insufficient capacity in 2011 to fully and effectively implement a range of activities critical to the ARRA reform agenda. This current report focuses specifically on state funding for SEA "operations," as opposed to general state funding for public elementary and secondary education, which is discussed in a companion CEP report (2012b). In addition, this report deals only with SEA operational funding from "state" sources. This analysis of state funding for SEA operations revealed several key findings: (1) Although the state funding outlook for SEA operations appears slightly better in school year 2012-13 than in school year 2011-12, very few states expect increases in their SEA funding for 2012-13; (2) Many states are looking at two consecutive years of decreases in state funds for SEA operations; (3) State cuts in SEA operating budgets projected for school year 2012-13 tend to be somewhat smaller than those made in school year 2011-12; (4) Most of the 26 survey states that cut their SEA operating budgets for school year 2011-12 are compensating by reducing SEA staffing costs in various ways; fewer states are cutting services to school districts; (5) States appear to be making an effort to maintain, and in some cases increase, SEA staff assigned to carry out key education reforms; and (6) More states reported having adequate SEA expertise to carry out key reforms than had adequate staffing levels or fiscal resources for these activities. Study methods for reports based on CEP's Fall 2011 State Survey are appended. (Contains 1 figure and 6 tables.) [For related report, "More to Do, But Less Capacity to Do It: States' Progress in Implementing the Recovery Act Education Reforms," see ED516577.]
Center on Education Policy. 1001 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 522, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-822-6008; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Center on Education Policy
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009