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Funding Our Future: A Progress Report on State PreK-12 Education Finance, July 2019

This report updates portions of the 2018 report, “A Decade of Neglect: Public Education Funding in the Aftermath of the Great Recession,” and shows incremental improvements in state education spending. It also shines a light on the consequences for states that continue to shirk their responsibility to adequately fund public education.

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Fund Our Future Government Relations Update - 05/09/2019

On May 8, the House Appropriations Committee passed a fiscal year 2020 funding bill that provides a total of $75.9 billion in discretionary funding for education programs. This is $4.4 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $11.9 billion above the president’s budget request.

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A Decade of Neglect

AFT’s report unveils link between GOP tax cuts and gutting of public k-12 and higher education post-recession.

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Keeping Our Promise to America’s Children and Teachers (PACT) Act

For more than 50 years, the United States has claimed to provide equal public education to all students, regardless of background or identity. But, in fact, as income and wealth inequality have grown and become more entrenched, low-income students, students of color and students with disabilities have systematically and continuously been deprived of the resources that more-privileged students take for granted. Now, when many states have yet to restore full funding to the pre-downturn levels of 2008 and the nation is facing a growing teacher shortage, Congress has an opportunity to invest responsibly to secure the futures of our nation’s most vulnerable students.

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Confronting the Education Debt

A report by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools detailing the systemic underfunding of public schools, focusing specifically on black, Latino and low-income students.

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Download state by state reports on federal underfunding of public schools

Resources on Progressive State Revenue Options

How States Can Tax Wealth - Capital Gains

While most states tax income from investments and income from work at the same rate, nine states give the wealthy a huge tax break by taxing long-term capital gains at a lower rate than ordinary income. This Center on Budget and Policy Priorities brief shows how eliminating capital gains preferences would raise more than $500 million per year.

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How States Can Tax Wealth - Inherited Wealth

In 2001, policymakers cut the federal estate tax, and in doing so, eliminated a federal credit that allowed states to “pick up” a share of the federal estate tax revenue. Since states had set their estate taxes equal to the federal credit, a number of states simply allowed their estate taxes to disappear. This Center on Budget and Policy Priorities brief shows how reinstatement of state estate taxes could generate an additional $3 to $6 billion in total state revenues.

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How States Can Reclaim Revenue Lost to Tax Havens

In 2018, offshore tax dodging cost states $14.19 billion in lost tax revenue. California lost the most, at $2.8 billion, while New York and Illinois each lost more than $1.3 billion. In all, 32 states lost more than $100 million to offshore tax dodging that year. This report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy outlines tax reform options that states can implement to reclaim revenue lost to tax havens. The report includes estimates on the revenue gains for the 50 states if they were to implement these reforms.

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The New Math on School Finance

Public schools across the country lost at least $1 .8 billion last year as a result of economic development tax incentives granted to corporations. School districts in ten states, led by South Carolina, New York and Louisiana, collectively lost $1.6 billion. This report from Good Jobs First, quantifies the total revenue losses by state and outlines reforms that would close loopholes and bring monies back to our school districts.

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Tax Fairness: An Answer to State Budget Problems

This report from the Keystone Research Institute and Good Jobs First details how the rise in income inequality over the last three decades has fed disinvestment. The rich are paying a much smaller share of their income in taxes, at the same time that states are cutting funding for education and other public services. Taxing the 1% at middle class rates would raise more than $68 billion in revenue; extending tax fairness to the top 20% would raise $128 billion, money that can be invested in schools, infrastructure, health care, and job creation.

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Fair Taxes Now

In Fair Taxes Now, Americans for Tax Fairness presents 40 progressive tax reform and revenue options that would make the tax system fairer and would raise trillions of dollars for education. The report also identifies the tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations that were included in the Trump-GOP 2017 tax law that should be amended or repealed. The report is accompanied by an online calculator allowing users to pair tax reforms with spending options, showing how we can fund public investments.

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Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you work in public service, a government program called Public Service Loan Forgiveness could allow you to have all your Direct federal student loans forgiven, tax-free. Visit for additional information.

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Rebuilding America’s Schools

In 2014, a Department of Education study estimated that it would cost $197 billion to bring all public schools into good condition. School facilities still pose significant health and safety threats to more than 50 million students and 3 million teachers in public schools and too many schools lack access sufficient high-speed digital infrastructure needed to support 21st Century learning.The Rebuild America’s Schools Act would invest $100 billion to create over 1.9 million jobs by addressing critical physical and digital infrastructure needs in schools.

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