The ECS brief notes that the applications provide assurance that the state will: (1) fund both its K-12 schools and institutions of higher education at or above FY 2005-06 levels, and (2) identify how much of the stabilization funds it will expend in FY 2008-09, FY 2009-10 and FY 2010-11.
Here are the results:
- FRONT-LOADING OF FUNDS - "States are allowed to use their Education Stabilization Funding starting this fiscal year (FY 2008-09) through fall 2011. The expectation was that states would spend some of their funds to finish out this fiscal year but would use the bulk of funds in FY 2009-10 and FY 2010-11. However, these first nine states have greatly front-loaded their spending. On average, the nine states are spending 55.0% of their Educational Stabilization Funds to complete FY 2008-09." The states of California, Illinois, Oregon and Utah will have spent down all of their stabilization funds and will have none remaining by FY 2010-11; on the other end of the spectrum, the state of Mississippi will reserve 52% of its funding for FY 2010-11.
- K-12 FAVORED OVER HIGHER ED - "Over the past three years states have spent an averaged 76.9% of education funding on K-12 programs and 23.1% on higher education. While the average expenditures from the nine states with approved applications hews close to traditional expenditures (80.1% on K-12 and 19.9% to Higher Ed), each of the nine states planned expenditures varies greatly." Wisconsin would spend all of its stabilization funding on K-12, while neighboring Minnesota will spend 38% of its funding on higher education.