Rural Schools in Georgia Respond to State Budget Cuts


Georgia has been cutting funds to its public schools. Since 2003, according to Rural Policy Matters, the state's K-12 schools have lost $1.4 billion in state funds. Schools responded by raising property taxes (and cutting programs) and so the local share of education costs has more than doubled since the mid-'80s.

Shifting funding to local property taxes has "put a particular squeeze on many rural districts, especially those with high poverty levels and those with little ability to generate local revenue because of low property wealth," according to RPM. In 2004, 48 rural districts filed suit against the state, claiming the funding system violated state law. That case is set to go to trial in the fall.

There is a sales-tax-for-property-tax swap being proposed, according to RPM. And the Georgia governor keeps cutting. The RPM article has plenty of links where you can learn more about the Georgia school funding crisis.