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Why state funding for education matters

August 29, 2017
Flynn Ross
Bangor Daily News

State funding for education was at the heart of the state government shutdownin July. Quality public education for all students is essential for workforce development, the economy, and the future for Maine. State funding is the key to ensuring that all students across the state have equitable access to quality schools.

Investment in education is well documented to be a key factor in economic development. Quality pre-kindergarten programs have a 13 percent rate of return in increased lifetime earnings and decreased social welfare costs, including incarceration and health care. Yet in 2013, a bipartisan, independent analysis of Maine education funding, called the Picus report, determined that Maine is underfunding education by $260 million a year. The U.S. House proposes for the 2018 budget $2.4 billion in cuts from education with nearly $10 million from Maine.