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State Budgets Recovering, but Tough Times Await

More data emerged yesterday that suggests that states are recovering from the "Great Recession" and the deep and lingering downturn that followed.

Tax revenues for the most recent recorded quarter were up 2.2 percent compared to a year earlier, which marked the fifth straight quarter of growth, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales, income and corporate tax collections also increased, though property taxes declined slightly.

For K-12 districts, however, it will probably be some time before happy days are here again. Many financial experts have said it could be several years before state and local revenues return to pre-recession levels. In addition, states and schools, in trying to protect jobs and programs, stand at the precipice of the "funding cliff," when federal economic-stimulus aid is expected to run out.

Evidence of the tough times ahead for schools can be seen in the budgets being proposed by governors and lawmakers around the country, which are freezing or in some cases proposing deep cuts for K-12.

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