State Taxpayer-Funded Education: Finding the Facts Quickly

In summary, the conversation discusses the process of finding out how much of the actual cost of attending a state school is paid for by state taxpayers. It is suggested to look at the budget or audit report of the university, keeping in mind the distinction between operating and capital funding. The conversation also mentions the Canadian and American government's contributions to operating costs. The link to the university's financial report is provided, which lists state and federal grants as "nonoperational revenue" and explains the concept of appropriations. The conversation ends with a reminder to be mindful of capital expenditures and deferred maintenance when looking at a university's financial situation.
  • #1
KingNothing
881
4
Hello all. I go to a state school and would like to know how much of the actual cost has been paid for by the state taxpayers.

Is there a way to find this out without tracing tons of government documents?
 
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  • #2
Compare it to your out of state tuition perhaps?
 
  • #3
Being a public institution, you should be able to find the budget or an audit report for your university. This should have (projected in the case of the budget) expense and revenues, including tuition, donations, hotdog sales, etc.

Now here's the tricky part: if your university is like mine, there are some high-profile donors that give not-inconsiderable donations. However, their dollars go into capital funding (for new buildings, new extensions, statues, etc.) rather than operating funding (salaries, maintenance, photocopying, utilities, etc.) And you can't borrow from Carl to pay Ollie (capital for operating). And sometimes their dollars force an increase in operating funding from general revenues because you suddenly have new buildings to take care of.

So keep that distinction (capital vs. operating vs. sometimes research) in mind when you're reading through the document, and that you're looking at two or three separate budgets that just happen to be reported simultaneously in the same place.

I'm given to understand that for every undergrad dollar that comes in for operating costs, us Canadians have the provincial government chipping in $3 to $10. For you Americans, the ratio used to be the same, but is now flipped around (again, from what I understand).
 
  • #4
MATLABdude said:
Being a public institution, you should be able to find the budget or an audit report for your university. This should have (projected in the case of the budget) expense and revenues, including tuition, donations, hotdog sales, etc.

Thanks! With this information, I found our report. It is here: http://www.stcloudstate.edu/adminaffairs/documents/FinalSCSUfinancialstatementsFy10.pdf

Page 20 lists state and federal grants as "nonoperational revenue". Are these the numbers I am looking for? Also, what are "appropriations"?
 
  • #5
KingNothing said:
Thanks! With this information, I found our report. It is here: http://www.stcloudstate.edu/adminaffairs/documents/FinalSCSUfinancialstatementsFy10.pdf

Page 20 lists state and federal grants as "nonoperational revenue". Are these the numbers I am looking for? Also, what are "appropriations"?

That's probably the money you're looking for: it's not student tuition, fees, restricted payments (which I'd guess are either faculty- or program-specific tuition) or the ever-popular 'other'. Appropriations would probably be state appropriations (from the state budget) for the university. That differs from grants which are usually for very specific purposes (probably research).

These sorts of documents are usually quite illuminating. Interesting that you guys actually had a surplus (more with depreciation) but those capital expenditures and "deferred maintenance" have a nasty habit of piling up awfully quickly.
 

Related to State Taxpayer-Funded Education: Finding the Facts Quickly

1. What is the purpose of state taxpayer-funded education?

The purpose of state taxpayer-funded education is to provide quality education to all students living in a particular state, regardless of their socio-economic background. This ensures that every child has access to education and can develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in life.

2. How is state taxpayer-funded education different from other forms of education?

State taxpayer-funded education is different from other forms of education in that it is funded by the state government using tax dollars collected from residents. This means that it is a publicly funded and regulated system, as opposed to private education which is funded by tuition fees and operates independently.

3. What are some examples of state taxpayer-funded education?

Examples of state taxpayer-funded education include public schools, charter schools, and state universities and colleges. These institutions are funded by the state government and provide education to students at little to no cost.

4. How are decisions made about the allocation of state taxpayer funds for education?

Decisions about the allocation of state taxpayer funds for education are typically made by the state government through the legislative process. This involves creating a budget and determining how much funding will be allocated to different education programs and institutions.

5. How can I find information about the funding and performance of state taxpayer-funded education?

Information about the funding and performance of state taxpayer-funded education can be found through various sources such as state government websites, education department websites, and educational data websites. Additionally, reports and audits may also be available that provide detailed information on the use and effectiveness of state taxpayer funds for education.

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