Declining expenditures for education

PGL at Econospeak points us to declining expenditures for education:

…Bill McBride has been leading the discussion on state fiscal austerity including this from a few months ago:

the public sector has declined significantly since Mr. Obama took office (down 657,000 jobs). These job losses have mostly been at the state and local level, but more recently at the Federal level … A big question is when the public sector layoffs will end. It appears the cutbacks are over at the state and local levels in the aggregate, but it appears cutbacks at the Federal level have slowed.

If we look at real government purchases at the state and local level, they fell dramatically in the aggregate from 2009 to 2012 but showed a modest turnaround in 2013. But real spending on education continued to fall in 2013. Education is the largest component of state and local budgets followed by public order and transportation. Table 3.15.6 from the BEA provides Real Government Consumption Expenditures and Gross Investment by Function in 2009$. From 2009 to 2012, real purchases on education by state and local governments fell from $820 billion to $771.3 billion, while their combined spending on public order and on transportation from $532 billion to $505.1 billion. The good news is that the latter rose to $517.9 billion in 2013. But spending on education dropped further to $757.5 billion. I am not an expert on what is Constitutional in each state but I do get that cutting education spending is both bad short-run macroeconomics in a still weak economy and horrible for long-term growth.