The BBC reports that protecting schools from real-terms cuts in England would mean spending the equivalent of an extra penny on the basic rate of income tax, says the Institute of Fiscal Studies.
The financial think tank says maintaining funding at current levels would mean raising spending by £3.7bn.
Head teachers have been warning of job losses from budget shortages.
But Luke Sibieta of the IFS says: “A promise to protect schools from cuts will not come cheap.”
School funding has been an election battleground – with opposition parties highlighting budget shortages.
Mr Sibieta says preventing this funding gap would mean a penny on income tax or 3% of the NHS budget in England.
He says it would cost £2bn to protect per pupil spending in the next four years and another £1.7bn to cover additional costs facing schools – representing a 10% increase in the school budget.
But head teachers, protesting about inadequate budgets, have published their own research into job losses caused by funding cuts.
Heads in more than 700 schools say more than 3,400 posts have already had to be closed, including more than 1,000 teachers.
The heads in 14 counties, across the south and east of England, issued a joint statement: “Head teachers have been warning of an impending crisis in their schools. The crisis is no longer expected, it is under way.”
In these schools, 1,107 teaching posts together with those of 1,488 teaching assistants and 820 administrative and support staff have been lost.
West Sussex head teacher Jules White, who has co-ordinated a campaign on school funding shortages, said: “It is clear that devastating cuts to staffing and educational provision are occurring in thousands of schools across the country.
Would the UK be willing to accept a 1p income tax increase to give the nations children a better education? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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