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  • Do Poor Kids Get Their Fair Share of School Funding?

    In this May 2017 report, the Urban Institute presents new data on the progressivity of school district funding, focusing on the degree to which the average low-income student attends districts that are better funded than districts the average nonpoor student attends. The report finds that many states that have progressive funding formulas on paper do not achieve this goal in practice, and that, in some states, the potential progressivity of school funding is constrained by patterns of student sorting by income.

  • Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card

    Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card is an annual examination of school funding fairness. Currently in its sixth edition, the report measures the fairness of the school finance systems in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The central purpose of the Report Card is to evaluate the extent to which state systems ensure equality of educational opportunity for all children, regardless of background, family income, where they live, or where they attend school.

  • Public Education Funding Mechanisms in Other States

    This research report from the Connecticut General Assembly's Office of Legislative Research examines funding formulas for public education used by other states, and provides several examples. The report uses research from the Education Commission of the States, a nonpartisan organization created by states to track state policy trends, translate academic research, and provide unbiased evidence about education topics. According to the Commission, there are three primary types of public education funding formulas: (1) foundation programs, (2) resource allocation systems, and (3) a hybrid of the two.

  • Dividing Lines - Gated School Districts

    There are over 14,000 school districts across the country. According to this report from EdBuild, many of the 35,000 borders that divide these districts contribute to increasing economic segregation and create barriers to opportunity that is sometimes just out of reach. This occurs in large part because between 40-60 percent of schools’ fortunes depend on property values in the neighborhoods that surround them. According to the report, this reality creates incentives for wealthy areas to wall themselves off from their needy neighbors, keeping their property wealth for their own children’s schools and leaving other communities to fend for themselves. This report highlights examples of these divisions and so-called "island" districts, which are entirely encircled by another district and create barriers to opportunity.

  • Power in Numbers - Cost-Adjusted Revenue, Resource Inequality, and Arbitrary Funding

    In its Power in Numbers series, EdBuild, a national nonprofit that works to create state school funding systems that provide equitable and adequate resources to students and their communities, focuses on the inequities brought about by convoluted state funding systems.

  • Most States Have Cut School Funding, and Some Continue Cutting

    In a survey of state budget documents, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found most states provide less support per student for elementary and secondary schools than before the Great Recession. The survey also found some states have continued cutting funding eight years after the recession took hold.

  • Comparable but Unequal – School Funding Disparities

    In this whitepaper, policy analysts from the Center for American Progress describe why state and district school finance systems perpetuate and compound educational inequities by providing less money to students with the greatest needs. The paper examines the roles of Title 1 and the federal government in education funding, and makes recommendations for how Congress can ensure low-income schools are funded at equal levels with their more affluent counterparts.

  • A Quick Glance at School Finance: A 50 State Survey of School Finance Policies

    Provides state-by-state descriptions of public elementary and secondary finance policies and programs in effect during the 2014-15 school year. The report consists of two volumes. In Volume I are state-by-state descriptions across all school finance components for each state. Volume II contains separate sections for select provisions across all states, including finance formulae and cost differentials for students and districts. Tax and expenditure information is also included in Volume II.

  • The Stealth Inequalities of School Funding: How State and Local School Finance Systems Perpetuate Inequitable Student Spending

    This Center for American Progress report examines school funding inequality from multiple angles, and identifies stealth inequities in school finance, which are defined as often-overlooked features of school funding systems that tend to exacerbate inequities in per-pupil spending rather than reduce them. The report begins by identifying states where combined state and local revenues are systematically lower in higher-poverty districts then goes beyond recent reports on school funding inequities to uncover some nontraditional causes of these imbalances.

  • The Property Tax – School Funding Dilemma

    The report includes a comprehensive review of recent research on both the property tax and school funding, and summarizes case studies of seven states—California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas, the majority of them heavily reliant on property tax revenues to fund schools.