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  • 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—Arbitrary Funding

    EdBuild's report shows what definitions of "equity" and "opportunity" actually mean for each state, highlighting the average per pupil revenue in all districts in the nation. EdBuild's numbers are adjusted for local variations in the cost of living, and are directly comparable across states and across the country. The report finds there is a significant variation in the resources each district has available for their students, and that the nation's poorest districts receive 21 percent less funding than the wealthiest districts.

  • Powers in Numbers—Resource Inequality

    Although the responsibility to provide public education rests with each state, school funding has historically been left up to local communities. This means resources for schools are, to varying degrees, tied to local wealth and invariably leave schools in low-income communities at a disadvantage. When state courts strike down state funding systems, generally, the remedy is that the state must guarantee equal access to education by providing some form of supplemental funding to schools in poorer neighborhoods to compensate for unequal local resources. EdBuild's analysis of school district revenues (adjusted for differences in cost of living around the country) finds that, even after court-ordered equitable funding measures, the majority of states are still failing to fund students in high-poverty districts at a level equal to or higher than their less needy peers.

  • Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card – 5th Edition

    The fifth edition of Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card examines school funding fairness in the midst of a slow economic recovery from the Great Recession. The National Report Card 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.

  • Power in Numbers—Cost-Adjusted Revenue

    The vast majority of education spending statistics are reported without adjustment for the relative cost of living across states. This makes comparisons between states difficult because almost everything related to education finance is tied to local economic conditions. Adjusting for local cost factors allows for a more accurate assessment of a state’s ability to fund schools, and of schools' ability to pay for important things, like teacher salaries. To help put state funding and teacher salaries in context, EdBuild, a national nonprofit that works to create state school funding systems that provide equitable and adequate resources to students and their communities, produced the "Power in Numbers - Cost-Adjusted Revenue" report by aggregating cost-adjusted school funding figures to state averages, and then comparing them to the nominal values usually reported in the media.

  • 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.

  • Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card – 4th Edition

    The fourth edition of Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card examines school funding fairness in the midst of a slow economic recovery from the Great Recession. The National Report Card 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.

  • 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.

  • Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card – 3rd Edition

    The third edition of the National Report Card examines the condition of states’ finance systems as the country emerges from the Great Recession but is still wrestling with its consequences. The National Report Card makes the case for states to take immediate and longer-term action to improve the fairness of their school finance systems and builds on previous analyses to highlight the repercussions of the financial crisis on the fairness of states’ school funding systems. The report presents additional indicators exemplifying how school finance policies affect the distribution of resources across districts, and illustrates the importance of fair school funding as the essential precondition for the delivery of a high-quality education throughout the states.