Resource Library

Power in Numbers—Arbitrary Funding

State Funding

With its ruling in San Antonio v. Rodriguez, the U.S. Supreme Court forfeited any responsibility to level the playing field for low-income students, and left their fates to 51 state definitions of “equity” and “opportunity." Today, there are no federal criteria for what constitutes an education, leaving each state to set its own standards and requirements. In some states, education systems must be “thorough and efficient.” In others, they must be “uniform and general.” Still others expect schools to prepare each child to participate in democracy. These different standards create a system in which your home state and community dictate the level of education to which you are entitled.

EdBuild's report shows what these definitions of "equity" and "opportunity" actually mean, 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.


Also tagged under: Equality/Equity National Funding