PROJECTUnderstanding School District Funding

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    Do Poor Kids Get Their Fair Share of School Funding?
    Although most states have funding formulas designed to target districts that serve low-income students, many formulas don’t achieve this goal in practice. In some states, the potential progressivity of school formulas is limited by how districts are defined.

    Making Sense of State School Funding Policy
    School funding policy is complicated, both because of the ways policies are designed and because districts can respond in ways that might counteract state policymakers’ goals. This report provides an overview of how state school funding policy works, including how states measure student and district needs, how funding formulas divide responsibility between state and local revenue sources, and how different parts of funding policy interact.

    Local responses to education funding formulas may force incremental change
    Blog Post
    Because education funding is determined by both states and local education agencies, states that want to change their formulas need to consider how localities will respond.

    District size affects estimates of equity in K–12 funding, but better measures may be on the way
    Blog Post
    When evaluating the equity of K–12 funding, researchers typically rely on school district–level funding data. We look at what would happen if we compared funding on the county level and find this can affect progressivity in some states.

    How do states send dollars to low-income students?
    Blog Post
    Because school district funding can have significant effects on student outcomes, it is important to understand whether education funding formulas actually allocate more money to districts with more low-income students. A look at four states’ formulas finds that the share of low-income students and district funding are more strongly correlated in urban areas than in rural areas.

    Research Areas Education
    Policy Centers Center on Education Data and Policy