The state of Nebraska provides funds to local school districts through a funding formula that has changed little since 1990. The formula’s core components calculate estimated resources and estimated needs for each district, with the state funding any difference. In this brief, we describe how the formula works and calculate how it distributes funding across districts that differ in their mix of student poverty rates, student race or ethnicity, and school urbanicity. We then draw on an interactive calculator tool to estimate how changes to the funding formula would affect funding for different kinds of school districts and at what cost to the state. A key finding is that changes in funding parameters often do not translate into substantial changes in relative funding for different students, along the lines of students’ poverty status, race or ethnicity, or school urbanicity.
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