How Does Our School Funding Compare?

Would you like to see how school funding compares across states and across the country? NPR explores the question of why some schools get so much while others get so little. Meanwhile, Illinois is at a budget stalemate which affects all schoolsin the state.

A group from NPR wrote this piece about school funding:

Important Points

  • The achievement gap between this nation’s wealthiest and poorest students is growing dramatically, not shrinking.
  • School funding is extremely complicated, though it comes from three sources (varies by state) 45 percent local money, 45 percent from the state and 10 percent federal.
  • The problem with a school-funding system that relies so heavily on local property taxes is straightforward: Property values vary a lot from neighborhood to neighborhood, district to district.  To help poorer schools compensate for local imbalance, some states step in to make up the difference (but not all states do that.)
  • 13 states are defending themselves in school-funding lawsuits. Plaintiffs argue that any school-funding system that depends on local property tax revenue is fundamentally unfair to poorer districts.
  • Across the country, schools in low-wealth districts face tough choices. Not only do they struggle to raise money locally, but many saw drastic cuts in state funding during and after the Great Recession.  To make ends meet, drastic cuts were made.
  • Some schools are eliminating Fridays and going to a 4 day week to save on staffing and bus costs

Interactive Map Shows How Districts Spend (Per Pupil)

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