FundED is the first interactive web tool to aggregate and standardize information regarding each state’s education funding laws. The intent of this site is to enable better state-to-state comparisons and provide easy access to detailed information related to the funding policies of all 50 states.
In almost every state, school districts are funded with some consideration of the state’s policy priorities and the cost drivers associated with schooling in each district. Usually, funding starts with a "base amount", which represents the assumed cost of educating an “average” student in any school within the state. Many funding formulas then fund students at levels greater than the base to account for the student and/or community characteristics that are unique to the school districts that they fund. In some cases, however, states fund school districts based on their staff and programs rather than student and/or community demographics.
FundED provides information related to the most common elements of state funding formulas through national maps and state pages, organized by the general categories below. Explore the tool using the navigation bar above to see at-a-glance national maps, detailed state comparisons, and downloadable reports.
The Basics of Funding
There are three general types of state funding formulas: those that appropriate funds based on the characteristics of students; those that fund based on a calculation of resources needed by schools; and those that fund schools based on the programs that they run. Additionally, in almost all cases, the state anticipates a cost-sharing arrangement with local municipalities, under which the state’s contribution to local school districts is determined. In the sections in this category, explore each state’s funding formula overview, its base amount, and the cost-sharing calculations for each state.
Many state formulas take into consideration the costs necessary to educate children with additional needs. Most commonly, English language-learners, students with disabilities, and students from low-income families are funded at levels above the base. Some states also provide additional resources for students in certain grade levels, or those in certain programs, like gifted education and career and technical education. Explore how states consider student characteristics when making funding decisions in the sections in this category.
Often, funding formulas recognize additional resources needed based on the geography of the state and its school districts, and additional resources are provided to school districts serving a small number of students and/or those that are considered “rural” or “remote.” A few states also provide additional funding to school districts based on the concentration of low-income students or families. Explore how states consider community costs in the sections in this category.
On May 20th, EdBuild sent report details to all states contained in this database. To date, 30 states have provided clarifying information, which is reflected here. EdBuild will continue to make updates as feedback is received.