Funded is an interactive web tool that aggregates and standardizes information regarding each state’s education funding laws. The intent of this site is to provide easy access to detailed policy descriptions and enable clear state-to-state comparisons.
In almost every state, public education is funded based on a formula that calculates how much the state expects each school district to need for the year. FundEd displays information related to the most common elements of state funding formulas on 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.
Key Elements of Funding
There are three main types of state funding formulas: Student-based, calculated based on counts of students (generally and with particular characteristics); resource-based, calculated based on the cost of resources and inputs; and program-based, which provide limited-use funding for particular programs. Student-based formulas include a base amount, representing the cost of educating a student with no special needs or disadvantages before further adjustments are made.
In almost all states, the funding formula includes an expectation that school districts will raise a certain amount through local taxes, with the state providing the remainder. This expected local contribution may be based on a variety of factors, most often local property wealth. Typically, school districts raise this local share from property taxes, but in some states, school districts may impose other types of taxes as well.
Most state funding formulas take into consideration the costs necessary to educate children with additional needs. State funding formulas most commonly provide additional funding for English-language learners, students with disabilities, and students from low-income households. Some states may also provide additional resources for students in certain grade levels, or those in special programs, like gifted education and career and technical education.
Some state funding formulas consider the costs associated with the characteristics of the school districts and the communities they serve, apart from the costs associated with individual students. They may provide additional resources based on the concentration of students in a district from low-income households or based on the smallness or rurality of the district. States also vary in how they fund charter schools, if any.