Funded: State Policy Analysis

A Detailed Look at Each State's Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
Georgia
Funding Basics
Formula Type

Georgia has a hybrid funding formula incorporating both resource-based and student-based elements.

The state determines the cost of delivering education to a student with no special needs or services based on the per-student cost associated with high school general education programs in the state. This cost is then used as a base amount.  The state accounts for the additional cost of educating specific categories of students both by applying multipliers to the base amount to generate supplemental funding for certain students and through program-specific allocations.

The categories of students generating supplemental funding in Georgia are students in certain grade levels, English language learners, students with disabilities, students identified as gifted, students enrolled in career and technical education programs, and students in sparsely populated districts.

source(s):

Source 1
Source 2
Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-18

Base Amount

Georgia has a fixed base funding amount per student. For FY2016, the per-student base amount was $2,463.78.

This means that an average student with no special needs or disadvantages would be funded at that level.

source(s):

Source 1

Expected Local Share

Georgia expects school districts to contribute revenue to the funding of public schools. The amount each district is expected to raise for its education costs is based on its property values: each district is expected to contribute at least $5.00 for every thousand dollars of assessed local property wealth (minus certain exempted property) for the purpose of funding its schools. The state calculates the total amount of funding necessary to educate students within a district and subtracts the expected local contribution and provides the difference in the form of state education aid. However, school districts in Georgia that choose to do so may raise more, though not less, money locally than the expected amount.

For districts in which a tax rate of $5.00 per thousand dollars of assessed local property wealth would generate 20% or more of the amount calculated by the state to be necessary to educate the students within the district, the amount of the expected local share is adjusted using a formula that takes into account the property values of all districts in the state.

Separate from each district’s expected local contribution, the state provides grants to certain districts meant to compensate for low property values. Districts eligible for these grants are those with below-average rate of property valuation per student; property tax rates above those required by law and above a certain minimum level set in statute (12 mills in FY2016, and scheduled to rise in subsequent years).

source(s):

Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-164 and § 20-2-165

Student Characteristics
Grade Level

Georgia provides different amounts of funding for students in different grade levels.  It does so by applying multipliers to the base per-pupil amount for students in four different grade spans: the base amount is multiplied by 1.6532 for students in kindergarten; by 1.2859 for students in grades 1-3; by 1.0358 for students in grades 4-5; and by 1.0281 for students in grades 6-8 (the multiplier is increased to 1.1317 for students attending schools using a particular, state-approved model). Students in grades 9-12 are funded at the base amount.

The state also provides additional program-based allocations to support students who are struggling academically, and these allocations differ by grade level. First, the state applies multipliers to the base amount for students enrolled in the Early Intervention Program. This multiplier is 2.0382 for kindergarten students, 1.7955 for students in grades 1-3, and 1.7892 for students in grades 4-6. Second, the state applies a multiplier of 1.3099 to the base amount for students in a remedial education program; this funding is available only for students in grades 6-12 with identified deficiencies in reading, writing, or math.

source(s):

Source 1
Source 2

English-Language Learner

Georgia provides increased funding for English language learners. It does so by applying a multiplier of 2.5096 to the base per-pupil amount for these students.

All students enrolled in programs teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages are eligible to receive this supplemental funding.

source(s):

Source 1

Student Poverty

Georgia does not provide increased funding for students from low-income households.

Special Education

Georgia funds special education using a multiple student weights system, providing different levels of funding for different categories of students. Students are assigned to 5 different categories based mostly on their specific disabilities.

Specifically, students are assigned to either one of four weighted categories based on their particular disabilities and the proportion of the school day during which they receive services for those disabilities, or to a fifth category for students receiving services in the general education setting. The state provides supplemental funding for students in these categories by applying different multipliers to the per-student base amount. The multipliers range from 2.3828 to 5.7624, depending on the specifics of the student’s diagnosis and education plan.

The remainder of state special education funding is distributed through specific program-based allocations, including grants for services for certain students with emotional and behavioral disorders; a scholarship program for special-needs students to attend participating private schools; funding for teachers in state-operated facilities; support for residential placements and for reintegration services after such a placement; and grant funding for services to students with very high-cost, low-incidence disabilities.

Gifted

Georgia provides additional resources for gifted and talented students. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.6609 to the base per-pupil amount for these students.

Students enrolled in a program implementing an approved gifted and talented model are eligible for this funding. The state considers gifted students to be a distinct category of students with special needs and distributes the money as part of its special education funding system.

source(s):

Source 1
Source 2

Career and Technical Education

Georgia provides specific funding for career and technical education programs. It does so by applying a multiplier of 1.1907 to the base per-pupil amount for students enrolled in these programs.

Students generating this supplemental funding are those high school students enrolled in state-approved career, technical, and agricultural education courses in which they spend a minimum of 25% of instructional time in hands-on activities and for which equipment and materials costs are at least 50% higher than they would be for a general education class; students in vocational cooperative work programs and work-based learning programs; and students dually enrolled in high school and postsecondary vocational courses.

Community Characteristics
District Poverty

Georgia does not provide increased funding based on the concentration of students from low-income households in a particular district.

Sparsity and/or Small Size

Georgia provides increased funding for small districts in the form of a supplemental grant.

Qualifying school districts are those that are unable to offer educational programs and services comparable to those typically offered in the state because the school district serves fewer than 3,300 full-time-equivalent students, and that are not good candidates for merger with other school systems.

The amount of the grant is the cost of the resources needed for the district to offer the educational programs and services that it would otherwise be unable to provide.

source(s):

Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-18