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ERIC Number: ED570361
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 29
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card. Fifth Edition
Baker, Bruce; Farrie, Danielle; Luhm, Theresa; Sciarra, David G.
Education Law Center
The National Report Card (NRC) evaluates and compares the extent to which state finance systems ensure equality of educational opportunity for all children, regardless of background, family income, place of residence, or school location. It is designed to provide policymakers, educators, business leaders, parents, and the public at large with information to better understand the fairness of existing state school finance systems and how resources are allocated so problems can be identified and solutions developed. The NRC is unique among comparative school funding reports because it goes beyond simple per pupil calculations. To capture the complex differences among states, the NRC constructs four interrelated fairness measures--Funding Level, Funding Distribution, Effort and Coverage--that allow for comparisons that control for regional differences. The data for this fifth abridged edition of the NRC, published annually since 2008, comes from the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Survey. This is the most recent data available. Major findings include: (1) School funding levels continue to be characterized by wide disparities among states, ranging from a high of $17,331 per pupil in Alaska to a low of $5,746 in Idaho; (2) Many of the lowest funded states, such as Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, North Carolina and Texas, allocate a very low percentage of their states' economic capacity to fund public education; (3) Fourteen states, including Nevada, North Dakota and Illinois, are regressive, providing less funding to school districts with higher concentrations of low-income students; (4) Only a handful of states--Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and Ohio--have generally high funding levels and also provide significantly more funding to districts where student poverty is highest; and (5) Low rankings on school funding fairness correlate to poor state performance on key resource indicators, including less access to early childhood education, noncompetitive wages for teachers, and higher teacher-to-pupil ratios. Appended are: (1) Data and Methodology; (2) Fairness Measures; and (3) Resource Allocation Indicators. [For the fourth edition, see ED570392. For the companion report, "Is School Funding Fair? America's Most Fiscally Disadvantaged School Districts," see ED570415.]
Education Law Center. 60 Park Place Suite 300, Newark, NJ 07102. Tel: 973-624-1815; Fax: 973-624-7339; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: Parents; Policymakers; Teachers; Community
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Law Center; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Graduate School of Education
Identifiers - Location: United States