Examines differences in per-pupil school funding among states, inequities among districts within states, and their implications. Calls for a progressive fiscal equity measure that would encourage state school financing reform.
- Observation: States should employ progressive school finance systems so districts with higher percentages of low-income children receive more resources than those with fewer low-income children.
- Observation: A useful fiscal equity measure should express the relative level of funding inequity in a state, adjust for local cost differences and include weights for extra student needs, capture whether or not a state's school finance system is progressive or regressive (providing more or less funding to districts with a high percentage of low-income children), and be relatively simple to use and explain.b
- Observation: The federal government could play a role in incentivizing states to create more progressive school finance systems.
- Challenge: Many states are not fairly funding their school districts.