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Data and Research: School Finance

A vast array of data and research exists to better understand and contextualize education finance, with more coming out every year.

Where Does All That Money Go, and When Does It Matter Most?

  • This Education Week page breaks down why spending has increased so dramatically in recent decades. 
     
  • Curious about where your district receives most of its money?  Look up your district on this page
     
  • States now collect and report information on how districts distribute funding down to the individual school level. That data is available from both the  U.S. Department of Education and Edunomics, a research organization based at Georgetown University.  
     
  • The National Center for Education Statistics collects plenty of school finance data, including how districts distribute their dollars between teacher and administrative salaries, and how much they spend on health care, pensions and operations. 

Does Money Matter? 

Several studies in recent years have concluded that federal, state and local governments don’t spend enough on education and that more money can, in fact, improve academic outcomes.  

  • An overarching study of all the studies can be found here
     
  • Budget cuts matter
     
  • School construction matters
     
  • States’ funding formulas matter
     
  • Teacher salaries matter

School spending can be incredibly complicated. Here are a few organizations that can help you better understand your local context: 

  • State departments of education
     
  • State superintendents’ associations
     
  • State teachers’ associations
     
  • State associations of school budget officers

 

READ MORE ON SCHOOL FINANCE

History and Background: School Finance

How to Cover a School Budget Process