elementary and secondary education spending is less than 5 percent of the total, while in other states it is higher than 16 percent. As an overall share of the total federal budget, federal spending on elementary and secondary education programs through the U.S. Department of Education account for less than 3 percent of the total federal budget. In the annual appropriations process, elementary and secondary education funding accounts for about 5 percent of discretionary funding across all federal programs. State Funding States rely primarily on income and sales taxes to fund elementary and secondary education. State legislatures generally determine the level and distribution of funding, following different rules and procedures depending on the state. State funding for elementary and secondary education is generally distributed by formula. Many states use funding formulas that provide funding based on the number of pupils in a district. Some formulas are weighted based on different factors such as the number of students with disabilities, the number of students living in poverty, or the number of students for whom English is a second language. The allocation for students with different types of needs can vary significantly depending on the funding formula. Additionally, in some states the formula is designed so that higher poverty school districts with less access to local funding receive additional assistance. The share of total education funding provided by the state government differs from state to state. In some states the state share is as high as 86 percent, while in others it is as low as 31 percent. States that rely heavily on local property taxes instead of state funding to fund elementary and secondary education, often have larger funding disparities between school districts in the state. Local Funding Property taxes support most of the funding that local government provides for education. Local governments collect taxes from residential and commercial properties as a direct revenue source for the local school district. Wealthier, property-rich localities have the ability to collect more in property taxes. Having more resources to draw from enables the district to keep tax rates low while still providing adequate funding to their local school districts. Poorer communities with less of a property tax base may have higher tax rates, but still raise less funding to support the local school district. This can often mean that children that live in low-income communities with the highest needs go to schools with the least resources, the least qualified teachers, and substandard school facilities. Funding Disparities There are large disparities
in the amount of funding that schools receive which create differences in educational opportunity. The funding disparities can be broken down into three main areas: 1. Interstate disparity – School finance inequities among different states There are significant differences in education funding across different states. For example, in the 2008-09 school year, New Jersey spent $16,271 per student while Utah spent
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- Winter '18
- Mack Morehead