Education Law Center

States with the greatest funding effort for K-12 education

Jan. 28, 2020
A report from the Education Law Center measures which states provide the highest percentage of their wealth to supporting K-12 schools.

Vermont is the state that provides the greatest funding effort to K-12 education, according to the Education Law Center.

In a report, “Making the Grade 2019: How Fair is School Funding in Your State?” the center analyzed the combined state and local revenue provided through each state’s school finance formula in 2016-17, adjusted to account for regional variations in labor market costs.

The report defines funding effort as the percentage of state wealth or gross domestic product allocated to support the K-12 school system.

Funding effort in 2016-17 ranged from 7.03% in Vermont to 2.52% in Arizona. The national average for K-12 funding effort is 3.79%, the report says.

The center says it compiled the data “as a tool to inform policymakers, business and community leaders, teachers, parents and students about the condition of public school funding in their state.”

Here are the 10 states with the highest K-12 funding effort:

State                            Funding effort

Vermont                      7.03%

New Jersey                 5.39%

Maine                          4.78%

Wyoming                    4.74%

New York                    4.73%

Connecticut                4.53%

Illinois                          4.50%

South Carolina           4.45%

West Virginia              4.43%

Pennsylvania              4.41%

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