Monday, April 18, 2016

The School Funding Map

NPR has released an interactive map which allows you to find out how much money your school district spends on each student. It also allows you to discover how your school district's funding compares to other districts in your state and to the rest of the United States.

The Mapbox created map in the NPR's article on Why America's Schools Have A Money Problem colors each school district based on the level of school spending per student. You can mouse-over a district on the map to discover the dollar amount spent on each student and to see a comparison of the selected district with the other school districts in the state.

The major take away from the accompanying article is that local property taxes have the biggest impact on the level of a school district's spending on education. Schools essentially have three main sources of funding; local money, money from the state and federal funding. The local funding is usually dependent on the levels of local property taxes. If a district has a number of successful businesses contributing a lot of money through property taxes then the school district is more likely to have higher levels of school spending per student.

When viewing the map you should note that each district's school spending is adjusted for 'regional differences in cost of living'. Therefore the figures quoted in the map may differ from the exact amount that a school district spends per student.

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