Visualization: State spending adequacy

Select a state and year (2009-2019) from the menu below. For each district poverty level, the graph will display two bars:

  1. Required (or adequate) spending per pupil (blue bars): cost model estimates of how much the state would have to spend for its students to achieve national average test scores, by district poverty quintile;
  2. Actual spending per pupil (teal bars): how much that state actually spends, by district poverty quintile.

The difference between actual and required spending, at each (U.S. Census) poverty level, is our primary measure of state spending adequacy. The five district poverty groups are defined as state-by-state quintiles (e.g., the “lowest poverty” group is the 20 percent lowest poverty districts in each state, “low poverty” is 20-40th percentile, and so on). Adequacy estimates are not available for Hawaii (as the state consists of a single government-run district), or for Vermont between 2017-2019 (due to data irregularities). For more information on these measures, see our State Indicators Database user’s guide and our annual report. You can also download the full dataset.

Visualization by Bilan Jama, Emilee O’Brien, and Lauren Schneider

Latest News


February 2022: Evaluate K-12 funding adequacy for 12,000 districts between 2009-19. Download the full dataset or see results for your district with the DCD data visualization tool.

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The fourth edition of our annual report presenting findings on effort, adequacy, and progressivity in state school finance systems. Published December 2021. Read the report.

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