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Visualization: Equal opportunity (adequacy by district poverty)


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 table to the right of the graph expresses the bar graph in terms of percentages—i.e., the percentage difference between actual and adequate spending by district poverty quintile. The difference (in percentage points) between adequacy in the highest- and lowest poverty quintiles is each state’s “equal opportunity gap” in a given year. The five district poverty groups are measured with U.S. Census poverty data, and are defined as state-by-state quintiles. 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


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