Sponsor Logos - The Albert Shanker Institute, University of Miami's School of Education and Human Development, and Rutgers

Visualization: Equal opportunity (adequacy by district poverty)

Select a state and year (2009-2020) 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 2017-2020 (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.

Note: if you get an “unexpected error” message when attempting to load the Tableau visualization, try enabling third party cookies in your web browser.

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

Latest News


December 2022: Read the fifth edition of our annual report summarizing the national K-12 school finance situation, check out your state’s one-page profile, or download the full dataset.

Latest Annual Report

The Adequacy and Fairness of State School Finance Systems (fifth edition)

The fifth edition of our annual report presenting findings on effort, statewide adequacy, and equal opportunity in state school finance systems. Published December 2022.

Latest Research Briefs

State K-12 School Finance Profiles (2019-20 school year)

One-page profiles summarizing the most recent key results on K-12 effort, statewide adequacy, and equal opportunity for all 50 states and D.C. Download your state’s profile.