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Visualization: State fiscal effort

Select a state to display trends in fiscal effort for that state and the U.S. average between 2006 and 2020. Fiscal effort measures states’ direct K-12 education spending as a percentage of their total economic capacity, or the size of their “economic pies.” The two graphs represent spending as a percentage of two different measures of states’ economic capacity (both effort measures are highly correlated). The U.S. average in both graphs is unweighted.

Note that fiscal effort is not calculated for Vermont between 2018-2020 due to irregularities in that state’s data. And effort in the District of Columbia (particularly GSP-based effort) should not be compared with that in other states. 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.

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Visualization by 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.