Visualization: revenue progressivity

Select a state and year (2002-2018) to display a graph summarizing the progressivity (or “fairness”) of state and local revenue to public K-12 schools. The three bars in the graph represent, for a given state in a given year, the percent difference in state and local revenue between:

  1. Low (10%) poverty districts and zero poverty districts;
  2. Medium (20%) poverty districts and zero poverty districts;
  3. High (30%) poverty districts and zero poverty districts.

Negative numbers indicate regressive funding (low/ medium/ high poverty districts receive less revenue than zero poverty districts), whereas positive numbers indicate progressive funding (low/ medium/ high poverty districts receive more revenue than zero poverty districts). As indicated in the colored bar above the graph, values within a few percentage points of zero might be regarded as neither progressive nor regressive. District poverty is measured with U.S. Census data, and the revenue estimates used in these comparisons also control for district labor market costs, population density, and district size, all of which affect the value of the education dollar. Note that the state menu does not include Alaska, due to its extremely volatile progressivity estimates (data for Alaska are available in the full dataset).

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. To convert the visualization to a PDF or graphic, use the download button at the bottom.

Visualization by Lauren Schneider

Latest News


March 2021: New database of spending adequacy in over 12,000 districts. Read the accompanying research brief, view profiles of individual districts, or download the full dataset.

Latest Annual Report

The Adequacy and Fairness of State School Finance Systems

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

Latest Research Briefs

BRIEF: The Adequacy of School District Spending in the U.S.

Key findings on the adequacy of school district spending from our new District Cost Database for the 2017-18 school year. Published March 2021. Read the report.