NEPC Review: Equal Is Not Good Enough: An Analysis of School Funding Equity Across the U.S. and Within Each State (Education Trust, December 2022) and Balancing Act: How States Can Address Local Wealth Inequity in Education Finance (Bellwether, December 2022)
The fair and adequate funding of schools is at the center of reports from Education Trust and Bellwether. The Education Trust reports focus on the extent to which states and local districts target sufficient resources fairly to students by race, language status and poverty. Policymakers can use these publications to understand which states (and which districts within those states) have the most work to do to improve racial inequality in education funding. In contrast, the Bellwether report focuses on how state finance systems rely on and regulate local property taxes. It contains a collection of state school funding profiles from six states; however, it lacks empirical analyses that link its recommended property tax policies to improved school funding equity or revenue stability. Lacking such analyses, the Bellwether report can provide no useful, validated guidance for policymakers.