October 8, 2018 – The interactive infographic below has been updated to correct for a data error and now reflects accurate values.
Last week, Civitas Policy Director, Bob Luebke, answered an important question: Do North Carolina schools shortchange poor students?
Luebke points to a common misconception that schools in low-income areas receive less funding than schools in higher-income areas. He clarifies that state and federal funding formulas aimed at helping disadvantaged students prevent this from happening.
State funding accounts for about two-thirds of the average school district budget. Such a high percentage helps to minimize the variations among districts whose main source of revenue is the property tax. In addition, higher spending levels among low income districts are also tied to funding formulas designed to aid poor districts.”
Practically, this translates to a system where school districts in lower-income counties tend to receive more money per pupil on average than those in higher income areas.
We can view this relationship by comparing per pupil expenditures in each district to the per capita income of the county. Want to know where your local school district falls on the distribution? Check out the interactive infographic below to learn more.