Facts and Figures About State Education Funding Inequality for Rural Districts

Last Updated: June 25, 2009

This article appeared in the June 2009 Rural Policy Matters.
Question: Which five states have the greatest inequality in per pupil school funding among rural districts?
Answer: Arizona, Idaho, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Ohio have the most inequality in combined state and local revenue per pupil among rural districts (Why Rural Matters, 2007). 
Instructional spending per pupil is below the national average in Arizona, Idaho, and Ohio, and above the national average in Nebraska and Massachusetts. Much of the variation in funding among districts is due to differences in local property wealth that are not equalized in the school finance system.
Similar inequities are explored in Deep Cuts Go Deepest in Poorest Rural Places.
Read more from the June 2009 Rural Policy Matters.