Do you ever wonder where public schools get the funds they spend on their facilities, curriculum, employees’ salaries, and equipment? Keep on reading to find out!
Overview of US School Types
There are different types of schools in the US, including:
- Virtual or Online
- Special education
- Home education
This article focuses on public schools and where they get their funds since more students attend them rather than private educational institutions.
How Do Public Schools Get Funds?
Public schools are owned or operated by the government. Their students are not required to pay tuition fees. The staff and teachers, who are all licensed and professionals, are also paid by the government. So, where do funds for public schools come from?
The three primary sources of public schools’ funds in the US are the federal, state, and local governments.
The federal government does not directly fund public schools but gives a certain sum to each state to support educational needs. Public schools can refuse to accept the funds from the federal authorities if the state does not participate in a program funded by them.
Programs of the federal government include:
- Title I or the No Child Left Behind Act
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
- Reading First
- Improving Teacher Quality Grants
- English Language Acquisition
Public school funds vary among states because almost half of the finances allotted for the educational system derive from local taxes, which mainly depend on the cost of living. It means that there are funding differences between wealthy and impoverished or poor communities that influence the quality and type of education a state can provide to the students.
Here’s some data from the 2016 Public School Spending Per Student By State:
- Alabama – $9,236
- Alaska – $17,510
- Idaho – $7,157
- New York – $22,366
- Utah – $6,953
Less school funding dramatically affects the school’s overall budget and negatively impacts the students. It’s evident as there are fewer educational programs, too many students per class, and other study-related problems present at public schools with low financial support. That is why some states gather additional funds for their schools from fundraising, state sales, and specialized organizations.
Local governments also contribute to public schools through their taxation systems, the primary source of such funding being local property taxes. There are also programs and competitions where schools and students can gain financial support for the educational institution.
Although there are multiple sources for public schools’ funds, some of them still have to rely on donations, while their staff members take out payday loans, such as those of Payday Depot, to cover their living expenses.
Therefore, providing the public school segment with better funding from the federal, state, and local government is one of the focal points in the US. It is expected to enable educational institutions to give more opportunities for their students to be successful.