FINANCING FOR EQUITY
1. Overall Education Financing Mechanisms
2. Policies and Programmes to Provide Resources to Schools
3. Education Policies and Programmes to Provide Resources to Sudents and Families
4. Social Policies and Programmes to Provide Resources to Students and their Families
While there is no federal constitutional right to education, the constitution leaves the responsibility for K-12 education with the states. Each state stipulates the range of age for which education is compulsory and free, over an age range starting between five and eight and ending between ages sixteen and eighteen.
In 2016, states provided the largest share of funding for public education in the United States (47%), surpassing the total local government share of funding (45%)—including local property tax revenues- and the federal revenue (8%). According to the Education Commission, funding of schools depends on different formulas assigned by the state. Thirty-nine of the states use the Foundation Formula (including California, Florida, Texas), in which districts receive a base amount of funding per student with additional money or weights added to meet the needs of high-need student populations. Eight states use a Resource Allocation Model. For example, the state would provide funding for a prescribed number of teaching positions based on student counts. The rest use a combination of both or another formula. Twenty-two states have established a base amount of spending per student. All the states have a special education and an English language learner funding. All but eight states also consider at-risk funding for low-income students. There is no data for the overall amount of aid these schools receive through the Foundation Aid formula nationally, but for the New York state the aid amounted to US$ 20.1 billion for 2016-2017, approximately (representing 30% of the NY state education spending for 2016).
In 2014, education expenditure represented 4.96% of GDP. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, total expenditure for public elementary and secondary schools in 2015–16 amounted to US$706 billion (in constant 2017–18 dollars). In 2019 families with children in elementary school through high school planned to spend an average of $697 for the beginning of the school year (totaling $26.2bn). This amount includes clothing, shoes, and accessories, electronics, and notebooks, pencils, backpacks, and lunch boxes.
Non-compulsory education, which includes higher education, is not free. In 2013–14, postsecondary institutions received US$77.3 billion in federal funding, including federal appropriations, contracts, and grants. In 2013–14, 59% (US$45.8 billion) of the federal funds provided by these and other federal sources went to 120 public and private institutions.
The Department's equal access mission provides a set of programs, including the Title I program of Federal aid to disadvantaged children and children in high-poverty schools. Title 1 eligible schools are schools in which the percentage of children from low-income families is at least 35%. In 2014/2015, 69 531 schools or 70% of the 98 373 schools operating in 18 260 school districts, were classified as “Title 1 eligible”. School-wide Title 1 eligible schools are those with at least 40% of children from low-income families in the school. In 2014/2015, 54 623 schools (55%) fell under this category. Title 1 is the largest federal K-12 program and provides over US$ 13billion to local districts, representing 2.2% of public school system funding in 2014.
The US. Department of Education has 54 programs for Local education agencies (LEAs), but some are currently not active. LEA is a commonly used term for a school district, an entity which operates local public primary and secondary schools in the United States. Some examples of programs targeted at vulnerable populations:
For schools in remote or rural areas.
The 2010 Blueprint for Reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act commits to allocating grants to rural districts through the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP). REAP authorizes formula grants through two subprograms: The Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program provides grants directly to LEAs and the Rural Low-Income School (RLIS) program provides grants to states, which then award subgrants to LEAs. The program’s budget appropriation was 179.193 million US$ for fiscal year 2012. The SRSA had a funding status of US$ 90.4m, (0.14% of the total public education expenditure of US$ 63 billion) in 2018 and grants a maximum of US$ 60,000 per local education agency. The RLIS program had a funding status of US$87.9 million (0.13% of total public education expenditure of US$ 69 billion) in 2017 and gave US$84m (0.12% of total public education expenditure of US$ 71 billion) in awards in 2014.
Special Education: The 1975 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), reauthorized in 2004, assists states and local schools in educating children with disabilities. Under IDEA, grants to States provide over US$ 11billion to states and local schools to assist their efforts. The Special Education-Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities had a funding status of US$54.3million (0.08% of total public education expenditure of US$ 69billion) in 2017; the Special Education--Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities had a funding status of US$83.7million (0.12% of total public education expenditure) in the same year; and the Special Education--Technical Assistance on State Data Collection--IDEA General Supervision Enhancement Grant had a funding status of US$ 25million (0.05% of total public education expenditure of US$ 50billion) in 2011.
There are several policies and programs providing resources to students and families, according to different characteristics. The 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), as a start, aims to meet the educational needs of disadvantaged students.
However, according to the US Department of Education, the department has few grants that individuals can apply directly, since grants are awarded to institutions themselves, that then award funds to individuals.
At a higher education level, in addition to the US$3.3 billion in gift aid that is awarded by private sources, the Federal Student Aid Office of the Department of Education provides more than US$120 billion in grant, work-study, and loan funds each year to help pay for college or career school of students with financial needs, defined as “the difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at a school and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)”. Some of their programs are as follows.
Grants, such as the Pell Grants (awarded to students with a total family income of below US$25,000, for a maximum of US$ 5,920), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.
Aid from the State Government. Students can get financial assistance from the state. As an example, in California, US$1,750 was spent per student, in Florida, US$440, and in Texas, US$1,235. Each state has a series of programs aimed at providing resources to students. For example, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has several Grants and Scholarships (State and Federal Grants and Scholarships, College for All Texans, Loan Forgiveness Programs, Exemptions, and others).
The Child Tax Credit (CTC) provides a credit of up to US$2,000 per child under age 17 from low-income households. If the credit exceeds taxes owed, families may receive up to US$1,400 per child as a refund. Other dependents—including children ages 17–18 and full-time college students ages 19–24 in school at least five months of the year —can receive a nonrefundable credit of up to US$500 each. The CTC total spending amounted to US$55 billion, and benefitted nearly 26 million families.