David Sciarra & Theresa Luhm // April 25, 2018
Understanding state school finance systems is crucial to the national effort to ensure access to high-quality education and to close opportunity and achievement gaps among subgroups of students, particularly those that are low-income. Policymakers, educators, business leaders and parents need better and more reliable information in order to identify problems with those systems, and to devise and implement policy solutions and advocacy strategies that advance school funding fairness. Using equity indicators developed by Dr. Bruce Baker of Rutgers University’s Education Law Center’s (ELC) annual report, Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card, this paper analyzes the school finance systems in eight southern states – Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas – and briefly describes the type of comprehensive advocacy effort needed to ensure that all students have the resources necessary to succeed.