June 3, 2022

More than 30 million American school children are deprived of the resources they need to succeed in the classroom. The federal government underfunds K-12 public schools by nearly $150 billion annually, according to a study released in 2020 by The Century Foundation (TCF).

Where Are the Largest Funding Gaps Per Student?

Zeroscaping involves replacing most of your property’s plant life with gravel and dirt.  

  • Southwest and southeast states have the most significant funding gaps per pupil.
  • The biggest funding gap per pupil is in Arizona ($7,020), followed by Nevada ($6,693) and California ($6,089).
  • California, Texas, and Florida have aggregate gaps exceeding $10 billion. Their total enrollment exceeds 14 million.
  • Following the Great Recession, the government cut public education funding significantly in many states with the most significant funding gaps.
  • Following the Great Recession, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Florida, and Arizona implemented the most extensive state-wide cuts to public education. These four states rank among the ten worst for funding gaps per student.

Education Funding Gaps

education funding gaps

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Based on 2016 reading and math assessments for grades three and four, TCF's national cost model estimated what it would cost per pupil for each school district to reach national average outcomes. The study accounted for varied geographic contexts and schools serving different student populations. (e.g., high-poverty districts must spend more to achieve the same results.)

Then, TCF compared the 2020 cost targets with the most recent available district-level spending data (2017). Districts where 2020 cost estimates exceeded 2017 spending had a "funding gap" (7,224 nationwide). Conversely, those districts with 2020 cost estimates less than 2017 actual spending do not have a funding gap (5,8065 districts nationwide).

Based on the district's 2017 enrollment, TCF calculated the total funding gap for a given school district by multiplying the per-pupil gap by the school district's funding gap.

Smart Rain's Initiative to Combat School Underfunding

Tackling this issue is no easy task. Many have debated where the funds should come from to address this deficit. One potential option is to redirect the dollars spent on landscape watering at schools and districts to the students and teachers.  

In a given month, a single school can use millions of gallons of water, and thousands of dollars on their water bill.

This year, with their Smart Rain for Smart Kids initiative, Smart Rain is committed to helping 100,000 schools nationwide to install free smart irrigation SmartController™. We anticipate this resulting in a 30%+ water bill cut every year. On average, this will result in $7.5K in savings that can be re-allocated to the classroom.

Follow Smart Rain on social media to stay up to date with the Smart Rain for Smart Kids Program.

Are you an educator or district level official? Get a demo to see if your school is a good fit for a free smart irrigation system.

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