How Members Are Prioritizing School Finance in 2019
December 11, 2018

2019 Outlook

Advocates across the Network continue to engage on school finance issues in large numbers, with 28 members naming school finance as a priority in the upcoming year. In 2019, school finance advocates will push to improve distribution of funding to schools, raise funding levels, and improve fiscal transparency at the school and district level. Click here to explore the full 2019 Network Member Priorities overview.

Key Takeaways

  • Funding formula changes are primarily focused on increasing equity in the system by providing more money for students from low-income backgrounds.
  • Given that many states cut education funding after the last recession, a few advocates are pushing to increase the amount of money in the system overall.
  • A few advocates, such as A for Arizona and Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, are focusing specifically on the link between funding and academic results.

State Snapshot

Twenty-nine PIE Network members in 17 states and D.C. are planning to prioritize school finance issues in 2019.

Member Engagement

Below, you’ll see lists of member organizations who plan to work on similar school finance policies. If you’re interested in connecting with any of the organizations listed below, ask Lukas for an introduction.

Formulas & Distribution of Funding

  • AZ A for Arizona: Modernize the K-12 funding formula
  • AZ A for Arizona: Enhance results-based funding for high performing, low-income schools
  • DE DelawareCAN: Reform the school funding formula to account for student poverty and ELL students while providing increased flexibility
  • FL Foundation for Florida’s Future: Create a weighted cost factor for low-income students
  • ID Bluum: Support efforts to replace the current average daily attendance education funding formula with a weighted student funding formula
  • IL Advance Illinois: Contribute analysis, expertise, and thought partnership in order to increase equity and align early childhood, K-12, and post-secondary funding systems
  • IL Advance Illinois: Continue to advocate for evidence-based funding and defend against changes that decrease equity
  • MA Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education: Leverage new funding to close achievement and skills gaps
  • MA Stand for Children Massachusetts: Fair school funding
  • MA Teach Plus Massachusetts: Support increased and more equitable school funding
  • MI The Education Trust-Midwest: Improve funding equity
  • NC NorthCarolinaCAN: Require school systems to follow federal guidelines on federal funding and state funding in order to direct funds to students who need it most
  • NM NewMexicoKidsCAN: Ensure expanded education funding benefits kids who need it most
  • OH Thomas B. Fordham Institute-Ohio: Influence discussions around Ohio’s school funding formula to drive more dollars to low-income students
  • TN Campaign for School Equity: Support new state policy that ensures Memphis schools receive funding as determined by a needs-based weighted formula
  • TN Tennessee Charter School Center: Provide support to initial efforts to restructure and improve state funding formula
  • WA Democrats for Education Reform Washington: K-12 system financial reforms that focus more resources based on student need
  • WA League of Education Voters: Create fair access to local levy resources for districts receiving state assistance
  • Multiple States Foundation for Excellence in Education: Enact student-centered funding policies, including those that better align funding with college and career policy goals, public and private choice programs and next generation learning opportunities; with emphasis in states like FL, GA, ID, IN, OH, OK, TN

Increased Funding

  • AZ Expect More Arizona: Provide stable, long-term investments in education to help accelerate toward our shared Progress Meter goals, including funding that will support teachers and post-secondary education
  • AZ Stand for Children Arizona: Support legislative budget or ballot referral to increase all school funding
  • CA The Education Trust-West: Increase per-pupil spending to an adequate level
  • DC FOCUS: Increase overall per-pupil funding to support all students
  • IL Teach Plus Illinois: Add $450 million to the funding formula
  • IL Stand for Children Illinois: Increase funding for the new school funding formula by at least $350 million
  • OR: Stand for Children Oregon: Fully fund Measure 98 at $300 million for the 2019-21 biennium


  • DE Rodel Foundation: Increase funding system transparency and lay groundwork for legislation to update funding system
  • GA Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education: Conduct a cost assessment of best practices related to the cost of student outcomes related to all student subgroups
  • ID Bluum: Promote transparency in school funding and student achievement
  • MA Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education: Provide transparency in how districts deploy their funding across schools and across spending categories

Local Funding

  • CA GO Public Schools: Advocate for the Oakland board to make difficult but necessary fiscal decisions to stay solvent
  • DC PAVE: Increase transparency in our citywide school funding
  • TN Stand for Children Tennessee: Community campaign focused on driving additional resources from city to youth investments

Expertise on this Issue

Advocates from across the Network have offered to thought partner on the following issues within this policy area:


Click here to explore the full 2019 Network Member Priorities overview.

    PIE Network

    PIE Network supports and promotes a network of education advocacy organizations working to improve K-12 education in their states so that every student graduates world-ready.

    Leave a response

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *