Comparing Local, State and Federal Funding 2 Essay Example

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Comparing Local, State and Federal Funding

The growing gap in the labour markets and the fluctuations experienced in the economy impact the education system significantly. As a result, the government aims at establishing a sustainable and reliable funding system that will ensure public schools are presented with equal opportunities to overcome challenges arising from a changing economy. The main objective of these funds is to ensure that there is sufficient staff, resources and an effective support system within a given state or district that will ensure the curriculum system is well covered and effectively delivered to learners (Barton and Coley, 2009).

According to the National Centre for Education Statistics (2013) every year the US government allocates approximately $550 billion to fund public elementary and secondary education in every state in America with each school district receiving $10,658. However, the amount spent by each state differs depending on the students, school districts and the curriculum programs. Notably, the three levels of government, local, state and federal all take part in funding education programs, whereby the state and local governments contribute 44% of the funds required whereas the federal government contributes 12% of all direct expenses (National Centre for Education Statistics, 2013).

The federal government provides financial aid for elementary and secondary schools with the monies allocated annually by congress members. The federal government closely works with the department of education to ensure that every state receives an equal amount of financial support for primary and secondary education curriculums. Additionally, the federal government work with other federal agencies that are related to primary and secondary education that support youth empowerment through quality education such as the department of labour. With such partnerships, the federal government is certain that education funding programs receive the required amount of financial aid it needs to offer quality and effective educational programs in every state (Kirsch et al. 2007).

State governments, provide state funding for educational programs by the monies acquired through income and sales taxes. Kirsch et al (2007) argue that in order to provide appropriate funds for district schools, state officials follow a specific procedure that match up to the level of distribution of educational resources and opportunities in a given state. These procedure will vary depending on the system of allocation used by the state funding. According to National Centre for Education Statistics (2013) there are different technique used by state officials to fund educational programs which vary depending on the number of pupils and number of disadvantaged learners in a district. Therefore state funding is allocated depending on the different needs of students in a given district. Nonetheless, state funding mainly focus on district schools that are under privileged and require more financial and resource assistance.

Local governments support educational programs through funds collected from property taxes. According to Hammond (2010) local funds allocated to school districts, are direct revenues that the local officials have gathered from property and commercial revenues. As a result, localities with abundant resources are more empowered since their properties are taxed low, in turn their school districts are able to receive maximum financial support. Additionally, communities that are poverty stricken tend to receive high tax rates, which are still not adequate enough to fund educational programs hence the school districts in these areas have less resources and poor quality education system. Hammond (2010) further affirm that districts that mainly rely on local funds, face more challenges when it comes to school resources, quality of education and financial support.

The Research Department (2014) argue that the funding system in Minnesota, aims at providing sufficient funds for public schools that cater for a large group learners who require special attention. According to Barton & Coley (2009) schools with a high number of students living in poverty, first time English Language speakers and those with special needs, are entitled to a wide range of resources and financial aid so as to implement an effective system for learners. Therefore, Minnesota outsources public funds from the local, state and federal governing bodies so as to support quality educational system and sustainable programs for learners. Hammond (2010) affirm that the government’s commitment to fund public schools, provides students with equal opportunities to thrive in the world and the economy as responsible citizens through quality education.

Public elementary and secondary education funds in Minnesota has influenced how district and charter schools operate. State and local governments have partnered with public schools within the state to form a financial aid system that facilitates equality in education through student enrolment, resource allocation and expenditure levels. According to the Research Department (2014) the state fund offers immense support for educational programs in Minnesota by regulating the overall education proceeds which ensure that there is adequate financial assistance to run current expenses that public schools in the area encounter. The state officials that advocate for this money, ensure that special education and disadvantaged communities around district schools in Minnesota receive adequate financial and resource aid as well as relief on property tax.


The efforts by federal, state and local funds to promote equal and quality education programs for learners has been focused on mainly improving public education in different states. The financial aid provided by these three arms of the government continue to provide sustainable strategies that facilitate adequate resources for all learners in different states and district schools. Minnesota State has mainly benefitted from these funds, as the legislators pay more attention to special needs among learners in district schools. This has ensured that students and schools are more equipped to overcome learning challenges arising from poor resources and lack of proper financial assistance.


Barton, P. and Coley, R. (2009). Parsing the Achievement Gap II, Policy Information Report, Policy Information Center, Educational Testing Service.

Hammond, D. L. (2010). Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine our Future, Teachers College Press.

Kirsch, I., Braun, H., Yamamoto, K. and Sum, A. (2007). America’s Perfect Storm: Three Forces Changing Our Nation’s Future, Policy Information Report, Policy Information Center, Educational Testing Service.

National Centre for Education Statistics, (2013). Public Elementary and Secondary Schools. Retrieved From: <>

The Research Department, (2014). Minnesota School Finance; a Guide for Legislator. House Research Department.