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Quick Statistics on K-12 Educational Funding in America

K-12 funding in America has always been an important topic of discussion in the country, but the past three years have really brought the issue to the forefront. For a public school, funding is often sparse, especially when it comes to any sort of special requirement like we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So what does the K-12 public education funding gap landscape look like in 2023 and what can we expect from the future? These interesting education statistics will give you some good insight into K-12 educational funding in America and how it ties into student achievement. 

School spending post-stimulus

During the most difficult times brought on by the pandemic, the United States offered additional school funding to public schools in the form of a stimulus. Initially, in 2020, $13.5 billion came from The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The federal government has also shifted in response to changing external factors, like the economy and pandemic. 

In 2022, the Biden-⁠Harris Administration launched a national effort to support student success, which continued to leverage the American Rescue Plan to assist students and the school district. The main issues that persisted were widening learning loss gaps and students still struggling to keep up. 

After the influx of educational funding brought on by the stimulus, school districts have a limited window of time to spend the money. However, in 2023, congress approved additional funds. For example, this fiscal year brings a bigger budget for “Title I programs in high-poverty schools, special education, and community schools, with the U.S. Department of Education’s pre-K-12 portion of $45 billion equaling a 5.6% increase over last year’s spending allocation.”

So how are schools using these funds to boost their preparedness? Here are some quick examples

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Cleaning and sanitation materials.
  • Supplies to maintain school operations during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Programs that support remote learning for all students. 
  • Focusing some school funding on disadvantaged or at-risk students.

As K-12 education continues to evolve and respond to shifting requirements, The U.S. Department of Education is boosting budgets by $35 million for spending projects to help them do so.  

Educational funding sources

The U.S. Department of Education offers grants, like the pell grant, that can be taken advantage of. Here are some great examples: 

Discretionary Grants Information

  • Find Grant Programs by Eligibility: who can apply for what.
  • Application Information.
  • Online Applications.

Other Grant Information

  • IES funding: funding opportunities from ED’s Institute for Education Sciences.
  • federal government grant competitions.
  • A-Z list of all programs.
  • Grantmaking at ED: a summary of ED’s discretionary grant process.
  • Training and Risk Management Tools.

In some cases, a school district must tap into local funding sources that are tailored to their needs more specifically. Reach out to the state board and county education departments to learn more about local funding opportunities, financial aid, and options. 

Aside from national and government-based funding options, there are private sources that can give a school district and teachers a bigger spending budget to assist students. This supplemental funding isn’t always easy to obtain. Read our blog “Opportunities to Supplement Services with Federal Funding in the State of the K-12 Industry” to learn more. 


Funding student outcomes

The way that school districts are able to optimize the budget that they are given ultimately impacts student performance and outcomes. Here are some examples that the Learning Policy Institute lists as positive outcomes of additional funding: 


  • Smaller class sizes because there can be more educators. 
  • Additional educational support and tools. 
  • Early childhood programs. 
  • Better teacher pay to boost retention. 
  • Programs to close learning gaps. 

However, there are challenges that prevent schools from obtaining sufficient budgets. This includes economic downturn, slower revenue and government incomes, the state of the labor market, and inflation. 

Making the case for funding student education

Even if someone has no immediate connection to the K-12 education system, most Americans can agree that educational funding is inherently valuable. Here are some key points to help paint a clear picture of the value of increasing budgets for school districts across the nation: 

  • High-quality summer learning and enrichment are made possible. 
  • More tutoring programs to help struggling students. 
  • Increased availability of after-school programs.

The federal government is also pushing for additional legislation and campaigns for the continued support of education in the country. Here are a few ways that K-12 teachers and lower education can take advantage of government programs: 

  • National Parents and Families Engagement Council. 
  • Best Practices Clearinghouse campaign.
  • Recruiting 250,000 new tutors through National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS).
  • AmeriCorps programs.

The future is still somewhat uncertain, and school districts need to be aware and on their toes to react to the changing external environment. 

Are you ready to learn more about how to sell appropriately to educators? Then reach out to Agile Education today. 

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