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What is basic education funding?

What is basic education funding (BEF)? At about $6 billion for 2018-19, the basic education funding (BEF) line item represents about 50% of all state funding to school districts, and the revenue can be used to cover a broad spectrum of educational programs. The total amount of BEF provided each year is dependent on the amount approved in the state budget, and the chart below shows how the BEF line item has grown over time. Click on the image link below to view our interactive map detailing total basic education funding over the last 8 years.

While the BEF line item makes up about half of all state funding to school districts, the BEF ratio (a school district's percentage of BEF to total revenue) varies dramatically across school districts. In some school districts, BEF makes up a relatively small percentage of their total revenues, while in other districts, BEF represents one of the largest portions of total revenue. The BEF Ratio represents the degree to which a school district relies on the state's basic education funding to fund its budget.

Check out the map below to see how the 5-year median BEF Ratio stacks up in your school districts.
  • Each of our maps illustrate data relevant to the topic of the day for each school district. You can find the map legend at the top left of your screen after opening the map. 
  • Hover over any school district with your mouse to open a pop-up label providing information associated with that school district.
  • You can filter school districts by locale type (urban, suburban, town, or rural), by intermediate unit, and occasionally by other factors as well.