Education Week’s new searchable database can give you insights into just how recession-proof a district will be as budget cuts affect schools.
The new tool (embedded below) looks closely at the extent to which districts depend on state aid. That’s an important indicator of how school systems will withstand a steep downturn, according to reporting by Daarel Burnette II.
Of the 12,000 districts in the database, nearly half—5,400—rely on state aid for at least 50 percent of their funding, putting them in the high-risk category.
Beyond that, another 600 school systems are 75-100 percent reliant on state aid, putting them at severe risk.
For example, the 639,330-student Los Angeles Unified district is at high risk, with a 65 percent state-aid share. Looking at a very different kind of district, the 6,700-student East Stroudsburg Area School District, in Pennsylvania, is at moderate risk of budget cuts because 26 percent of its funding is coming from the state.
A search for “Cleveland” in the database produces 12 results, from districts in Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and other states.
Ten of them are at high risk of budget cuts, while two—the 39,400-student Cleveland Municipal and 5,350-student Cleveland Heights-University Heights City, both in Ohio—face moderate risk.
District leaders often tell EdWeek Market Brief that they expect companies to “do their homework” about districts before approaching administrators with a pitch about how their new product or service fits the school system’s needs.
This tool could help them understand the budgetary constraints those systems are likely to face in the near future, and beyond.