Fair school funding systems ensure that districts, schools, and ultimately students receive significant additional funding according to their specific needs. Providing high-quality learning opportunities for students living in poverty, English learners, students with disabilities, and rural students requires additional resources.

According to The Education Trust’s State of Funding Equity, in Georgia:

  • The highest poverty districts receive $702 or 5.7% more state and local revenue than the lowest poverty districts.
  • The districts serving the most students of color receive $489 or 3.8% more state and local revenue per student than the districts serving the fewest students of color.
  • The districts serving the most English learners receive $635 or 4.8% less state and local revenue per student than the districts serving the fewest English learners.

For more information about how these data compare with other states or district specific information, see The Education Trust’s State of Funding Equity report.

Learn more about
how Georgia
funds students

Learn more about how GA funds students

According to EdBuild, “Georgia has a hybrid funding formula incorporating both resource-based and student-based elements. The formula determines the cost of delivering education to a student with no special needs or services based on the per-student cost associated with high school general education programs in the state, which it uses as a base amount, and provides increased funding to educate specific categories of students. The categories of students considered in Georgia’s funding policy are students in certain grade levels, English-language learners, students with disabilities, students identified as gifted, students enrolled in career and technical education programs, and students enrolled in small districts.” Additionally, Georgia does not have any specific and dedicated state funding for students in poverty.

The Education Law Center’s 2023 Making the Grade Report rated Georgia’s school funding:

  • D on per-pupil funding relative to the national average.
  • B on the percentage difference in per-pupil funding in high-poverty districts relative to low-poverty districts.
  • C on the PK-12 funding as a percentage of state GDP.


Student Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity, 2021-22

Per-Pupil Expenditures, Fiscal Year 2021




Per-Pupil Expenditures

How fair is
Georgia’s Funding?

Using criteria developed based on research, best practice, and what we believe, we provide ratings for Georgia below. Our goal is for states to build a simplified, student-weighted funding formula guided by students’ different levels of need with the goals of eliminating achievement and opportunity gaps. We aim for states to create adequate, equitable, and transparent formulas that provide clear dollar allocations by assigning additional “weights” for students from low-income families, English learners, students with disabilities, and rural students.

For more on how we determined our ratings for Georgia click here.

See our ratings across states, an explanation of the criteria we used to differentiate between state funding systems, and explanations of our specific state rankings here.

Meets Criteria
Partially Meets Criteria
Doesn’t Meet Criteria
RatingReason for Rating
The funding formula is
student-based, or weighted
The formula is a hybrid model
Per-pupil funding is adequate enough for all students to achieve average, national test scores
There is high percentage of students attending schools in inadequately funded districts
Formula includes a weight or additional funding for students living in poverty
The formula does not include a weight for poverty
Formula includes a weight or additional funding for
English learners
The formula includes a 158% weight for English learners
Formula includes a weight or additional funding for students
with disabilities
The formula includes multiple SPED weights based on 5 specific disability categories
Formula includes a weight or additional funding for sparse and/or isolated districts
The state provides additional funding for some small school districts through a grant program, instead of providing a per-student weight
Formula includes weights or additional funding for districts with high levels of concentrated poverty
The formula does not include a weight for concentrated poverty
State caps how much local revenue districts can raise to limit between-district disparities in local revenue
The formula sets a cap on local property tax rates and sets a level at which voters can vote to increase property taxes
State annually publishes information about how the funding system is designed to work in clear, plain language
There is no publicly available document from the department of education that explains how the funding formula works or how allocations are determined; there is a broken link to what would be a primer on how the state funds public schools
State reports school spending data in alignment with equity-oriented principles
The state reports are partially aligned with equity-oriented school spending reporting principles
Taxpayer funds are used to maintain and support public
schools exclusively
The state has a voucher program for students with disabilities
Sources: EdBuild

Who’s Who

in Georgia

The Georgia General Assembly is the state legislature of Georgia. The General Assembly is a bicameral legislature. The House of Representatives has 180 members and the Senate has 56 members. The Georgia House of Representatives has a standing committee on Education and the Senate has a standing Education and Youth committee. In 2024, the legislature will convene January 8, 2024 and will run for no more than 40 legislative days.

State Superintendent of Education
The State School Superintendent in Georgia is an elected position. The State School Superintendent is the administrative head of the Georgia Department of Education, which oversees the state’s PK-12 education system. Elections for the State School Superintendent are every four years and are partisan.

State Board of Education
The Georgia Board of Education is composed of representatives from each of Georgia’s 14 congressional districts, appointed by the Governor with consent of the state Senate for seven-year terms.