Chapter 2.1


2.1 - How are school districts financed?

School districts are complex, multimillion dollar operations that require, in most cases, hundreds of staff, multiple buildings, a fleet of buses, food service programs and nearly around-the-clock operations. How do school districts finance their operations? There are three main sources of revenue that fund school district operations: state, federal and local revenue. A fourth source of revenue, designated as "Other," includes financial transactions such as sales of bonds, transfers from other funds and proceeds of refinanced debt, all of which typically occur within a single fiscal year. In the aggregate, the shares of state, local, federal and other revenue for school districts in 2018-19 are illustrated in the graph below.

When looking at individual school districts, the amount of revenue from each source—and the extent that the school district has to rely on the other sources—is unique to each and every school district in the commonwealth.

Click on the map below to explore total revenues for individual school districts with data on total revenue dollar amounts and total revenue per student.