RELEASE: CAP Releases Bold New Plan To Significantly Increase and Improve the Equity of Federal Investments in Public Education

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a report outlining a new proposal to significantly scale and improve the equity of federal investments in public education. The report comes as the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis have created budget shortfalls for many state and local governments, which may lead to new cuts to public education when many states haven’t even reversed funding cuts made during the Great Recession.

The report proposes establishing Public Education Opportunity Grants, which would inject an additional $63.4 billion into America’s public schools annually—providing eligible districts with an additional $12,330 for each student living in poverty. The program would also target the distribution of these investments by directing the funds to the highest-poverty districts; provide incentives for states and districts to improve their funding systems; and require eligible districts to conduct equity audits in order to identify gaps in opportunity for Black, Indigenous, and other non-Black people of color (BIPOC) students, students from low-income families, students with disabilities, and English language learners.

In addition to this framework, the report makes a detailed case for increasing the federal government’s role in funding public education, explains why money matters in education, and advocates for a better and more equitable targeting of resources—including across states and even within districts.

“Every student in America deserves to attend a high-quality, well-resourced public school, but our inequitable school funding system means far too many students don’t have that chance,” said Scott Sargrad, vice president of K-12 Education Policy at CAP. “The federal government can and must do more. Public Education Opportunity Grants would narrow gaps in opportunity that shortchange BIPOC students and students from low-income families and threaten to get worse because of the current economic crisis.”

Please click here to read “Public Education Opportunity Grants: Increasing Funding and Equity in Federal K-12 Education Investments” by Scott Sargrad, Lisette Partelow, Jessica Yin, and Khalilah M. Harris.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202-741-6292.