Flat Grants

Flat grants provide a fixed amount of funding per pupil to each school district in the state. This funding is not

based on the locality’s fiscal capacity. Most states do not use flat grants as the primary vehicle for distributing

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funds to localities because they provide low funding levels and increase inequities as it allows extra local

funding. Some states have constitutional requirements for state funding regardless of the locality’s capacity or

position to fund education. For example, California’s constitution requires $120 of state funding per pupil to

each locality—regardless of the locality’s fiscal position.18 Virginia’s constitution requires that regardless of the

locality’s capacity, the wealthiest localities must fund 80% of state standards (but may fund more). By

comparison, the poorest Virginia locality, Lee County, must fund 17% of the state standards while the state

funds 83% of state standards.19 In other words, California funds $120 per pupil regardless of capacity, and

Virginia funds 20% of the required standards for the wealthiest localities.