Funding for schools can be broken down into three broad categories.


Federal Funds

Federal funding is distributed to high-need, high-poverty schools through several different programs. Each program has its own purpose and target group of students, which will determine how funds can be used. Federal funding is distributed in two ways: formula funding and competitive funding. Formula allocations are based on a per-student amount multiplied by the number of students who are eligible. To receive a competitive grant, eligible districts must respond to a Request for Proposal and describe in detail how they would use the grant funding.

A brief overview of key federal funding sources is provided below. For more information click on the links to each program’s funding page:

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State Funds

The bulk of education funding is provided through state funds. States raise money through income tax, sales tax, and other means, then distribute funding to districts based on a funding formula. Some states may distribute additional funds through competitive grants. For more information on education funding in your state, see the map below.

clickable USA map Rhode Island Delaware District of Columbia

Foundation Funds

Many private foundations are interested in funding projects related to education. Most foundations distribute their funds to schools and districts through a competitive grant process. For questions about how to apply for foundation grants and to receive our free Guide to Foundation Funding, please contact the Pearson Grants Team.


Available Funding

Use the links below to search for open grant competitions:

  • - Comprehensive site for all federal funding opportunities.
  • The Foundation Center - Information organized by name, state, or philanthropic interest.
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