School leaders, national and state policy makers, and other education stakeholders now can tap into a new online, interactive database to find out how the nation spends the estimated $350 billion earmarked each year for education. The Education Finance Database, produced by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), is a free web resource that allows users to learn about and compare each state’s educational finance system. Using the online database, school officials can answer questions such as: How many states collect local sales taxes for education purposes? Which states fund education with lottery revenues? How many states had school finance litigation last year? Which states spent the most on school technology, or special education, or other issues? The web site is available in two different formats to accommodate slower internet connections. The Flash version is more dynamic and allows for more advanced queries. It features an interactive map of the United States, and when you scroll across the various states, the map shows their per-pupil spending and enrollment figures. For queries, when you scroll over the different search terms, the map lights up accordingly. For instance, if 14 states use lottery revenues to fund education, when you scroll over the words “lottery revenue,” those 14 states would appear highlighted. You can also click on each highlighted state for more information.

http://www.ncsl.org/programs/educ/ed_finance/intro.htm