Sunday, March 15, 2015

Unequal Funding, Unequal Education

In class this week, we discussed a lot about how Illinois schools are funded and how affluent schools are unfairly spending more per student than the schools in impoverished areas, who if anything, need even more funding. According to Mr. Bolos' presentation, Chicago Public Schools spend approximately $13,791 per student per year, while in contrast, New Trier, a school in an affluent area, spends $21,372 per student. This weekend, I came across an article that explained this discrepancy is not only apparent in Illinois. In fact, the funding is even more unbalanced in other states.

Right now, 23 states spend more money on affluent schools than areas of high poverty. While this is still less than fifty percent, this number is expected to rise. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan explained that the No Child Left Behind Act, which "expanded the federal role in public education through annual testing, annual academic progress, report cards, teacher qualifications, and funding changes," is actually giving more money to affluent districts.

This map explains the difference between the funding affluent schools receive in contrast with the funding high-poverty schools receive. States with a negative percentage (red, orange and yellow) provide more funding to affluent schools.

According to Mr. Bolos' percentages, New Trier spends $7,581 more on its students compared to CPS, a poorer district. This discrepancy is already far too large, but shockingly, it is not even the state with the largest funding discrepancy. Pennsylvania, a state I used to live in, has an appalling difference in the funding. The districts with a high poverty rate receive 33 percent less state and local funding than the affluent schools. Most schools get the majority of their funding from state and local, for only a small percentage comes from federal funding. Because these schools receive one-third less of what an affluent school receives in terms of state and local funding, the school is left with not enough money to provide a quality education to children who need it the most. There are far too many states on the map colored red, orange, and yellow, and it is time to erase the funding discrepancy and paint the United States map all one shade - a shade of equality.

No comments:

Post a Comment