Public School Funding For Public Schools

1217 Words Dec 21st, 2015 5 Pages
Most people believe that students do better in well-funded schools and that public education should provide a level playing field for children. Nearly half of the funding for public schools in the United States, however, is provided through local taxes, generating large differences in funding between wealthy and impoverished communities (National Center for Education Statistics, 2000a). Efforts to reduce these disparities have provoked controversy and resistance. Public school funding the United States comes from federal, state, and local sources, but because nearly half of those funds come from local property taxes, the system generates large funding differences between wealthy and impoverished communities. Such differences exist among states, among school districts within each state, and even among schools within specific districts.
In 1998, for example, the state with the highest average level of public school funding was New Jersey, with an annual funding rate of $8,801 per student, whereas the state with the lowest average level was Utah, with a yearly rate of $3,804 per student. This means that the typical student attending a public school in New Jersey was provided more than twice the fiscal resources allocated to his or her counterpart in Utah. Disparities in per-student funding levels are actually greater within some states than among states as a group. To illustrate, in 1998, public school districts in Alaska that were ranked at the 95th percentile for per-student…
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