Public school funding is unfair and unequal in most states. However, more concerning is out of the 49 million children in public schools, students living in poverty are affected the most. There are wide disparities in the amount spent on public education across the country, from a high of $18,507 per pupil in New York, to a low of $6,369 in Idaho (Baker, Sciarra, & Farrie, 2015). The question that all stakeholders should be asking is school funding fair?
This meaning that the poorer the people within the neighbor the poorer the school districts will be. Although this case shed some light, it failed under the federal Equal Protection analysis because education was not a “fundamental right” recognized by the Constitution and because the educationally disadvantaged poor did not constitute a “suspect classification.” The Court refused to overturn the school finance system on grounds of inequality. Equally notable, this case “virtually abdicated any role for the federal courts in guaranteeing educational rights under the Federal Constitution,” leaving future plaintiffs “to state courts and constitutions for the change they seek (www.schoolfunding.com).”
America’s school system and student population remains segregated, by race and class. The inequalities that exist in schools today result from more than just poorly managed schools; they reflect the racial and socioeconomic inequities of society as a whole. Most of the problems of schools boil down to either racism in and outside the school or financial disparity between wealthy and poor school districts. Because schools receive funding through local property taxes, low-income communities start at an economic disadvantage. Less funding means fewer resources, lower quality instruction and curricula, and little to no community involvement. Even when low-income schools manage to find adequate funding, the money doesn’t solve all the school’s
In Savage Inequalities, Jonathan Kozol documents the troubling inequalities within American public school systems and their various districts. Thus focusing on the “savage inequalities” between highly privileged districts and poor districts within these public school systems. From the time period of 1988 to 1990, Jonathan Kozol visited various public schools in multiple neighborhoods, including East St. Louis, the Bronx, Chicago, Harlem, Jersey City, and San Antonio. Throughout the chapters, Kozol describes horrendous conditions within these schools and questions the students, faculty, and staff members regarding their reflection of the current school’s maintenance, teachers’ salary and availability, and student’s deteriorating curriculum.
Jonathan Kozol’s book, Savage Inequalities, is a passionate testament to the shortcomings of the public education system in the United states. Kozol visits some of the most impoverished school districts in East St. Louis, Chicago, New York, Camden, and San Antonio. He identifies characteristic among all of these schools to include a high percentage of dropouts, a population of almost entirely non-white students, an infrastructure in disrepair, a startling lack of basic supplies, a shortage of teachers, and an excess of students. Kozol also visits schools in the vicinity that are in stark contrast to the poorest schools. They have an abundance of supplies, space, funds, AP curriculum, extra-curricular activities, and teachers. These schools were also predominantly white. Kozol explores reasons for these differences between neighboring schools and finds that those who are in a position to initiate change are largely apathetic to the inequalities.
The American system has undergone several commendable reforms in the past. However, some factors still remain wanting and in need of more aggressive action to address. The unequal distribution of funds for schools has been a practice thought to be one that suits all schools. To the contrary, this method of fund distribution has raised other pertinent issues that suggest it should be revised. There is also concern over the large student-teacher ratio at these learning institutions, which lead to very large class sizes. Education policies governing states concerning the maximum class size are common in the American K – 12 education system. The introduction of standardized release of funds to schools and the lowering of
America’s public school system is failing, teachers are not being paid enough. Children are not being equipped with the tools they need at home to thrive in school. I must ask the question, is the public school system tearing our youth apart? The post below shows two pencils broken, one at the point and one at the eraser. When you write anything down on a piece of paper you are creating something new, when you erase you are taking something away. We send our children to school with hopes they learn something new. We hope that they are safe, that they are being taught things we as parents cannot teach them. The poster suggests that our current education system is breaking children down and leading them into paths of the unknown.
Education reform, the goal of changing public education for the better, has been an idea in the minds of officials and parents since the 1800’s. There have been many effortful attempts to create effective school reform, however, many of them do not address major social issues such as poverty which must be dealt with. Although many reforms have changed our country, none have brought the amount of change necessary to make our schools fit to fairly and thoroughly educate each and every student.
With landmark Supreme Court decisions in regards to education such as Brown v Board of Education, which made segregation within schools illegal, one would be inclined to believe that modern schools are void of any inequality. However, at a deeper glance, it is apparent that there is a glaring inequality within public school systems at the national, statewide, and even district-wide level. Such an inequality has drastic results as the education one receives has a high correlation to the college they will attend, and the job they will work. It is in society's best interest that public school systems be improved to equally supplement students with the tools necessary to succeed. While the public school system aims to reduce the inequality within it, they have proven ineffective in guaranteeing children of all races and economic classes an equal education.
In 2012, America’s education system was ranked slightly below average in a PISA global test, and since then, not a lot has changed. Today, America still ranks behind the world’s most developed countries in math, science and reading. The government needs to find an effective approach to improving this system so that American students can compete with other students from advanced countries in this competitive world. Yet, there is inequality in our education system and there is a gap dividing our students based on where they reside geographically, as well as their financial and racial backgrounds. On top of that, schools in these disadvantaged areas are getting hit the hardest with overcrowding which puts more strain on school infrastructure.
I concur with Congress that “[equity justifies federal support for high-quality public schools” (House Report 111-100, 2009 sec. 3). Since Congress has highlighted the importance of federal investment in public school buildings (House Report 111–100, 2009), the Green High-Performing Public Schools Facilities Act (H.R. 3021) has enacted policies by which states can set higher values for low-income schools and the populations of minority children who attend
American students aren’t developing as many science, math or language skills as students in other countries. When American students took a two hour test it showed how they did compared to their peers from around the world and the results were disappointing. While U.S. schools struggled to reach even an average score on a key international exam for 15 year olds in 2012, BASIS Tucson North, an economically modest, ethnically diverse charter school in Arizona, outperformed every country in the world, and left even Shanghai, China’s academic gem in the dust (Kronholz). The problem isn’t the students because they’re as smart as those students in different countries but the problem is our public school system. Our students need the skills and
Scott High School is located in a lower social class area and the school lacks in proper equipment, friendly environment, and adequate AP courses. Bowsher High School is located in a high social class area and the school provides a very positive experience for students, including state of the art faculties and additional amenities. To analyze these findings using Robert Terry's White Male Club framework, I determined that the people who are able to go to school at Bowsher High School have better access to societal resources than those who shop at Scoot High. The resources are not equitably distributed, as the quality and conditions of each store varied greatly. Bowsher High School most definitely had a higher quality education and design than Scott High School. Government and sponsors who choose where to locate their stores based on demographic data hold power. They may look at demographic data and choose to open the great schools in a higher social class area to attract what they deem to be a higher quality of clientele. The people in each social class area have no true influence on where school maybe placed. Additionally, those who can marshal resources to accomplish a goal are often those with money and access to resources. According the (Martin In Class Hand Out 2017) The Foundation Plan, demonstrates that Ohio’s School Funding negatively affect the schools by “…establishing a minimal level or foundation to be spent by each school district on each student and requires that each local community establish a certain tax rate then spend a set amount per student.” The Plan also ensure that “regardless of wealth or poverty of a community, the state will provide funds for minimal educational services and each jurisdiction pays minimal tax rate with state providing the difference.” In addition it is very telling that the area around Scott is primarily made up of African Americans,
In today’s economic environment even the wealthiest states and districts are having to cut funding for education, while districts which were already teetering on the edge are now in an even worse position. In some schools children have to face not having enough books, paper for copies, severe overcrowding,
But what fundamental necessities do rich schools posses that money could provide for poor schools? Besides the obvious needs of the extremely needy schools: repairs to the building (proper plumbing, roofing and walls to name a few) and basic supplies (such as books, paper, computers and laboratory tools), the school also needs money in less obvious areas. With more money at its disposal a school can purchase more space and teachers. It has been proven that students learn better (and teachers can teach better) when the class size is limited to under twenty-four. This is not possible without financing for a larger school and more teachers to accommodate all the students. A school with larger funds also has the capability to choose better administrators and faculty from a greater selection (they are not limited to those applicants in lower pay brackets). In the case of a Canton Middle School in Baltimore an excellent principle made all the difference. He even made the news, for TIME magazine wrote that "One man gets the credit for Canton's current condition: school principle Craig Spilman ... Last month, for example, Canton reported that its students had tripled the rate at which they passed a battery of state school-performance tests" (TIME 1997).