Sunday, April 3, 2016

Show Me the Money: A Guest Post on Funding Schools in "Post-Racial" America

by Dan Bruno and Katherine Rose

This is Dan welcoming you all to view the guest post below by Katherine Rose. Ms. Katherine Rose writes for Topmastersineducation.com and adores creating articles and graphics on different aspects of scholarships, financial aid, and career related things. The article, also by Ms. Rose, that the guest post is about can be found here.


The 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling stated that it was not in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause for schools to be funded by local taxation. This of course leads schools in more affluent locations to gain more funding, whereas those in locations where there are less businesses get less funding. As of 2013, most schools have a majority of minority students, making public schools appear segregated. Nationally, two thirds of students of color are in schools where more than 50% are from low income households. Also, more than half of low income students are from the South.

Since 1968 when the Civil Rights Act was signed, there seem to have been a 24.3% increased segregation in the Latino students from their White student counterparts. In 2015, the separation appears to be more class based, and in 2014 SC Supreme Court pointed out the disparities between high and low funded schools calling the low funded minority majority schools “educational ghettos”. According to the latest data, 46% of states are still using local taxes for school funding. Essentially, class based resegregation has led to the problem of unequal funding.

With less money, there comes more problems and a creation of a school-to-prison pipeline. According to data collected from Civil Rights Data Collection in 2014, black students are three times more likely to face suspension versus their white student counterparts. Even in schools which are not minority dominant, black or latino students are more likely to face harsher punishments than their fellow white students, with additional accusations of insubordination or having a poor attitude. Also, lesser qualified teachers are often able to find work in high-poverty districts and are more likely to turn students over to law enforcement for punishment rather than be able to deal with it themselves. Due to violent crimes taking place in schools, having police on campus is now common, many have School Resource Officers on payroll. These all lead to schools being ran similarly to prisons in order to keep students safe. However it it also said to increase the school-to-prison pipeline. It’s even been noticed that the disciplinary sheets, race by race, for schools resemble the statistics for prison demographics.

It’s obvious that a reform in funding is needed to make schools more equal for students of any race. Currently about 25% of states have ongoing litigation in order to reform how schools are funded in order to address some of these issues. While statistically overall our nation has come a long way with how much we spend on students and improved graduation rates, we still have a long way to go to assure fair and equal education for all American students.

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