A new study by the Education Law Center documents the economic inequality in public funding for education. Education Weekly notes:
About four-fifths of the states evaluated by the authors received a “C” grade or lower on the extent to which they “progressively” fund education—or channel greater resources to poorer, rather than wealthier, districts.
Here in Oregon we’ve received a “C.” According to the study Oregon schools enrolling students with the highest levels of student poverty receive a few hundred dollars more per pupil than the statewide school funding average.
Contrast that with one of the seven states who received an “A” or “B” grade. For example in a state like Minnesota schools serving students facing economic hardship receive about 1K more per pupil each year. And in the top state for progressive funding, Utah, public schools serving disadvantaged students receive about 2K more per pupil.
While down at the bottom there are the nineteen states that got “D” and “F” marks for their inequitable funding models. In those states public school funding actually goes down in schools where the student body is living in poverty. At the bottom of the list is New Hampshire where school funding drops by 1K per pupil for each increasing level of economic disadvantage among the students.
Flip that statement around and guess what it means, in 43 states at least as much or more money per pupil goes to the schools serving students living in economically stable and / or affluent communities.
And here’s the executive summary of the study explaining the comparisons and summarizing the results.
We surely do know how to reproduce class advantage in this society.