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Denunciation of Unfair School Funding

2016-04-02

I have previously complained about unfair funding for the country’s primary schools, those which all children are required to attend (usually at least until age sixteen.)  These schools were initially funded by property taxes, an entirely local affair.  Over time, however, it became obvious that some school districts would not be able to support their primary schools simply from property taxes, even if they taxed themselves at unrealistically high levels.  State governments then stepped in to provide additional money to districts.

In recent years, all primary schools have received significant state support in addition to their local property taxes.  In some states, districts that were particularly poor were given additional funds.  In other states, all schools received the same amount of funds.  But in the majority of states, poor districts receive less money from the state than do rich districts.

A large document that provides data for all the states is called “Is School Funding Fair?  A National Report Card” produced by the Rutgers Graduate School of Education.  The most recent, fourth, edition of this document was published in the spring of last year.  It is an extensive and intensive examination of state funding levels for the entire US.  The result: the vast majority of primary schools are funded at a neutral or regressive level.  The results are particularly bad when we see that funding from federal stimulus money was used by most states to fill holes in their budgets for schools, and that federal stimulus money ran out by 2012.

I don’t intend that you should read this report because it is fifty-six pages long.  I only wish to note that there is extensive documentary evidence that primary schools in the United States are unfairly unfunded.  Rich districts receive more funding than poor districts, and as a result, poor districts have bad schools.  Children living in poor districts start out with a disadvantage compared to children in rich districts.

This is manifestly bad for our country because it means that our children will not be adequately educated to take on useful roles in society as contributing members.  When they grow up, they will not be prepared to take jobs that require skill and patience.  They will be doomed to unemployment, poverty, crime, and drug abuse.  Worst of all, they will be fated to be idle, alienated, and dispossessed.

Please take a thought to vote for political leaders who will address this disparity in primary school funding and provide sufficient tax revenue by progressive taxation to develop our infrastructure.  We need sensible spending on essential services to make our country a dynamic, growing place where everybody works and everybody has help to participate in society.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 2016-04-03 03:33

    Thanks for this blog post regarding unfair school funding; I really enjoyed it and am definitely recommending this blog to my friends and family. I’m a 15 year old with a blog on finance and economics at shreysfinanceblog.com, and would really appreciate it if you could read and comment on some of my articles, and perhaps follow, reblog and share some of my posts on social media. Thanks again for this fantastic post.

    Like

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