Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Data Are Damning: How Race Influences School Funding

Wow...I always suspected that this was true, but had never seen the data. A study of Pennsylvania's 500 school districts showed that while poor districts receive more state funding than wealthier ones, when one compares districts with similar percentages of poor kids, districts with a high percentage of white kids get much more funding than those with a high percentage of black kids. For example, mostly black districts with 70-80% of kids in poverty got LESS funding than mostly white districts with only 30-40% of kids in poverty.

"If you color code the districts based on their racial composition you see this very stark breakdown. At any given poverty level, districts that have a higher proportion of white students get substantially higher funding than districts that have more minority students." That means that no matter how rich or poor the district in question, funding gaps existed solely based on the racial composition of the school. Just the increased presence of minority students actually deflated a district's funding level. "The ones that have a few more students of color get lower funding than the ones that are 100 percent or 95 percent white," Mosenkis said.

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