What results from this hodgepodge of federal, state, and local funding decisions? Often, unintended consequences and inequities that have a direct impact on students.
One recent report by The Education Trust found that the highest poverty school districts receive about 10% less funding per student in state and local funding than the lowest poverty districts and that school districts serving the highest percentage of minority students received roughly 15% less per student than those serving the lowest percentage.
Another recent report by Marguerite Roza, the director of the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown and a senior scholar at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, found that some school districts spend more per pupil on foreign languages and electives than they spend per pupil on math and reading, more on Advanced Placement courses than on remedial courses.
A recent report by Sean F. Reardon of Stanford University found that there was more and more “residential segregation by income” between 1970 and 2009. He found that this and other factors contributed to a broadening achievement gap between children from low-income and high-income families: “The achievement gap between children from high and low-income families is roughly 40% larger among children born in 2001 than among those born 25 years earlier.”
The Education Trust, Funding Gaps 2015: Too Many States Still Spend Less on Educating Students Who Need the Most, March 2015
EducationNEXT, Breaking Down School Budgets by Marguerite Roza, Summer 2009