During a downturn in the economy it may seem like all sectors public and private are hit evenly, but among the first to feel the brunt are poorer school districts. The government typically slashes budgets on education spending when times get tough, which according to an article by Huffington Post, causes impoverished school districts to feel the pinch more than their affluent counterparts.
In total, 26 states are planning to spend less on their students next year compared with the previous year, and a total of 35 states are spending less than they did when the Great Recession officially hit in 2008. A study of the poorest city in America, Reading (part of The Reading School District in Pennsylvania), demonstrates just how badly the downturn can affect the students there. It’s now facing a $43 million deficit and 13% less teachers than it had before. And of those teachers who remain, many are teaching in fields of study that they are not familiar with due to a lack of available teachers for each subject.
And here’s another telling excerpt from the article:
“Because of an outdated tax-based funding model, scholars say, it’s the poorest regions that feel these cuts the hardest, making it even more difficult for America’s poor to attain a better quality of life. Some advocates say it would be fairer to fund schools entirely out of state or federal coffers, insulating the finances of a public school from the relative poverty or prosperity of its locale. States have begun to move that way, but not sufficiently, they say.”
Experts say that because school funding is determined by an outdated tax code, certain schools in the Reading School District can only spend $7,572 per student compared to $10,633 in a wealthier part of town where homes are more expensive and property tax revenues are higher.
[source: Huffington Post]