Public School Funding: Closing the Education Gap
In America we have spent billions of dollars on public school funding in hopes of educating the youth that will one day run the country. Without a solid foundation for the next generation to succeed, America will not be able to continue to improve and move forward. But if the education of our children is such an importance; why are we not giving every public school the right amount of funding to succeed? Just as there is an unequal opportunity in the work force; it also happens in the public school system. Schools that perform better are given more funding than schools that are not. Public school funding in America should not be determined by the academic achievement of a school, but should all receive the same amount of funding. Although many Americans would agree that the education of their children is a top priority, not many of them would know how funding is distributed throughout the country. It is the general idea that students do better in a well-funded school and that the public schools should all provide the same opportunity for every student to succeed. But if the belief is all public schools are the same then why are there private schools? And why do many parents decided to move and live in an area that as a great school system. There is no secret that some schools are better than others; it’s the point in which how the schools are able to become “better” than other public schools that’s the problem. Nearly half of the funding for public schools is provided from local taxes in the community the school is located in. Which means that funding for public schools varies across the country between the wealthy and poorer communities in America. At both the state and federal level there have been efforts to change the deficit the schools lack compared to others, but the idea has been taken negatively by the wealthy and powerful to choose how their school community functions. Others would argue that more money given to the schools will not improve the education of students; that individual success depends on the student and not the resources that are available to them. Such as Eric Hanushek, an academic reviewer wrote: “Detailed research spanning two decades and performance in many different educational settings provides strong consistent evidence that expenditures are not systematically related to student achievement” (Hanushek 49) This claim has been a factor to the driving force that money can only go so far in a student’s educational life. But it has also been contradicted by academic researchers of public school funding by Rob Greenwald, Larry Hedges, and Richard Laine wrote: “school resources are systematically related to student achievement and that those relations are large [and] educationally important. (Greenwald et al. 384) With such a controversial topic, which one should we believe? How can we possible know for sure more money given to schools is the best option to improve the education our students receive from the government? And why should we change the way wealthy community schools are run when they are already successful in their academic achievements? How large is the difference in the amount of funding that each public school receives? Public school funding comes from federal state, and local sources, which nearly half of those funds are from local property taxes(National Center for Education Statistics). Because of the local property taxes from the community this is where the uneven funding for public schools start that makes a difference from the wealthy and impoverished communities. For example in 1998, New Jersey had an annual funding rate per student of $8,801, while Utah had a yearly rate of $3,804 per student(National Center for Education Statistics). Just from these numbers it shows that students from New Jersey where given twice the level of education than those students in Utah. While America funds...