Inequality Prevails: White Public Schools Much Better Funded Than Nonwhite Schools

Despite the pride the United States takes in offering all its citizens opportunities to succeed, we’d be kidding ourselves if we tried to claim those opportunities are in any way equal. Success so often depends on the quality of education a person receives, and the latest stats on school funding show a worrisome racial disparity, says U.S. News & World Report.

The nonprofit EdBuild released a new report revealing that public schools comprised overwhelmingly with students of color get $23 billion less in funding than public schools with a largely white student body.

Put in another way, schools with a predominately nonwhite student body receive 19 percent less funding per student than white counterparts. Breaking that down further, that’s roughly $2,600 per kid, which can make a huge difference in the number of teachers and resources a school can pay for.

That’s just the national average, though; in some states the discrepancy goes well beyond that, with Arizona seeing its nonwhite schools allocated 36 percent less for a total of $4,400 per kid. Oklahoma’s stats are nearly as bad.

Believe it or not, American schools are becoming more segregated. Because, by and large, people live in communities with other people who look like themselves, most American students attend schools that are either at least three-fourths white or three-fourths minorities. If we’re committed to giving all these kids a chance, there’s no excuse for allocating more funds to the overwhelmingly white schools.

The source of some of these financial discrepancies are easy to spot due to the way schools are funded, with a lot of schools’ money coming locally from things like property tax. Inevitably, the richer areas are going to have more money to spend on their students.

A lot of states have deliberately tried to offset that unbalance by allocating more state funds to the areas that have the most poverty, and while that has helped, EdBuild’s research found that that approach – alone anyway – was hardly a thorough way of closing the racial gap.

For example, white schools in impoverished areas still wind up getting more money than nonwhite schools in similarly disadvantaged areas. Specifically, the nonwhite schools receive 11 percent less money, which amounts to $1,500 per student. Clearly, there’s more at play than simply the poorer students getting cheated.

“So long as we link opportunity to gerrymandered borders and school funding to local wealth, we will never have a fair education system,” said CEO of EdBuild, Rebecca Sibilia. “It feels like people are numb to the same old story of wealthy people get more money than poor kids.”

Sibilia went on to say that race should also be included in conversations about educational inequality, even if some consider it an uncomfortable topic. She’s right: It’s not fair to our students of color or our country as a whole to allow for that big a disparity in educational funding to persist.

45 comments

Bill Arthur
Bill Arthur4 months ago

Kay B, I would not use the word 'belong' to describe the relation between parents and children. Parents have the duty to raise their children carefully, humanely and properly and some parents are not able todo that. As for teaching, often better described as brainwashing, religion to their children the schools should teach FACTS even if those facts counter the misinformation that religionists brainwash their children with. That is not only good for the children it is good for the betterment of society. Would you think it is OK to teach your children that the earth is flat just because you 'believe' it when it is obvious to thinking people living in reality that it is untrue.

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Paula A
Past Member 4 months ago

Thank you

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Caitlin L
Past Member 4 months ago

thanks for this

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Barbara S
Barbara S4 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Kay B
Kay B4 months ago

Bill Arthur Children belong to the parents, not the government. We seem to agree that schools should not be teaching religion. We all have our own particular religious beliefs that we want to share with our children, and schools should not be allowed to undermine those beliefs. We also seem to agree that not all parents are equipped to teach all academics. That's why I said I would like to see schools be able to focus on that.

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Dr. Jan H
Dr. Jan Hill4 months ago

thanks

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Bill Arthur
Bill Arthur4 months ago

Karen and ed O; so why did these 'white' people flee to their own neighbourhoods if not segregation? Why do they figure they have to live separate from 'those others'? Until your country gets over the segregation and separation of people by skin tone you still have bigotry and discrimination. It would be unheard of to refer to 'white' schools in most countries. A school is a school and all kids in that area are allowed to attend indeed required to attend school.

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Bill Arthur
Bill Arthur4 months ago

Kay B Why worry about teaching kids about old folk tales of magic beings. Parents would be doing their kids a better service to teach them to stick to proven things. Religions should not ever be taught in schools. If you leave the parents to do all the teaching then society will deteriorate as those who are not well educated will poorly educate their children. It is too everyones advantage to teach all children to a high level and leave none behind.

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Shirley Plowman
Shirley Plowman4 months ago

SAD, ALL CHILDREN NEED QUALITY SCHOOLING!

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Danuta W
Danuta W4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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