New Study Shows Huge School Funding Disparities

By Free Radical 

A new report shows that white districts receive $23 billion more than Black districts.

A new report shows that white school districts receive a whopping $23 billion more than Black districts.

A report released this week by the nonprofit organization EdBuild concluded that predominantly white school districts receive $23 million dollars more in funding than districts that predominantly enroll students of color. The study uses data from the Department of Education and the U.S. Census.

It showed that more than half of the nation’s school districts are segregated which means that at least 75 percent of their students are nonwhite or white.

Even when controlling for wealth, Black students fared worse. High poverty districts primarily composed of students of color receive $1,600 less than the national average while high poverty white districts receive $300 less than the national average.

Local taxes largely account for the current maldistribution of funding. Students of color are more likely to live in poorer neighborhoods. Nonetheless, current trends are not merely the result of bad geography. Families of color have been historically redlined and relegated to poorer neighborhoods.

Attempts to equalize funding such as the 1973 San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez case which was not approved by the Supreme Court have failed. In his dissenting position in the case, Thurgood Marshall, the first ever Black Supreme Court Justice argued that the court’s decision affirmed he belief that a state “may constitutionally vary the quality of education which it offers its children in accordance with the amount of taxable wealth located in the school districts within which they reside.”

Almost fifty years later, this trend of inequitable distribution continues. Yet even when controlling for wealth in Missouri, nonwhite students still fare worse. In the state, high poverty white districts receive on average $10,920 per student while high poverty nonwhite districts receive on average $10,786 per student.

For more on the report, click here.

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