Causes and effects of unequal funding

Causes and effects of unequal funding


A study conducted by Rob, Larry and Richard in 1996 showed that there was a direct proportion between a student’s performance to the school’s resources (Chen 1). They further argued that the funds for the institute impact education evolvement. Decades later, after successful integration in American schools, the thorny issue of unequal funding has not yet left the dock. There is still a large percentage of institutions located in struggling regions that do not receive adequate financing (Chen 1).  It translates to giving less to the vulnerable population that they serve and poor academic achievement. The following paper investigates the genesis of the issue and the repercussions it has across the divide.

Sources of Funds

Federal, state and local institutes provide funds for school institutions in the United States. (Chen 1).  Much of the funds coming into the organisations though, stem from property taxes. The federal sources contribute less than ten per cent of the aggregate amount while the state provides the largest. There are always varying heights of differences between communities where wealthy people reside in poor ones(Chen 1). What this translates to be that a student in an affluent district receives twice as much funding as one in a public school.

Defective Policies and Cut-backs

The directive that states should raise money for schools has been argued to be a move that is enabling the re-segregation of schools. Districts on the high end of the poverty spectrum cannot generate enough from taxes as their wealthy counterparts. These districts often have lower values attached to homes and therefore collect smaller lump sums (Chen 1). About half of the states in America have sought legal redress concerning this issue that has caused an undue burden on them. A coalition of parents, teachers, students and organisations in Connecticut alleged that the system is against the constitution. They further recommended that states be allowed to sort out the discrepancies originating from different revenue generated.

The non-existence of intervention Measures

The states that have recognised the deficiency of funding in their schools have not begun measures that could alleviate the effects (Chen 1). Instead, they have resigned to a state of neglect in other crucial areas such as poor remuneration of teachers and understaffing. When Obama was president, school reforms were made to use exam assessment as the sole indication of achievement (Chen 1). The move further alienated schools and made them more unequal even within communities.

Historical Discrimination and Reform Opposition

The fact that there are districts that are unable to generate substantial amounts of revenue points to the discrimination that African Americans faced (Karaim 722). According to an article by the nation, these racially inspired ill motives have had a bearing of about 50% on school districts (Chen 1). Many students are pushed to attend schools that get inadequate funding as a result and are alienated from wealthier children throughout the learning process. Other individuals argue that saying re-segregation is the issue means that African American children can only achieve in white classrooms. They feel that the unequal funding is exaggerated which shows that there needs to be a creation of awareness.

Effects of Unequal Funding


The majority of the population consists of minority groups and those living in poverty. They result in joining the economically challenged institutions, and since there are many of them, the class sizes are enormous (Chen 1). There is a mismatch in proportionality of teacher to student’s ratio. A teacher handling an overflowing class of eighty will not be able to give the required attention to everyone; you will find that the teacher and the brightest students will move from a topic to another as the rest of the class drags behind (Chen 1).

Varying degrees of Education Quality

According to education research, the wealthier districts attract instructors that have a high level of education accreditations and are better experienced. They move there because along with agreeable support structures, these institutions also offer better remuneration for their effort (Karaim 721). On the other hand, teachers engaged in financially disadvantaged schools face more frustrations because they are expected to handle huge classes and perform well, yet they lack the infrastructure to aid them (Admin ERN 1). Besides, they are poorly compensated.

The better-qualified teachers in wealthy communities will drive student achievement while students in struggling schools will flop. For example, there are incidences whereby teachers in poor districts left due to frustration. A lot of the times the students there were handled by substitutes, and it was inconsistent. Also, the percentage of students suspended due to disciplinary actions was way higher in poorer districts. Students in economically powerful institutions had access to counsellors and were seldom suspended from school.


The relationship between adequate funding and academic achievement cannot continue to be held in question while students continue to suffer under a failing system. The policies should be revised to cater for the weak parts of the community. There also needs to be educated on why funding is an essential factor in influencing good academic results. All stakeholders should be involved in devising a way forward to bridge the gap of economic strength.




Works Cited

Chen, Michelle. “How Unequal School Funding Punishes Poor Kids”. The Nation, 2018,

Karaim, Reed. “Race and Education.” CQ Researcher, 5 Sept. 2014, pp. 721-44,

Admin, ERN. “The Effects of Unequal School Funding.” Educational Research Newsletter and Webinars,

“States eye securities industry for additional revenue; Education funding, budget gaps spark push for tax raising.” Investment News, 13 Sept. 2004, p. 33. Academic OneFile, Accessed 11 Apr. 2019.