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.
In the wake of budget cuts to school funding, there is also a rise in the objections by parents, strikes by instructors and dropouts which call attention to the dysfunction3. Many guardians express disdain over how the funding portrays their children’s worth depending on their living conditions, skin pigmentation and familial wealth7.
An article on Nation.com cites that about twenty states give below average funding to schools in the poorer districts (Chen 1). It should not be so since the individuals at these institutions require more –not less- resources to achieve academically.
Other states have it worse, especially in the south. They receive minimal funding which is also on the decline. In a report from the Education Law Center, David, the executive director says that this is a crisis level. Among those found to have regressive provision systems include, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas, and Alabama.
The process of making access to education free within America dates back to the 17th Century. It had troubles even then since it proved difficult for states to make all of their institutions free at the time. However, they succeeded in enrolling over half of the children to public schools.
The strain experienced after that stemmed from massive immigration in the 19th century. The outpouring of large numbers of students demanded a definite rise in funding to be able to sustain the system. It was known as the efficiency period when many policies were passed such as the use of tests to evaluate education quality. School districts waited on funding from the state, local administration, and central government.
Trump’s administration seems keener to rid the federal government of its responsibilities towards facilitating school funding (Chen 1). The current proposed budget cuts for the coming years leave school funding to state and local governments8. It is unlikely that Congress will agree to the cutbacks though.
The year 2017 was characterized by similar protests speaking out against low remuneration for teachers, deplorable working situations and inadequate funding from the state governments.
The provision of tax cuts to large organizations at the expense of the taxpayers is slightly irresponsible. The administration should acknowledge the gaps that exist in the system and not result in more budget cuts. They should also look into the ways to appease instructors and provide more resources where they are needed.
PROS AND CONS
If the federal state gets its budget cuts past congress we can expect a lot more accountability from the state and local governments. However, there will still be a deficiency experienced in schools that would make the situation worse for disadvantaged populations. It is because the fact remains that the districts within the states already have gaps between them in the form of unequal revenue generation.
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 organizations though, stem from property taxes. The federal sources contribute less than ten percent 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 organizations 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 recognized 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 (States eye securities industry for additional revenue 33).
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 counselors and were seldom suspended from school.
CONCLUSION AND NEXT STEPS
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.
“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, http://link.galegroup.com.triton.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A122185983/AONE?u=uiuc_tri&sid=AONE&xid=ac68b477. Accessed 11 Apr. 2019.
Admin, ERN. “The Effects of Unequal School Funding.” Educational Research Newsletter and Webinars, www.ernweb.com/educational-research-articles/the-effects-of-unequal-school-funding/.
Chen, Michelle. “How Unequal School Funding Punishes Poor Kids.” The Nation, 2018, https://www.thenation.com/article/how-unequal-school-funding-punishes-poor-kids/.
Karaim, Reed. “Race and Education.” CQ Researcher, 5 Sept. 2014, pp. 721-44, library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2014090500.