Public Education Funding Inequity in an Era of Increasing Concentration of Poverty and Resegregation
Washington, DC – Today, January 11, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released Public Education Funding Inequity in an Era of Increasing Concentration of Poverty and Resegregation. Based on extensive research and expert testimony, including that collected at the Commission’s public briefing, the report addresses pervasive disparities in funding for public education, and offers actionable recommendations with a goal of improving educational opportunity and student achievement across all segments of our nation’s student population.
Key findings and recommendations from a majority of the Commission include:
• Vast funding inequities are a significant factor in rendering education available to public school students profoundly unequal.
• This reality of American schooling is fundamentally inconsistent with the ideal of public education as a means to equalize life opportunity, regardless of resident, race, economic status, or life circumstance.
• The majority of states do not allocate more funding to high-poverty school districts.
• Low-income students and students of color are often relegated to low-quality school facilities. • Inequalities in educational opportunities are exacerbated by racial segregation and concentrated poverty.
• Congress should declare education a federal right.
• Congress should incentivize states to adopt equitable school finance systems, ensure adequate funding for students with disabilities, and invest in facilities for equitable environments for students to achieve.
• Congress should increase federal funding to supplement state funding; promote collection, monitoring, and evaluation of school spending data; and develop mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of federal spending.
Chair Catherine E. Lhamon said, “Pervasive funding inequities continue to plague the nation’s public schools, undermining core American principles of fairness and crippling national progress. The Commission majority urges Congress to act now to secure a federal education right and incent swift and strong state action to protect learning opportunity for all students.”
Commissioner statements appended to the report identify specific views and concerns of members of the Commission, including views regarding the harm of unequal education opportunity and recommendations for reform.
To read the report, click here.