Dmitri Mehlhorn, co-founder of StudentsFirst, wrote an article a few weeks ago about school funding titled, “How Money is Spent Matters.” That statement is obviously true; who could disagree with it?
Unfortunately, the article’s actual argument – that “America’s schools are not underfunded” – is completely false. This post corrects the record. Funding for public primary and secondary education in the United States is, in fact, inadequate and inequitable, and rectifying this problem should be a top priority for anyone who cares about improving our schools.
We’re Far From School Funding Equity
But what is adequate and equitable school funding? Researchers Bruce Baker and Danielle Farie and civil rights lawyer David Sciarra, who produce a National Report Card on school funding fairness, discuss this question at length in their 2015 report. One of the most important principles they note is that, because “[v]arying levels of funding are…
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