On behalf of the United States Commission on Civil Rights (“the Commission”), I am pleased to transmit our briefing report, Public Education Funding Inequity in an Era of Increasing Concentration of Poverty and Resegregation. The report is also available in full on the Commission’s website at www.usccr.gov.
The report examines the funding of K-12 education and how the inequitable distribution of these funds negatively impacts the educational opportunities of low-income students and students of color.
The majority of the Commission voted for key findings including that quality education is critical to prepare students to be contributing members of a democratic society and competitive workers in a global economy. The Commission majority also found that vast funding inequities in our state public education systems factor significantly in rendering the education available to millions of American public school students profoundly unequal.
The Commission majority found that many students in the U.S. living in segregated neighborhoods and concentrations of poverty do not have access to high-quality schools simply because of where they live, and that there is potential for housing policy to help provide better educational opportunities for these students. Low-income students and students of color are often relegated to low-quality school facilities that lack equitable access to teachers, instructional materials, technology and technology support, critical facilities, and physical maintenance. These absences can negatively impact a student’s health and ability to be attentive and can exacerbate existing inequities in student outcomes.
As data on school spending become more accurate, some scholars believe there is concrete empirical evidence that funding is critical to positive student outcomes.
Madison spends nearly $20,000 per student.