Fairness in school funding is more than lacking across the country. Southern states are doing a particularly unfair job providing their students with educational resources and opportunities. A recent report from the Education Law Center, "Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card," provides statistics and analysis of the fairness of school funding formulas for every state.
Much of the literature on education and prison -- and "the school to prison pipeline" -- assumes a negative correlation between educational achievement and incarceration: the more highly educated a person, the less chance that he (it is usually he) will be incarcerated.
This belief is supported by data for male White, non-Latinos:
Far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to provide every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. The Second Edition of Education Law Center's Is School Funding Fair?
The Second Edition of the National Report Card on public school funding, Is School Funding Fair?, shows that far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to meet the needs of the nation's 53 million students and to boost academic achievement. The National Report Card rates the 50 states on the basis of four "fairness indicators" - funding level, funding distribution, state fiscal effort, and public school coverage. The Report provides the most in-depth analysis to date of state education finance systems and school funding fairness across the nation. How does your state measure up?
In the Sunday Dialogue section in the New York Times, Dr. John H. Jackson, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, argues for a more just method for funding our nation's schools.
Nothing involving vouchers, school choice and ALEC-drafted legislation is going to turn out well for students or our nation's education system. North Carolina is one of several states wrestling with legislation that would create a backdoor for corporations to fund scholarships (read: vouchers) through handpicked nonprofits. In North Carolina, the corporations could then receive tax credits to divert up to $40 million of their state taxes.
Providing every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn is nothing less than a moral imperative. But as parent and student organizers across the country know all too well, today's education policies, which push competition and privatization, are not sufficient for "addressing the structural inequities that make separate and unequal education a persistent fact of life in America today," writes Rev. Jesse Jackson in a must-read column for CNN.
It's a big week for studies focused the relationship between location and educational opportunity: First, the Schott Foundation's report on education redlining in New York City public schools that revealed city policies and practices systematically deny educational opportunities to the districts and schools with high percentages of poor and students of color.
With all the attention Finland has been getting in recent years, you might wonder why we can't just replicate what the Finns are doing and - PRESTO! - fix all the woes of the U.S. education system.