Poor Children in Poor and Wealthy Districts

May 23, 2008

The Center for Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington has published a thoughtful and carefully documented report on school funding, School Funding’s Tragic Flaw. From their announcement:

[A]uthors Kevin Carey and Marguerite Roza examine two schools that from the outside appear the same but inside are quite different: Cameron Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia, and Ponderosa Elementary School in Cumberland County, North Carolina. Both schools educate a large number of low-income students.

Yet, because of a number of circumstances, federal, state, and local policies play out such that Cameron has more than twice the money per pupil than Ponderosa, $14,040 vs. $6,773.

In its straightforward analysis of federal, state, and local policies, this report would make an excellent teaching tool, especially for those looking for non-urban examples of disparities in school funding.

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