When schools are funded insufficiently and inequitably, the consequences are many. Not only are schools and students forced to go without the resources they need to be successful, but this can lead to poor teaching conditions and teacher turnover, creating and perpetuating a deficit culture within our schools. Without sustainable, adequate funding, districts cannot focus on long-term, strategic planning. As a result, limited funds may be spent ineffectively.
The history of the American school system is fraught with stories of inequity. In the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, Title I was designed to help level the playing field by targeting schools with the highest concentrations of poverty to receive federal aid. More than 50 years later, however, the quality of and resources available to a school largely depends on the wealth of the local community. Today, approximately 44 percent of school revenues are sourced from local property taxes, exacerbating disparities across communities.
All students, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or geography should have access to a high-quality education that provides them with the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to be successful. We must start by examining school funding formulas and ensuring that they are directing resources equitably and tied to student need. We will hold policymakers accountable for allocating scarce dollars wisely, making transparent and evidence-informed spending decisions. We will continue to advocate until our public education system is structured to end, rather than to perpetuate, the cycle of poverty.