Dear Future President,
Schools all across America have a large percentage of their budget come from local property taxes. The National Public Records Organization says about 45% comes from the local revenue, another 45% from the state, and 10% from the federal level. That means districts with low-income households receive less funding than other schools, even though they may have more students. This kind of of system hinders the education of children who may already be poor or in poverty, which gives them an even bigger disadvantage in society.
The heavy reliance on a factor that varies greatly between communities leads to unfair distribution of resources. States like North Carolina have stepped in to stop the inequality by providing two-thirds of its schools’ funding. However, many places have chosen not to address the issue. The effects are shown in some communities in Alabama, namely Sumter County. Most of the local land is farm or timber land, which is lightly taxed, leaving less money for education. The schools are run down and have infestations of mold and rodents. Cracked floors and windows are also a safety hazard to the students.
State funding for schools has also decreased. The states are spending less and less on schools, causing the districts to have to cut corners to continue functioning. The Coolidge Unified School District, southeast was forced take away fine arts classes and fire their librarians. They even cut the school week to only four days to conserve money.
These situations are not okay. The federal government can no longer turn a blind eye to the states cutting funding to schools, and in turn limiting opportunities of the students. It goes against the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause, which says that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. That includes education; unfair distribution of resources denies poorer districts the same opportunities of other districts.
There are solutions to this problem, however. Bills can be passed to set a standard on how much money must be set aside for education. Bureaus can be formed to manage how much is given to each district. They should distribute it by population size, not the property tax of its inhabitants.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope you find time to deal with this issue as soon as possible, for it is of utmost importance to the next generation.
Sincerely, Gloria U.