Abbey L. Michigan

Public Education Funding

Unequal funding means unequal education

Dear Future President,

The year is 1954. The case is Brown v. Board of Education. Thurgood Marshall taught us and 17 states that separate but equal was unconstitutional. Over half a century later the year is 2016 and our schools are integrated and education is equal, right? Or do we forget that quality public education varies by zip code? Does the district my children get placed into hold them back from a shot at the ‘American dream’? What if I told you, public schooling in the United States is fundamentally still separate, and still unequal?

The public school system was created so all students of any race, gender, and income can go to any school and receive equal education. Although that is its purpose, it is not being fulfilled. Schools in different communities have unequal distribution of education in the sense that many students go to school and get less than two grade levels below the national average of education. These schools have students of low income families and they can’t afford a private education or are put into less fortunate districts. The majority of these students are coming from low income families and don’t have the luxury of after school programs that are being cut from general education like arts, career based courses, and athletics.

While other schools are funded heavily by the state, others seem to get the spare change left after. In some states there is as much as a 33% gap between the highest funded district and the lowest; the graduation rates between those less fortunate is below half those getting higher funding. I can only imagine a country where children from the inner city are given the opportunities offered to kids on the top of the hill. A youth of this country we shouldn’t have to imagine a country with equal education, it should be a reality.

Those against the equal funding state that money isn’t the issue, but researchers from The Atlantic showed in a recent study that once more funding was given to schools, grades began to improve. Although more funding isn’t the only solution, it is currently the most effective.

Future president in the four to eight years you will be in office, between twenty million eight hundred thousand and forty-one million six hundred thousand students will enroll in public schools. How many of those students’ education are we willing to compromise?