The recent recession scrambled the traditional balance in education funding, according to a report released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Declining state revenues increased the distance between the haves and the have-nots, (Michael) Griffith says, because wealthier districts in many parts of the country were better able to make up for fewer state dollars.
This gap and what states have done to combat it are the subject of another report released earlier this week by the Rutgers Graduate School of Education and the Education Law Center, which advocates for increased funding for poor and disabled children.
The report grades states on the basis of their level of state and local education funding in the 2008-09 school year and how funding is distributed, adjusted for poverty rates and regional wage differences, among other factors.
The report concludes that Utah, New Jersey and Ohio do the “fairest” job of funding education, as evidenced by the fact that they gave significantly more funding to schools with higher poverty rates. The report finds that high poverty school districts received less per-pupil funding than wealthier districts in 16 states, with high-poverty districts receiving less than 80 percent of the funding given to wealthier districts in Nevada, Illinois, New Hampshire and North Carolina.