This Supreme Court Case Made School District Lines A Tool For Segregation
July 25, 2019
By: Elissa Nadworny, Cory Turner
Roughly 9 million children — nearly 1 in 5 public school students in the U.S. — attend schools that are racially isolated and receive far less money than schools just a few miles away. That’s according to a sweeping new review of the nation’s most divisive school district borders from EdBuild, a nonprofit that investigates school funding inequities.
“Inequality is endemic” in America’s public schools, the report says, identifying nearly 1,000 school district borders where schools on one side receive at least 10% less money per student than schools on the other side and where the racial makeup of the two sides’ students varies by 25 percentage points or more. It is the story of segregation, in 2019.
EdBuild says the disadvantaged districts in these cross-district comparisons receive, on average, about $4,200 less per student than their wealthier neighbors, largely because of differences in what they’re able to raise through local property taxes. To put that gap into perspective, schools spent an average of $12,000 per student in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This means that disadvantaged districts have about one-third fewer dollars per student than their peers up the street.