Fair and Just School Resources
In the United States public schools are funded through a mix of local, state and federal funding. For the most part, schools serving students of color and students from low-income communities have less funding per student than schools in wealthier neighborhoods. These resource disparities perpetuate opportunity gaps in schools and in our broader society. No child’s educational opportunities should be limited because of their zip code. The Schott Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that every student has access to fair and just school resources.
The Latest on Fair & Just School Resources
Over the next several months, the New York Education Commission will be hosting public hearings across the state. Check out this video from Alliance for Quality Education to learn how to register to speak at your local regional meeting!
The Second Edition of the National Report Card on public school funding, Is School Funding Fair?, shows that far too many states continue to deny public schools the essential resources they need to meet the needs of the nation's 53 million students and to boost academic achievement. The National Report Card rates the 50 states on the basis of four "fairness indicators" - funding level, funding distribution, state fiscal effort, and public school coverage. The Report provides the most in-depth analysis to date of state education finance systems and school funding fairness across the nation. How does your state measure up?
Appleseed asks parents, educators and student board members to take action to make schools more equitable across the nation.
And be sure to check out Appleseed's Resource Equity Assessment Document, a great resource for school boards and communities to measure the distribution of educational resources within and between districts. Download it here!
The Resource Equity Assessment Document (READ) helps school boards and communities to measure the distribution of educational resources within and between districts. In doing so, they can engage in comparative assessment of problem spots and points of pride.
Download the resource (as a PDF) below!
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, an OTL partner, has released "An Arkansas Student Bill of Rights," which details what students and parents should expect from their school districts and the resources and opportunities to which they are entitled in order to receive a quality education and reach their full potential. Watch the video, then download the report here!
Teachers and students shouldn’t be judged on test scores, grades, and reading levels if they don’t have the proper tools to produce high-quality outcomes. An Arkansas Student Bill of Rights, using opportunity to learn (OTL) standards as the basis for measurement and accountability, unequivocally ensures the state will provide all students with the resources necessary to obtain a high-quality public education and achieve success in college and later, a career, including access to high-quality early childhood education, prepared and effective teachers, college preperatory curriculum for all students, and equitable instructional materials.
This policy brief from the New York City Working Group on School Transformation criticizes NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's education reform strategy of closing low-performing schools. Evidence from the NYC Department of Education reveals that its school-assignment policies concentrate the highest-needs students in struggling schools, exacerbating the low performance that leads to the subsequent closing of these schools. The brief calls for the DOE to build the instructional capacity across NYC public schools to support the lowest-performing schools rather than simply closing them.
In New York City public schools, a student's chances for educational success are more often determined by where he or she lives than their abilities. The city's education policies and practices have resulted in an inequitable distribution of educational resources that intensifies the impact of poverty and denies certain students a meaningful education. Similar to the "redlining" banking practices that once denied investments to communities of color, the education landscape today effectively redlines students of color and low-income students from the resources they need to succeed.
In 2010, the President set a goal for the U.S. to become the global leader in postsecondary degree attainment by the year 2020. Yet, more than 7,000 students, many of whom are not proficient in reading and math, are leaving or being pushed out of U.S. schools each day. This study shows that the U.S. cannot achieve the President’s 2020 goal if our schools continue to hemorrhage large segments of our nation’s youth. Accordingly, this document is designed to serve as a blueprint for implementing a comprehensive package of policy reforms that seek to increase the quantity of students who succeed at every stage of the educational pipeline and the quality of the education they receive. Different from most calls for reform, it considers the educational pipeline in its entirety—from early childhood through postsecondary attainment—and offers evidence‐informed strategies to boost access, quantity and quality at every stage.
Fixing Wisconsin's school finance system is an issues that will come up again and again during the upcoming elections. This poliy memo provides background about that system, the impact on our schools of the most recently passed budget, and messaging points.