A new analysis has found that school children in Pennsylvania’s public schools are being shortchanged by $4.6 billion, and that the Oxford Area School District has the second-largest school funding disparity in the state, write Maddie Hanna and Cynthia Fernandez for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The analysis commissioned by advocates wanting to overhaul Pennsylvania’s education funding system shows widening gaps between affluent and poor communities in education spending and the resulting academic performance dividends.
While students in the highest-spending districts have better standardized test scores and graduate from college at higher rates, students in the poorest districts perform worse on state measures and have the highest dropout rates.
These disparities come from the way public education is funded. Pennsylvania relies more on local taxes than most other states. As a result, school districts with stronger tax bases are able to raise more revenue than poor districts.
This leads to poorer school districts having less money to spend.
The Oxford Area School District, where 37 percent of students are from low-income families, spends $7,039 less per student than it should. This is the second-largest funding gap in the state. The Kennett Consolidated School District is also among the school districts with a high funding disparity at a $5,018 shortfall per student.
Read more about school funding in The Philadelphia Inquirer here.
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