Giving Compass’ Take:
• Education reform must take inequality, including racial inequality, to heart in order to create true, sustainable change.
• How can philanthropy raise awareness around this issue? Have successful desegregation policies been implemented already?
• Learn more about the history of segregation.
Most states cut education spending in the 2008 recession. Yet, despite the economy having recovered, there is less funding today for education than even those lean years, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Researchers from this non-profit found that in 2015, “29 states were still providing less total school funding per student than they were in 2008.”
No wonder the quality of our schools is suffering, and parents are grasping at straws. But the seductive promise of educational programs that don’t grapple with the roots of inequality will eventually ring hollow.
According to Prosperity Now, a national nonprofit to expand economic opportunity for low-income families, and the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank, white households have seven times the amount of wealth as African Americans, and six times as much as Latinos.
Wealthier neighborhoods to hoard wealth and maintain a racially separate school system through a financial structure based on property taxes. Local school districts rely heavily on the revenue that comes from local property taxes, creating funding disparities between rich and poor districts.Yet many education reformers avoid, accept — or even embrace! — segregation, knowing that federal policy got us into this mess and only federal policy can get us out.
Education reform must be in the business of educating our youth in non-discriminatory environments. Making people upwardly mobile requires providing great schools and dismantling systems that keep students from receiving what they need to be successful.
Read the full article about educational reform that ignores segregation by Andre Perry at The Hechinger Report.
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