Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wisconsin gets in 'F' in fair school funding

Wisconsin does a lousy job when it comes to equitable distribution of educational funding, shortchanging districts with large shares of poor students and doing even worse things to districts that have high minority student enrollments.

Wisconsin state and local governments pump $351 per student more into the wealthiest districts than into poorest ones, according to The Education Trust; the gap in funding between the whitest districts and those with the most minority students is a whopping $1,043 per student. Those gaps are greater if you factor in the additional costs of education children in poverty to a standard similar to wealthier children.

Here is something from the Trust for the governor to think about as he prepares his budget.

Once states assume more responsibility for education funding, they should target funds to help educate lowincome children. In Massachusetts, for example, local taxes account for a majority of public schools’ revenue, but statefunding is highly targeted, which allows the state to do more to address funding equity than some other states.

Wisconsin, in contrast, actually allocates a majority of all public education revenue at the state level, but still maintains funding gaps that disadvantage both high-poverty and high minority
districts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This report is hogwash as it regards the state funding system.

So far, our courts have refused to allow poor school districts to take money directly from the property tax levy of a weathier school district. It's not legal.

In the meantime, poor school districts receive the largest share of state aid as the formula requires. Wealthier school districts that choose to spend more lose state aid - often in amounts that exceed the spending increase.

And while we are at it, there is little or no correlation between money and student outcome.

Oh... and last of all, in Wisconsin the highest spending school district is a Unified High School district. It cannot be compared to a K-12 district because the cost-per-pupil is greater at the high-school level.