UNEQUAL FUNDING AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
Public schools receive their funding from three principal sources; 57% of funding comes from the state, 14% from the federal government, and the remaining 29% from other local sources and donations (Biddle & Berliner, 2002). However, there exists a huge discrepancy in the funding of schools as it varies across the school districts. These variations and discrepancy are said to have had a great impact on the performance levels of students. This paper reviews various historical works of literature establishing the effect of this variation in funding while simultaneously delving into the link that exists between unequal funding and educational attainment. Education in 19th Century The then government schools were commonly known as the common schools. This impliedly means that some schools with low funding may not have these facilities.
As a result, learning may be disruptive to them and this may be reflected in their performance in schools. This, therefore, asserts the existence of a link between the unequal funding and the performance or educational attainment. According to Wenglinsky (1997), a study that was conducted on the distortion of the American education system, the unequal funding per head in different states and district has distorted the education system in the United States. This was confirmed by the ruling of the Supreme Court of California in 1971. This was found to be a deprivation measure that elicited lack of positive attitude towards learning and schooling. The negative emotionality in turn affected to cognitive performance of these school children. In this regard, the study found some neighboring effects as a foundation of poor performance in some schools.
It asserted that most of these students who received low funding per head came from low progression areas. As such, they lacked the role models in this low academic progression areas where they lived. They argued the resistance to the move was a function of ignorance about the funding differences that existed and their effects and that they were “unthinkingly” accepting the traditional way of funding education. The opposers of the move argued that the success or failure of a student is resultant of the input of effort and not social circumstances. This study, however, found that there was a sizeable net effect of differences in funding on the achievement of the students. The effects were found to be large. This was also found to be true by a cross-sectional study that was conducted and which examined the spending trends up to 1991 from 1967 (Best & Kahn, 2016).
This places the higher-funded schools at an advantage over those that are less funded. According to a study that was conducted on the 11th-grade achievement scores and which engaged many districts in Oklahoma, the per-student funding and the student poverty within the schools were found connected with achievement (Condron & Roscigno, 2003). The effects of the student poverty were found to be more severe than they were those of per-student funding. Actually, the study established that student poverty affected student achievement twice as much as the per-student funding did. The same results were obtained as being a determinant of the 8th-grade scores across the many schools in various districts of the states. J. , & Berliner, D. C. Unequal School Funding in the United States.
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