From EdWeek: “The federal government contributes roughly 8 percent of the $795 billion that annually goes toward educating the nation’s 50 million children. In many cases, however, the federal share falls short of its self-imposed targets, shortchanging schools on everything from high-need students and special education to facilities and school meals.
“This shortfall will persist without more vigorous and reliable federal intervention, argue the authors of a new report on funding sources for K-12 schools.
“Instead of asking school districts to rely on volatile state and local revenue, they say, the federal government needs to dramatically step up its investment in K-12 education and proactively establish funding programs that help schools during economic downturns.”
A few key findings emerged:
- High-poverty districts frequently get fewer dollars per student than low-poverty districts.
- Economic downturns like the Great Recession in the late 2000s magnify those gaps.
- Many states fail to cover districts whose local funding falls well short of adequacy.
“Drawing from the new report and other sources, here are a few ways federal funding leaves schools in the lurch, regardless of who is president and which party is in power.”
- Students with disabilities
- High-need students
- School facilities and infrastructure
- School meals
- English-language learners
- Schools on federally owned land
- Students experiencing homelessness
- EducationWeek: 7 Ways the Federal Government Shortchanges K-12 Schools
- Economic Policy Institute: Public education funding in the U.S. needs an overhaul