- New research conducted by data analyst David Mosenkis finds that poverty alone does not account for funding level disparities among Pennsylvania school districts.
- Mosenkis found that poverty did account for a lot of the differences between districts’ funding levels, but districts with the same number of poor students received different amounts of school dollars depending on the race of those students.
- All-white or overwhelmingly white schools received more funding, while the presence of slightly more minority students had an immediate impact on funding.
The findings are just the latest in years of revelation about the educational disparities between white students and their black, Hispanic, and other minority peers. But the inequality is also sustained by the severe cuts Pennsylvania, as well as other states, has made to school funding, resulting in systemic effects on everything from school nurses to teacher hiring.
The state also doesn’t have a set formula for disbursing school funding to districts, which, as The Atlantic points out, leaves “lots of room for partisan politics and funding bias.” The state is contemplating a new plan and a formula for handing out funds, but Mosenkis says it will merely assuage, not close, the gaps.