Why American’t Pay for Better Schools

By Alissa Berman

Jemeria Winter runs to her Spanish class every day so she can be the first one there. It isn’t, however, to get a good seat or talk to her friends. She wants a blanket to protect her from freezing Philadelphia winters. Her classrooms walls aren’t insulated because they don’t have the money to keep their students warm. Poor schools like hers can’t afford field trips, reasonable salaries, modern technology, or basic comforts. They only have money for duct taped windows, doorless and mirrorless bathrooms, several blankets, and trash cans that collect the rain that drips through the dilapidated ceiling.

Students in poor schools don’t have the same opportunities other students have, which limits their future. When students attend well-funded schools, they are more likely to attend college, and have a higher paying job as an adult. The problem is largely that public schools are funded by local government, not federal government, and most money comes from local property tax. Wealthier communities pay more in property taxes so they have more money to spend on their students. Poor schools stay poor and rich schools stay rich.

Every child, regardless of their financial situation, deserves a good education. When children aren’t given the right tools, they can’t excel and grow. According to the National Bureau of Education, “A 20 percent increase in per-pupil spending a year for poor children can lead to an additional year of completed education, 25 percent higher earnings, and a 20-percentage point reduction in the incidence of poverty in adulthood.”  Students don’t need that much help to succeed. Students just need equitable treatment. Students need a government that takes time to solve the problem.

Unfortunately, the solution isn’t as simple as giving money to poorer schools. There are many obstacles to overcome before funding underprivileged schools. Opponents claim that spending more money doesn’t improve schools, but The New York Times article “It Turns Out Spending More Probably Does Improve Education” effectively refutes their claims; they gather evidence proving schools with better funding are more successful.  The other major problem is that the federal government doesn’t help. Federal funding should be directed toward poverty-stricken schools, but many senators refuse to listen to advocates of school equity. That shouldn’t stop us. The students who are lucky enough to get a good education need to fight for our less-privileged peers, and the government who didn’t help educate us needs to listen. We can’t give up; if senators refuse to listen, we can shout louder. Funds need to be equally distributed, the federal government needs to step in, schools need to be equally prioritized. Students like Jameria deserve the same opportunities as everyone else. It’s time for equal school funding.

 

 

Works Cited

Carey, Kevin. “It Turns Out Spending More Probably Does Improve Education.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 12 Dec. 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/12/12/nyregion/it-turns-out-spending-more-probably-does-improve-education.html.

Semuels , Alana. “Good School, Rich School; Bad School, Poor School.” The Atlantic , TheAtlantic.Com, 26 Aug. 2016, www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/08/property-taxes-and-unequal-schools/497333/.

Turner, Cory, et al. “Can More Money Fix America’s Schools?” NPR, NPR, 25 Apr. 2016, www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/04/25/468157856/can-more-money-fix-americas-schools.

Turner , Cory, et al. “Why America’s Schools Have A Money Problem .” NPR, NPR, 18 Apr. 2016, www.npr.org/2016/04/18/474256366/why-americas-schools-have-a-money-problem.  

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