1703 North Beauregard St.
Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
Tel: 1-800-933-ASCD (2723)
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday
Local to the D.C. area: 1-703-578-9600
Toll-free from U.S. and Canada: 1-800-933-ASCD (2723)
All other countries: (International Access Code) + 1-703-578-9600
November 23, 2016 | Volume 12 | Issue 6
Table of Contents
Spending for Equity: Doing More with Less
Equal doesn't mean equitable, and that is especially true when it comes to school funding in the United States, where laws haven't adjusted to evolving communities and student populations. In the United States, schools get most of their funding through a per-pupil formula that allocates money from local taxes, state lotteries, and federal grants to districts, who in turn allocate funds to schools (Turner, Khrais, Lloyd, Olgin, Isensee, Vevea, & Carsen, 2016). Having the same universal per-student allocation for schools in both affluent and nonaffluent communities will never level the playing field for those who need it most.
Although the federal government compensates qualifying schools with Title funds, there is never enough money, and here's why.
Coming up with a system that addresses these needs requires education leaders to prioritize spending in areas that specifically narrow the opportunity gap.
What Principals Can Do
Principals are the gatekeepers when it comes to funds. They ultimately decide what to spend money on. Below are some strategies to ensure the spending in your school has the greatest impact on narrowing the gap.
What District Leaders Can Do
District leaders are the decision makers when it comes to deciding what to spend money on before funds are distributed to schools. Below are some strategies to ensure that funding coming from outside of schools has the greatest influence inside of schools.
The school funding debate in the United States will continue for years to come, and maybe one day legislation will reflect the true needs of evolving communities. In the meantime, whether you are a principal or district leader, it is crucial that you know how to make the most out of what you have been given and know how to make it work for the kids and those who teach them.
Turner, C., Khrais, R., Lloyd, T., Olgin, A., Isensee, L., Vevea, B., & Carsen, D. (2016, April 18). Why America's schools have a money problem. NPR. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2016/04/18/474256366/why-americas-schools-have-a-money-problem
VanDenBerg, J., Bruns, E. J., & Burchard, J. (2008). History of the wraparound process. In E. J. Bruns & J. S. Walker (Eds.), The resource guide to wraparound. Portland, OR: National Wraparound Initiative, Research and Training Center for Family Support and Children's Mental Health.
Claudia Romano is the principal at Pugh Elementary in Houston, Texas. Connect with her on Twitter @Claudia__Romano.
ASCD Express, Vol. 12, No. 6. Copyright 2016 by ASCD. All rights reserved. Visit www.ascd.org/ascdexpress.
Subscribe to ASCD Express, our free e-mail newsletter, to have practical, actionable strategies and information delivered to your e-mail inbox twice a month.
ASCD respects intellectual property rights and adheres to the laws governing them. Learn more about our permissions policy and submit your request online.