underfunded schools By: Charlie Plunkett

In the heart of the 20th century, groups were protesting and actively insisting the basic rights that all humans deserve to have, however, certain people and groups were being denied these rights. These groups had to take blows and bruises for these rights, and now, that most of these issues are settled, we’d never want to repeat history and deny basic rights again, right? Well, according to lawmakers, “they simply aren’t up to the task of adequately funding schools.” (Mindless Underfunding of Schools). These lawmakers are denying the basic rights to children just because they have a different opinion, they are literally repeating history. Also, according to the U.S. Department of Education, “More than 40 percent of schools…spent less state and local money on teachers and other personnel than schools that don’t receive…money at the same grade level in the same district.” (40% of Low-Income). Additionally, from the same article it states, “Analysis found that providing low-income schools with comparable spending would cost as little as 1 percent of the average district’s total spending.” (40% of Low-Income). So these two pieces of evidence clearly demonstrate how big of a problem of a problem this is because nearly 50% of poor schools face this problem when it could be easily solved, which on its own is part of the definition to a Civil Rights issue. A problem with basic rights that has a lack of interest or care for the people it affects.

Poor children are forced out of their schools and into the adult world due to the lack of funds.

Going back into history, this mindset of underfunded schools is very similar to the mindset of education during the Civil Rights Movement. During the golden age for the fight of civil rights, a big topic was education. While many people did oppose equal education for African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, the people who did support it had the mindset of, “All people…should have the right to a decent education.” (Education and Civil Rights). This also relates to the modern belief for modern education that, “All kids living in the United States have the right to a free public education.” (Your Right to Equality in Education). Both of these pieces of evidence clearly demonstrate the fact about how lower-class schools during the Civil Rights Movement and modern day are similar because both deserve equal education, but are not receiving it due to the fact that people view them as less and inferior.

On the contrary, while many people do view education during the Civil Rights Movement and modern day as similar, they also had a big difference. From the end of the Civil Rights Movement to now, it has seemed that the main group (African Americans) affected by segregation back in the 20th century has only improved in terms of education. “Dropout rate of African Americans declined from 20.5 percent…to 13.0 percent.” (Impact of the Civil Rights Laws). Additionally, this next source states, “Highschool graduation rate among African Americans have increased substantially in the past 20 years.” (Impact of the Civil Rights Laws). Both of these pieces of evidence clearly demonstrate the fact of how civil rights have improved for African Americans in terms of education due to the fact that they are dropping out of highschool less and graduating more. This suggests the fact that it has become easier and more socially acceptable for African Americans in highschool. However, it has seemed that schooling for the poor has gotten worse. An article states, “States’ new budgets are providing less per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did six years ago-often far less.” (States Funding Schools Less). This piece of evidence clearly shows how different the underfunded school situation is from the Civil Rights education issues. The evidence clearly points out the fact that economic issues for these schools has only gotten worse, thus making the situation even worse. It is obvious that this is very distinct to the Civil Rights Movement education issue which has seemed to have only gotten better.

Currently, the funds for poor schools can't keep up with all of the students.

In these Civil Rights issues, it is often very sad to see people suffering like this. The people in need could always use more assistance, and there’s a way for you to help the people who are suffering an underfunded education. The way to get involved in this situation is simply by funding the underfunded issue. These funds can go into the teachers and technology. Currently, when a teacher must be replaced in these poor schools, “The state will only free up the funds for the starting pay for that position, which is about $15,000 less on average.” ( )In perspective, that’s not a lot considering that the average teacher makes anywhere from $45,000 to $50,000 a year. So if the state is only providing that little amount of money, it’s going to be very hard for these poor schools to pay all of their staff, so by donating, it would help these schools to pay their staff which in turn would help the students. Additionally, the same article stated, “Course choice model, under which students can supplement their educational programs with individual courses…only 11 states with course choice policies allow funding to follow the student.” ( ). So these programs are very good for the poor schools as it would allow the undereducated students to receive some extra curriculum which may help them get to college. However, this method isn’t spread across the country by too much, but with charitable funding this could become a very effective method to helping students. While saddening, it’s clear that with outside support it’s possible for these underfunded schools to improve.

Bibliography: Photos: http://www.middbeat.org/2013/02/21/disability-dis-location-and-the-school-to-prison-pipeline-guest-lecture/ , https://www.pinterest.com/ddedmm1/sfea-fb/ Websites: https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/more-40-low-income-schools-dont-get-fair-share-state-and-local-funds-department- , http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/the-civil-rights-movement-in-america-1945-to-1968/education-and-civil-rights/ , https://www.aclu.org/other/your-right-equality-education , http://www.cbpp.org/research/most-states-funding-schools-less-than-before-the-recession , https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/impact.html , http://educationpost.org/no-dollar-left-behind-how-states-can-fix-school-funding-to-help-kids/


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