Federal Loophole Enables Lower Spending on Students of Color
Today, nearly 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, our schools remain separate and unequal. Almost 40 percent of black and Hispanic students attend schools where more than 90 percent of students are nonwhite. The average white student attends a school where 77 percent of his or her peers are also white. Schools today are “as segregated as they were in the 1960s before busing began.”.
Separate will always be unequal. But just how unequal is the education we offer our students of color today? This paper answers this question using one small but important measure—per-pupil state and local spending.
For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Education in 2009 collected school-level expenditure data that includes real teacher salaries. Amazingly, this had never been done before. The author uses these data to examine per-pupil spending in public schools, finding that: