Friday, July 1, 2016

Gov. Chris Christie smacks New Jersey public schools — right where it hurts - The Washington Post

Gov. Chris Christie smacks New Jersey public schools — right where it hurts - The Washington Post:

Gov. Chris Christie smacks New Jersey public schools — right where it hurts

On March 14, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie waves to the crowd as they walk off the stage after a rally at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C.  (Chuck Burton/AP)


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie just slapped public schools in his state right where it hurts: funding.
As Christie spends time advising presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — and apparently, turning up on  Trump’s  list of vice presidential candidates — he continues governing New Jersey (with approval ratings at an all-time low). And in that role, he just proposed a new public school funding system that he calls the “Fairness Formula.” But critics say that it is actually wildly unfair to students and taxpayers.
School funding is a central issue in public education (but one that corporate school reformers, unfortunately, have systemically ignored while favoring controversial standardized test-based accountability systems and school choice). The public education system in the United States relies heavily on property taxes, so wealthier districts obviously have more to spend. Though there is federal funding that is aimed at bridging the gap, it doesn’t. Nor does private philanthropy.
recent report issued by the Education Law Center in New Jersey, using 2013 U.S. Census data (the most recent available), found that public school funding in most states is inequitable. Among the findings:
  • Funding levels show wide disparities among states, ranging from a high of $17,331 per pupil in Alaska, to a low of $5,746 in Idaho.
  • Many of the states with the lowest funding levels, such as California, Idaho, Nevada, North Carolina and Texas, invest a very low percentage of state economic capacity in funding public education.
  • Fourteen states, including Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Illinois, are regressive, providing less funding to school districts with higher concentrations of low-income students.
  • Certain regions of the country exhibit a double disadvantage — many states with low funding overall add no additional funds for concentrated student poverty. These include Gov. Chris Christie smacks New Jersey public schools — right where it hurts - The Washington Post:


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