$23 Billion

$23 Billion

In 2016, U.S. school districts serving a largely white student population received $23 billion more in total funding than districts serving mostly students of color, a report from EdBuild finds. The report, $23 Billion (HTML or PDF, 12 pages), found that predominantly white and non-white districts enroll 26 percent and 27 percent, respectively, of all students nationwide, and that only 5 percent of students in the U.S. go to school in districts that are both mostly white and high-poverty, whereas 20 percent of students go to school in mostly non-white high-poverty districts. The report also found that predominately white and white high-poverty districts received an average of $14,000 and $12,987 per student, respectively, while non-white districts and non-white high-poverty districts received only $11,682 and $11,500 per student, in large part because school districts in high-poverty areas — where more students of color live — have lower local property tax revenue and must rely on state funding, which has largely failed to make up the difference. According to the study, the average high-poverty non-white district serves more than ten thousand students — three times the national average, while the average white district enrolls only fifteen hundred students and high-poverty white districts enroll even fewer students. To address the racial and economic segregation characteristic of school districts in America, the report calls for de-coupling "local control" of schools from "local funding" — a mechanism that has resulted in an inequitable "system where wealth is preserved for the lucky...in racially concentrated white school districts."

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