Let's Commit to Equalizing Educational Opportunity!
In the Sunday Dialogue section in the New York Times, Dr. John H. Jackson, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, argues for a more just method for funding our nation's schools.
Severing the link between school finance and local property taxes would help to eliminate the funding inequities that plague our schools and that deprive low-income students of the resources and opportunities they need to succeed:
"Putting in place common, statewide school finance measures so that the resources available to schools would be allocated according to the educational needs of the students - rather than the comparative wealth of the parents - would improve educational opportunities for all students. Equal opportunity, after all, should be the American way."
Providing a case in point, Jackson cites a recent report from the Schott Foundation, "A Rotting Apple: Education Redlining in New York City," which offers a bleak look at the disparate educational opportunities available to students in different NYC school districts, and points to solutions that would ensure an opportunity to learn for every student in New York.
Jackson's Letter to the Editor was written in response to another Letter published last week, in which Judith Kafka, a professor at City University of New York, argued for increased school integration for children from low-income, middle-class and wealthy families. Breaching district boundaries would help diversify classrooms and generate more opportunities for low-income students by dismantling the exclusivity of well-resourced schools in wealthy suburbs. But many of the other Letter writers in the Sunday Dialogue, Jackson included, think that school integration does not constitute the systemic reform our school system needs.
Read Jackson's full Letter to the Editor here, and be sure to check out the other letters in response to Ms. Kafka on the page!