I am pleased that, as U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in the following article posted, “The facts are out there like they’ve never been before,” but these findings have been more than just “long suspected.”
In 1991, Jonathan Kozol detailed this in his book, Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools, that discusses the disparities in education between schools of different classes and races. It is based on his observations of various classrooms in the public school systems of East St. Louis, Chicago, New York City, Camden, Cincinnati, and Washington D.C.
His observations take place in both schools with the lowest per capita spending on students and the highest, ranging from just over $3,000 in Camden, New Jersey to a maximum expenditure of up to $15,000 in Great Neck, Long Island.
In his visits to these areas, Kozol illustrates the overcrowded, unsanitary and often understaffed environment that is lacking in basic tools and textbooks for teaching. He cites the large proportions of minorities in the areas with the lowest annual budgets, despite the higher taxation rate on individuals living in poverty within the school district.
This article states that, “Though Duncan highlighted the glaring disparities Wednesday, his administration has so far prioritized other issues — such as standards and innovation — over funding equity.”
These glaring disparities have always been known so, unfortunately, I doubt the report will alter priorities any more than Kozal’s findings did.