An excellent report in the Democrat and Chronicle today by Meaghan McDermott exposes the inequality between wealthy, suburban and poor, rural school districts. Wealthy kids get to take endless Advanced Placement and foreign language classes. A poor valedictorian can’t even get into SUNY Geneseo because of a thin transcript.
Rural school districts were hit much harder than their richer counterparts when the state cut school funding, according to a report from the Alliance for Quality Education. The D&C reports relatively poor Brockport lost $2,000 of funding per student while wealthier Pittsford lost $700.
Add in the property tax cap, and the poor districts are squeezed like never before.
Excerpt from article:
“I’m not arguing that we have to be able to offer all that wealthier districts can,” said Mike Ford, superintendent of the Phelps Clifton-Springs Central School District in Ontario County. “But the state can’t allow districts like mine to face the prospect next year of not having kindergarten, or not having electives or having our juniors and seniors going to school a half-day and only getting 22 credits for graduation and that’s all.”
The report did not focus on the Rochester City School District, because it is not funded through property taxes. But poor, urban districts face the same lack of resources. The RCSD doesn’t have librarians in all elementary schools. Some children are not even taking the bare minimum of physical education, art and music.
Should the quality of children’s public education be dependent on where they live?