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New Study Shows Black Schools are Underfunded and 'Very Segregated'

Freddie Allen | 9/12/2012, 9:48 a.m.

The CAP report also found that in 24 states, when the number of minority students increased by 10 percent the per-pupil the money spent per student decreased. Sixty-three percent of all minority students attend schools in those states.

In October 2011, Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) co-authored H.R. 1294, Elementary and Secondary Education Fiscal Fairness Act to address the Title I loophole. H.R. 1294 "requires that states and school districts demonstrate that they are spending their state and local funds on all schools fairly, before receiving federal aid."

Fattah's amendment to Title I of NCLB would force school districts to include individual teacher salaries, not just an average, when they report annual budgets for each school. Fattah's amendment suggests that transparency in spending would lead to increased equity in funding across the board under the law.

Although, Spatig-Amerikaner admitted that changing the federal policy that affects school-level spending is not the ubiquitous cure to the economic disparities that exist, it is the right place to start. "It's not a silver bullet, but it's a big step in the right direction," said Spatig-Amerikaner.

It's no surprise that poorly-resourced, low-performing schools produce adults that are ill-equipped to contribute to society and the growth of the American economy. According to The Schott Foundation, this inequity cost tax payers a staggering 59.2 billion annually due to crime, healthcare costs, and the economic drag from a low-earning labor force.

The Social Sector of the McKinsey Company, a global management consulting firm, estimated that closing the achievement gap between minority students (Blacks and Latinos) and White students would add $310 billion to $525 billion to the country's gross domestic product.

Fattah said, "The economic circumstances of our country dictate that if we're going to compete against much larger populated countries like China and India we have to get all of our young people an education that allows them to pursue college and careers."

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