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School Finance

"ESEA Reauthorization: Comparable But Unequal"

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A loophole in federal education law leads more than 12,000 high-poverty schools to receive on average $1,200 less per student in funding than lower-poverty schools, finds a new report by the Center for American Progress.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires districts to provide "comparable" education services for students in high- and low-poverty schools, but districts can calculate teacher pay by average, rather than individual salaries.

Using 2010-11 school finance data, researchers found that across 50 states and the District of Columbia, differences in total teacher salaries between schools of different poverty levels created a funding gap of about $8.5 billion.

Vol. 34, Issue 24, Page 5

Published in Print: March 18, 2015, as School Finance
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