School & District Management

New Equity Panel Digs Into Funding

By Mary Ann Zehr — March 01, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The way schooling is paid for in the United States needs to be radically changed so that all students have equal opportunity, big names in education policy said at the first meeting of a new commission set up by the Obama administration to examine the impact of school finance on educational equity.

“You couldn’t design a scheme [of school finance] better to put children in the worst circumstances than the scheme we have now,” asserted U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., at the meeting last week in Washington of the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission. Mr. Fattah, along with Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., are not commission members but were lead sponsors of legislation to create it.

The panel of 28 education advocates, scholars, corporate executives, and lawyers plans to hold three more meetings and report back on how school financing at the local, state, and federal levels of government should be changed.

David G. Sciarra, the executive director of the Education Law Center in Newark, N.J., said that “the problem with the finance systems is that they are completely disconnected from the resources kids need to meet [academic] standards.” He suggested that the need for resources is greater for children from low-income families or families that don’t speak English.

Eric Hanushek, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, said that policymakers are “stuck into thinking about very marginal kinds of changes in the U.S. educational system.” Only dramatic changes will produce significant results in student performance, he added. In an interview, Christopher Edley, a co-chairman of the commission and the dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley, said the commission plans to rethink the government’s role in school financing. “One of our jobs is to think not around the corner but over the horizon,” he said.

Reed Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix and a co-chairman of the commission, added in the same interview that the commission’s review “isn’t limited to what federal programs to change.”

A version of this article appeared in the March 02, 2011 edition of Education Week as New Equity Panel Digs Into Funding


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
IT Infrastructure Webinar
A New Era In Connected Learning: Security, Accessibility and Affordability for a Future-Ready Classroom
Learn about Windows 11 SE and Surface Laptop SE. Enable students to unlock learning and develop new skills.
Content provided by Microsoft Surface
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Making Technology Work Better in Schools
Join experts for a look at the steps schools are taking (or should take) to improve the use of technology in schools.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management From Our Research Center Nearly Half of Educators Say Climate Change Is Affecting Their Schools—or Will Soon
Most educators said their school districts have not taken any action to prepare for more severe weather, a new survey finds.
6 min read
Global warming illustration, environment pollution, global warming heating impact concept. Change climate concept.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Opinion 7 Ways Principals Can Support Teachers
Listening more than talking is one vital piece of advice for school leaders to help teachers.
13 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
School & District Management What Schools Can Do to Tackle Climate Change (Hint: More Than You Think)
For starters, don't assume change is too difficult.
7 min read
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox hold a sign together and chant while participating in a "Global Climate Strike" at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Across the globe hundreds of thousands of young people took the streets Friday to demand that leaders tackle climate change in the run-up to a U.N. summit.
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox participate in a Global Climate Strike at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., in September 2019.
Khadejeh Nikouyeh/News & Record via AP
School & District Management 'It Has to Be a Priority': Why Schools Can't Ignore the Climate Crisis
Schools have a part to play in combating climate change, but they don't always know how.
16 min read
Composite image of school building and climate change protestors.
Illustration by F. Sheehan/Education Week (Images: iStock/Getty and E+)