Forty years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez that state funding formulas for public schools based on local property taxes are not unconstitutional, a report says it’s time to push for new efforts to address decades-long disparities in how resources are parceled out to public schools.
The report, released last week by the, outlines a dozen or more “action steps” for federal, state, and local governments to ensure educational equity. Among those measures is a call for the U.S. Department of Education to design a Race to the Top competition to reward states that overhaul funding formulas to distribute money based on the actual needs of students and not where their schools are located.
The report also recommends pushing for more federal civil rights investigations and compliance reviews of states and school districts where disparities in per-pupil spending, as well as in distribution of resources such as access to college-preparatory courses and effective teachers, have been persistent.
A version of this article appeared in the April 24, 2013 edition of Education Week as Educational Equity