By: Krystle Crossman
Funding for education is a big issue these days and one that is being scrutinized carefully by the public and politicians alike. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says that the children from low-income areas are already at a great disadvantage when it comes to their education because of funding but it is only going to get worse if certain bills and acts pass through the government. He specifically named the No Child Left Behind Act and the Student Success Act. Both fo these are Republican-based acts which Duncan states are taking more of the funding away from the disadvantaged areas and giving it to the schools that already have plenty of funding. This is leaving children in the low-income areas with teachers that are less qualified, no school supplies, and sub-standard school conditions.
As it is right now there is already a very large gap between minority students and white students when it comes to educational success. Minority students generally score lower on tests, have higher dropout rates, and have higher suspension rates. They have to deal with school conditions that are less-than-ideal such as buildings falling into disrepair and lack of basic amenities such as air conditioning and heat. How are they supposed to be able to focus on their education in such a poor environment? Yet no more funding is coming in to these areas of the country. The money ends up going to the schools that already have plenty.
Duncan has tried to have both acts stopped before they have come to a vote as he states that they are only going to bring about a “reverse Robin Hood” effect. They will funnel more money into the affluent schools and budget cuts will be made in the districts that already have so little. This is going to put the minority students at an even more unfair disadvantage. Duncan says that the point of having federal funding for students is not to give money to the schools to help change the inequalities between the state and local governments but is meant to help the needy kids. Children with disabilities, minority students, students in low-income areas are all supposed to be the benefactors of federal funding but that is not that way that things have happened. These students are suffering because of the misappropriation of federal funding.