Why Our Nation Needs Fair School Funding
Education has always been the cornerstone of freedom and democracy, and key to economic prosperity. But never before in our history has education been more crucial to the collective future of our nation and to the individual futures of our young people. Our public schools must strive to provide equality in educational opportunity unlike at any time in the nation’s history. The demand is urgent and growing to educate all students to meet rigorous academic standards, and to prepare them for post-secondary education and an increasingly specialized workforce in the global economy. Accomplishing this goal means significantly narrowing, if not closing, longstanding and stubborn gaps in achievement that exist among subgroups of the nation’s students.1 These daunting educational challenges are compounded by fundamental changes in our economy and labor
markets, and a seismic shift in our nation’s demographics.2Meeting the equal-opportunity challenge in education requires funding all public schools at levels sufficient to provide a rigorous curriculum in a broad range of subject areas, delivered by welltrained teachers, and supported by effective school and district leaders. It also requires sufficient funds for schools serving high numbers of low-income students, English-language learners, and students with other special needs. Concentrated student poverty in schools generates greater needs that, in turn, require resources to support effective programs and strategies such as high quality early education, full-day kindergarten, after-school and summer-school programs, and smaller classes in the early grades.3For more information and to download copies of this report, go to www.schoolfundingfairness.org.