At the dawn of the Obama era, in anticipation of an increase in their “take” from government, black civic and religious leaders in Chicago started to chant the familiar phrase “inner city schools are underfunded.” Given the willingness of Americans to attribute uneven results to uneven fundamentals and the knee-jerk support for this premise it gets from the media “underfunding is the cause of underperformance” is automatically accepted as true by most people. Nationally schools with a predominately black student body receive 105% of the “white school” baseline while Asians get 107% of what White receive and Hispanics recieve about the same as white students. By region the story changes dramatically. In the Northeast blacks get 16% more funding than Whites, Asians receive 12% more funding and Hispanics top all groups with 17% more funding than whites. In the Southern region, blacks students get 105% of what white students receive.
What accounts for the lag between black public school student achievement and their white counterparts is a question for another day.
Nevertheless, the next time you hear the NAACP complain that, “Quality public education for African-American and Latino students is persistently threatened as a direct result of inequitable school funding,” keep these figures in mind.
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This article originally appeared on CoachIsRight.com and is reprinted with permission.