The killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by Minneapolis police turned a national spotlight on the urgent need to address systemic inequities affecting America’s Black communities. While the focus has been on police reform, and rightly so, it’s important to consider other policy areas that also create an uneven playing field for people of color. Among the most consequential is how states fund schools.
At a time when our country is fiercely divided along partisan lines, school finance reform presents an opportunity for meaningful bipartisan policy change. Public education is primarily funded by state and local tax dollars. While every state has a funding formula containing some mechanism for equalizing revenue across school districts, most states don’t give low-income students their fair share. Affluent communities can more easily tap into their tax bases to raise additional dollars, which can lead to gaping inequities that too often shortchange students of color.
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