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ERIC Number: ED535549
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug
Pages: 56
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Unequal Education: Federal Loophole Enables Lower Spending on Students of Color
Spatig-Amerikaner, Ary
Center for American Progress
In 1954 the Supreme Court declared that public education is "a right which must be made available to all on equal terms." That landmark decision in "Brown v. Board of Education" stood for the proposition that the federal government would no longer allow states and municipalities to deny equal educational opportunity to a historically oppressed racial minority. Ruling unanimously, the justices overturned the noxious concept that "separate" education could ever be "equal." Yet today, nearly 60 years later, our schools remain separate and unequal. Almost 40 percent of black and Hispanic students attend schools where more than 90 percent of students are nonwhite. The average white student attends a school where 77 percent of his or her peers are also white. Schools today are "as segregated as they were in the 1960s before busing began." We are living in a world in which schools are patently separate. In "Brown" the Court focused on the detrimental impact of legal separation--the fact that official segregation symbolized and reinforced the degraded status of blacks in America. Today's racial separation in schools may not have the formal mandate of local law, but it just as surely reflects and reinforces lingering status differences between whites and nonwhites by enabling a system of public education funding that shortchanges students of color. Separate will always be unequal. But just how unequal is the education we offer our students of color today? This paper answers this question using one small but important measure--per-pupil state and local spending. This fraction of spending is certainly not the only useful measure of educational opportunity. How we spend our money is perhaps more important. But newly released data give us the opportunity to shed new light, specifically on inequity in spending from state and local sources. The new dataset is appended. (Contains 5 tables, 7 figures and 76 endnotes.)
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Ford Foundation
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education; Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title I