NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED536079
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
There Still Be Dragons: Racial Disparity in School Funding Is No Myth
Miller, Raegen; Epstein, Diana
Center for American Progress
It's hard to debunk a myth that's not a myth, but Jason Richwine of the Heritage Foundation has given it a try in his recent backgrounder, "The Myth of Racial Disparities in Public School Financing." The report suggests that public education spending is broadly similar across racial and ethnic groups, and it has found a predictably receptive audience in the conservative blogosphere. Richard Spencer of Alternative Right, for example, writes that "Richwine is helping policy analysts take a step closer to racial reality," whatever that means. The report ignores a crucial reality highlighted, ironically, in another Heritage publication. "Schools serving low-income students are often poorly funded," as put in 2000 by Samuel Casey Carter in "No Excuses: Lessons from 21 High-Performing, High-Poverty Schools." This reality matters because poverty rates vary among racial and ethnic groups. Given the tangled relationships among education funding, poverty, and race, how can Richwine conclude that racial disparity in education funding is a myth? The answer is that his analysis aggregates spending figures to the regional and national level, thus obscuring disparities within states or within districts. In this paper, the authors provide fresh evidence of racial disparities in education funding using state-by-state analysis of district level data. They also highlight a new and growing body of evidence, which Richwine ignores, of racial funding disparities within districts. They employ Richwine's basic methodology, which has the potential for shedding light on racial disparities, but they make starkly different analytic choices along the way. (Contains 2 tables.)
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress