Blaming Black underachievement on underfunding “inner-city” schools doesn’t hold up


By Kevin “Coach” Collins

 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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2 thoughts on “Blaming Black underachievement on underfunding “inner-city” schools doesn’t hold up”

  1. If this were the issue, then the Kansas City Schools would be gleaming,successful examples by now. About 20 years ago, in response to an endless Federal discrimination case that argued the inner-city schools did not get enough money, Kansas City raised property taxes and spent piles of money on the Kansas City School District. I am thinking it was a billion dollars or so. The District is now one of the worst, closing schools, high crime, high dropout rate, constant changes of Superintendents, an ineffective School Board — a complete disaster. Money accomplished only one thing – allow them to build some nice structures. Some of those are now empty.

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