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Chicago Public School

Chicago Public School

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There are different educational policies for each district in every state. Certain education policies make funding difficult for schools. There have been problems with the funding for Chicago Public Schools; in fact, Chicago Public Schools and the rest of Illinois have the biggest funding gap in the nation. This gap has led to a lawsuit between CPS and the Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner. The school board of CPS claims, in the lawsuit, that the state of Illinois and Gov. Rauner are in violation of the Illinois Civil Rights Act for maintaining a “separate but unequal” system for funding schools in the district, as well as pension obligations.

“I guess I don’t understand why they would be separate…and I wonder why they aren’t being funded the same way, which is how I [believe] it should be. Unless there is a funding formula that gives them a higher percentage of funds based on poverty rates, but it appears that [CPS] is getting less funding [than the rest of Illinois],” says History Teacher Crystal Divers.

Gov. Rauner has been trying to make the case seem like it is about poverty more so than race. Yet, the school system with less funding (CPS) is 90% African American and Hispanic children, while the rest of the school system for Illinois is predominately white and receiving more money.

“[The ruling of the lawsuit] seems like it’s an illogical response and unfair. I don’t understand why [the ruling] was [deemed right because the ruling] goes against the Brown v Board of Education case, which ruled that separate does not mean equal,” says Divers.

Trying to make sense of why the funding was not the same for the two school district was hard. Divers and I looked at several pages that slightly explained why the schools were not equal in funding, but no website gave a clear answer.

“In general, in some states, schools are funded based on testing scores or graduation rates. Schools that have the lower testing rates get less money, and wouldn’t you think that the state would give more money to the schools that need to test better, to help the students? And also, there can be a problem with graduation rates, and schools can get less funding the lower the graduation rate is. I would think that the state would provide more money to the schools that have a lower graduation rate to prevent dropouts and to try and raise the rate,” says Divers.

After talking to Mrs. Divers about the funding in Chicago, I began to wonder what the funding is like for South Carolina.

“The general money is provided by the state budget and the local budget. So the state department of education currently provides schools districts $2350 [which] actually comes to schools based on the weighted number of students. The rest of the funding that is printed per student is provided through local tax money; the funding can be different because of the tax revenue for that district. The state will provide some extra state funding to offset the districts that have high poverty, low local tax revenue, or if the district has a higher ability to pay the local tax, then the state would not provide them the full $2350,” says Principal Mike Sinclair.

As a charter school, the funding is slightly different than how the state would fund a public school.

“To help charter schools open and operate, the state legislature created a statewide charter school district. This district is funded based on the average funding level in districts that currently have charter schools. Therefore, schools in the state charter district are currently funded at $5900 per student. This would help with more flexibility for Brashier because college is starting to charge students for the classes they take and Brasher would be able to help students pay for the classes,” says Sinclair.

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Brashier Middle College Charter High School News....written and created by students, for students
School Funding