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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida gets poor grades in new study on education funding

12

October

TAMPA - Florida earned a D grade on one measure of education funding in a new study by the New Jersey-based Education Law Center, with support from the Ford Foundation.

The study by center staff and Bruce Baker, an education professor at Rutgers University, examined the distribution of state education funding compared to poverty levels within districts. Using that method, the researchers found that Florida's funding system is regressive, in that districts with a poverty rate of zero percent get $10,216 per student in state and local funding, while districts with higher poverty rates get less -- down to $9,251 for districts with a poverty rate of 30 percent. Such numbers earned Florida a D in terms of funding distribution.

By contrast, the funding formulas in four states -- Utah, New Jersey, Minnesota and Ohio -- provide increasing levels of support to poorer districts. Such systems are fairer, the researchers argue, since they address the "additional needs" generated by poverty. In effect, those states provide more money to their neediest students.

Using another measure, states' "effort" at raising education funding, Florida earned a C. In terms of the state's coverage -- the share of school-aged students attending public schools, and the median household income of their families -- Florida ranked 46 out of 50.

Take a look and let us know what you think. Does this study seem to provide a fair assessment of school funding here?

 

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 5:37pm]

    

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