Leftists like to give the simple equation that public schools are paid by property taxes and because people live in poorer neighborhoods where renting is more prevalent, they do not get enough funding for schools. This is clearly leaving out the whole equations. Public schools receive funding from 4 sources: Federal, State, Local and sometimes private. The percentages vary as far as how much is contributed between the four sources, but we can easily measure how much money schools are spending with Per-Pupil statistics.
We will use the examples of Baltimore, Detroit and Cleveland and compare to their state averages. Baltimore spends around $16,000 per pupil whereas Maryland’s state spending averages around $14,200. Detroit spends around $14,200 per pupil whereas Michigan’s state spending averages around $11,600 per pupil. Cleveland spends around $20,000 per pupil whereas Ohio’s state spending averages around $12,000 per pupil.
Clearly, they are spending money in these school districts that are majority Black. The question is why are they failing these children? Bad administration, bloated salaries, teachers’ unions, debt and poorly focused budgeting by school districts & local government. Every year local officials across the country figure out how much money school districts get and where that money is being focused towards. The mayors are determining the amount and the school boards are stating where this money goes within the school system. They are voted in and have party affiliation. Politicians are wastefully spending every year, and nothing changes for these public schools.
Money is not the complete indicator for success of children. If that was the case, how come Charter schools can come into a poor neighborhood, use the same tax dollars and create a safer and higher performing school? The answer is better management and less bureaucracy. Therefore, school choice matters for these areas as it allows for parents to determine the future for their children.
The theory that lower local taxes generated as being the determining factor for poorer performing schools in cities across the country does not make complete sense. Even if there is a greater population of people that are renting in these cities, they are paying someone that owns that property, hence, someone is paying local taxes. Other than project housing that is government sourced, private landlords and property management groups are paying the city property taxes. Even if residents are on Section 8, that money is going to a property owner that is paying property taxes. No state has a flat tax rate for every town or city because this is determined by the local government and highly populated cities tend to tax a higher percentage for property taxes than lower populated towns.