Should all schools be funded equally by the government? In today’s society we often wonder how the money we pay in taxes is being distributed amongst educational facilities. If we pay equal taxes within our school district, should the schools we send our children to be funded equally too? According to an American Youth Policy Forum that was held on June 8, 2001 on Capitol Hill, students from poor families, who live in an under privileged school district, should have the right to gain access to equal education opportunity. If a student lives in a bad school district and are sent to a private school should they still suffer? A poor school district may not have resources available to students while a private school may. If schools are equally funded, all students will have an equal opportunity to learn.
Public schools are funded through federal, state and local taxes and do not charge a tuition. Private schools, on the other hand, receive their funding through tuition, fundraising, and partial government funding. Private schools do not receive tax revenues, although all residents that live in the same school district pay the same amount in school taxes. This raises the question on whether this is fair or not and integrates the idea of vouchers. If money was attached to a child, schools must perform well or they will loose the money. In today’s world, public schools know that they will have the money allotted to them regardless of enrollment. In private schools, they do not have this luxury. Programs, resources, extra curricular activities and teacher salaries are all dependant on how they receive their funding.
Both public schools and private schools follow the same standards of learning required by the state. However, private schools are not subject to as many state and federal regulations as public schools. Private schools are more flexible in developing their curriculum and can create specialized programs for students. Is this the best way for children to learn or should they have one standardized curriculum as the public schools do?
Religion is another area to explore when talking about funding. When you send your child to a catholic school, part of the tuition pays for religious educational classes, school liturgies, and religious resources. Meanwhile, students that attend public schools that want to complete their sacraments go to after school religious classes (CCD). These religious classes are free to public school students. CCD teachers are volunteers and the church pays for any materials needed for instruction.
The resources available between public and private schools vary as well. Many public schools have access to numerous technological resources while private schools may not. The number of computers available to students, and the use of technology in the classrooms are significantly different between both schools. Also, the text books that are available to students cause a problem. In public schools the books are constantly updated through government funding, while in private schools outdated books are common to be found in the classroom. If students are to be equally educated the resources available should be equal as well.
All states need to investigate where the money is being applied and reallocate the funding to the schools where the money is needed. It is a shame that so much money is being wasted and the children are the ones who are suffering in the end.