Using this NPR story “Why America’s Schools Have A Money Problem” from a couple of years ago for background.
It makes sense that areas that had more taxes collected, i.e. wealthier neighborhoods often with bigger businesses located within them. As such, going to public school in Beverly Hills is a lot different than in Compton.
According to the National Counsel of State Legislators:
So the solution in most states has been for the states to make up the difference in areas lagging behind their more affluent areas but thus far states have been unable to significantly address inequalities. The NPR piece mentions that it has been implemented in North Carolina where the state handles two-thirds of the funding (in the country as a whole most school districts are funded 10% by the federal government and the remainder is equally split by local and state funding).
I couldn’t find any information as to how successful this has been in the Tarheel State though I did find a FAQ of sorts that spells all of it out in a pretty even-handed way.
I bring this up because Pennsylvania keeps on trying to address the dual desire to lower property taxes and fund the schools but they have failed because they include taxing groceries which is a nonstarter for politicians on both sides of the aisle. That hasn’t stopped the guy with “$12,000 in property taxes” from posting the failed bill dozens of times in the community group, oblivious to the fact that robbing Peter to pay Paul is only good for Paul (and that Peter will be affected much more significantly).
In the 2018 midterms, several states and one city had ballot initiatives addressing school funding with mixed results:
What is the solution? Does North Carolina - bearing in mind economic slowdowns and recessions can kill the state budget - have the right idea? Can we look to other countries or does our state system and a lack of real federal oversight/funding make us have to find fifty solutions for a fifty-state problem?
Education inequality is a huge problem in this country. The reliance on property taxes has created generations of kids whose quality of education depended considerably more on their zip code than their aptitude. It’s an issue that is now beginning to gain more prominence as inequalities in other facets of American life are examined more closely than in the past. How can we fix this?