A whole lot of y’all looked at that table of per student spending by district I published on Monday. That’s a good thing. Hopefully you poked around and compared districts and did some thinking about whether those amounts were in line with what you expected.
Here’s a different look at those numbers. A map of how much money is spent on Instructional Expenditures. (Oh, how I love maps. Maps speak volumes about Alabama.)
That map showed dollars for instruction. What about total dollars spent per student?
A word of caution: the total dollars spent per student include federal, state and local sources. Many of Alabama’s school districts have qualified for large amounts of federal funding under various programs that are part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). That “extra” federal funding pumps up those numbers. Click on the district to view the breakdown of federal-, state-, and local-sourced expenditures.
The Advantage That Local Money Buys You
Everybody knows that local money (local tax money put into local schools) is where opportunity for excellent education lies.
Local money is the money that buys 1-to-1 digital initiatives (iPads, Chromebooks, and the like), expensive football coaches, beautiful new buildings, and lots of teachers to lower class sizes.
If local money = opportunity, where are those opportunities across Alabama?
Is this okay with you? What did your gut tell you just now?
Do you embrace the theory that says that if you’re wealthy, and the citizens in your school district pump a lot of local money into your schools….that you somehow deserve a better education?
And that if you are just unfortunate enough to be born into a community that has little wealth…well….that’s just your tough luck?
Does this map represent your expectations of and hopes for Alabama’s children?
Where do you stand? What do you believe?