Learning should not be hampered by a lack of funds. Education should help break poverty shackles!

President Lyndon Johnson, as he passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act-1965, felt that a person’s education should not be determined by his or his parents’ financial status. Education should help a person rise up financially in life!

Where Does Education Funding Come From?

Public school funding issues are an important part of legislation.  Money given by the US government towards K-12 education is in the ratio of 10 cents to a dollar.  This is a very small amount when compared to the funds given by other countries.

The rest, and the major percentage of funds, for 14,000 public elementary schools and secondary school districts originates from State and local governments.  National Centre for Education statistics put this education percentage at 93%.

How Public Schools Are Funded

The sales and income taxes are the source of education funds at the State level.  At a lower local level, it is the property taxes that contribute to this. Thus, funds obtained vary from every state and district.

Poverty In Districts Have Influenced Education Fund Disparities

The higher the property held by a community, the better that school district is financially.  Thus, according to reports from a non-profit organization, the education funds are less at districts where they are needed most. Illinois had the second-largest funding gap from the year 1999 through 2005.  A similar situation was faced by Florida, Idaho, Maine, Missouri, Kansas, New Hampshire, Vermont, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas Nevada, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Virginia.

Court Rulings And The Result Of These Rulings

As these gaps led to court cases, they directed the states to revamp the entire funding system so that public funds reach schools on an equitable basis.  In 1971, a case in California, Serrano v. Priest, ordered that the parent’s income should not determine a child’s access to Government education.

The debate has raged in the past decade and a slogan “No Child left Behind” was adopted.

The argument still continues. Some feel the funds have to be provided for schools. Others feel that more funds will not guarantee higher performance. Instead, they believe proper accounting and steering away from government funding is the key.


At the end of the day, improving public school funding by states alone is not the answer. Overhauling professional development is the key to major changes in the educational system in the US.