Thoughts on School Funding & Baltimore

In light of recent events–equity-across-schools budget discussions, drastic cuts in school funding from the state, and several lawsuits–it may be useful to either visit or revisit this post from schoolfinance101 about the myths of over-funding City Schools. There is still much to be debated about how much money reaches schools, whether there is room for more decentralization of funds; but we need to be clear about debunking the myth that Baltimore already gets more than its share of the funds. Once you accept, as research shows, that it takes as least double the amount of money to educate children in areas of broad, deep, long-lasting, racially systemic poverty, then the funding meet Baltimore’s needs has never been provided.

School Finance 101

There’s been more than a little opportunistic, misguided bloviating about Baltimore in recent weeks, including misguided discussions of and references to per pupil spending in Baltimore City Public Schools. The gist of most claims has been that Baltimore City Schools spend more than most other large (or large urban) districts in the country, but their outcome still stink. Thus, for example, more money isn’t the issue. We just need stuff like, more charter schools, which don’t need more money to be awesome (except that, well, the most awesome among them elsewhere tend to spend a lot more money!)

My point here is to simply lay out the data, the issues and some context for better understanding school finance issues facing Baltimore Public Schools.

Baltimore is Carved out as a Segregated, High Poverty City District

Maryland, like other “southern” state school systems is generally organized into county school districts…

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