In a world with contrasting opinions and differing priorities, any step forward requires compromise. When it comes to school funding, there are two main points of conflicting ideas.
Is Money Pixie Dust?
While some argue that students cannot thrive if schools aren’t provided more funds, others would say that what matters more is where the money is spent. This analysis by the Cato Institute provides examples of schools being provided with additional funds, but students seemingly not receiving any benefits from it. Money, after all, is not pixie dust, and schools won’t improve if you throw money at them. On the other hand, this NPR article provides examples of situations where an increased budget for schools was very beneficial to students.
Where To Source Education Funding?
The other topic for debate is at what level should public education funds be provided. Some want to see schools funded federally in order to allow every student to receive the same opportunity for education. Others want to see schools funded mostly locally, as this allows for each community to have more control over their schools so that it can be tailored to the needs of the area.
In order to bring progress to our public education system, compromise will have to be reached so that action can be taken. Evidently, an increase in funds will not automatically improve students’ ability to learn and develop. Yet if funds are allocated properly allowing the needs of all students to be met and a slow increase in funds is put in place allowing money to go where it is needed, we can track improvement and make changes as necessary. As for where the funds come from, if states take on a larger role in funding public education, then low-income areas will have more support, while still allowing for relatively local control.